A REPORT describing Helensburgh as “a world class waterfront town” has been “over-egged”, according to a councillor.

The final draft of the Making Places document, put together after a lengthy consultation process, went before members of Argyll and Bute Council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee on Wednesday, April 24.

But deputy council leader Councillor Gary Mulvaney suggested that the description of the town – which he said was "a superb place to live" – was slightly over the top.

The document has been produced as part of a regeneration project for the town, with work having begun in May last year.

READ MORE: 'Making Places' team seeks views of Helensburgh public

Councillor Mulvaney said: “The vision statements pick up three bullet points, describing Helensburgh as welcoming, vibrant and having a strong sense of community.

“It also says it is a world class and forward-thinking waterfront town.

“Coming from a sales background, you sell what you have got in your product.

“Helensburgh is a superb town to live in – I’ve lived in it for 20 years – but when you use the term ‘world class’ are we setting ourselves up for a fall?

“We are not just noting this report, we are endorsing it.

“I would love to have Helensburgh as a world class town, but I think we are over-egging it and creating difficulties for ourselves. I think that is one we need to have a look at.

“Some of the funding for this report has come from the council and some has come from the Scottish Government.

“It is all public money, and if I am being cynical and critical, it is actually taking a lot of stuff that is out in the public domain.

“I don’t think it adds to anything. My concern from a public point of view I suppose is that it hasn’t added much to my understanding.

“Maybe I am just being too cynical in my old age.”

READ MORE: Community shares its vision for future of Helensburgh

Lorna Pearce, senior development officer with the council, replied: “In terms of why we did this and the costs involved, there is, generally speaking, a way of doing this.

“Although the Scottish Government says it can be quite flexible, we do need to involve consultants, and this document does provide that evidence.

“It does bring a lot into one document and although I take the point that you could find this information elsewhere, it will be very helpful if we are trying to apply for funding.

“In terms of the ‘world class’ description, that is consultants’ speak. We would be able to go back if there was another word.”

READ MORE: Helensburgh's at the forefront of high street revolution, says business chief

The area committee also heard that fewer than 1,000 people have taken part in the various consultation exercises held between May and August last year as part of the Making Places.

Councillor George Freeman said: “The population of Helensburgh is still around 17,000, and only six per cent of the population took part. That is pretty disappointing.”

Councillor Ellen Morton, chair of the area committee, said: “I went to several of the events and what I found interesting at one event I attended in the Civic Centre was that, from memory, six people turned up, but it was well-informed discussion.

“People were asking consultants and officers many questions and making well-informed comments, and those will be the basis of facing the issues in future.

“Councillor Freeman’s point is valid but that is true of every engagement exercise – very few people actually engage.”