This week's Councillor Column is written by Lorna Douglas, SNP councillor for Helensburgh Central.

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While waiting for a friend to arrive at Helensburgh Central station the other day I noticed a signpost directing visitors to key attractions in Helensburgh. The two signs pointing to the right were for Hermitage Park and Hill House.

Both these attractions have seen great support and investment not just financially but from the communities that value the spaces they provide.

Hill House, where I used to volunteer to work as a teenager – before the days of the National Trust – is now, more than ever, a major tourist destination. The organisations that have acted as its caretakers have always had the drive, ambition and foresight to keep this valuable building going for future generations.

READ MORE: Work starts on £4.5m Hill House rescue bid

Hermitage Park, of which I have fond teenage and family memories, has seen incredible change over the last few years. It was lovely to see the play park so busy the other day with children and adults having fun outside in the sunshine. Regeneration all round for the park and people alike!

This has happened because members of our community with drive, ambition and foresight decided to become the caretakers of the park because they too valued it and wanted to preserve it for future generations.

READ MORE: Young people 'hold key' to future of Hermitage Park

The two signs pointing left, Tourist Information and Seafront and Ferry Terminal, tell a different story. The Tourist Information Centre, though an important destination, could technically be anywhere in the town, and there are many who have and are driving this ambition forward.

The seafront attracts thousands of visitors every year. People love to walk, run, cycle and sit along it, and although the CHORD project regenerated some of the seafront there is still much to be done.

The ferry terminal, or the pier, is, as The Proclaimers would say, no more. Why? Well, because there was no drive, no ambition and no foresight within the past decade(s) of council administrations to preserve it.

Rather than being innovative, they have merely managed its decline, and so today we have no ferries, no Waverley and no functioning pier.

READ MORE: Helensburgh backs its pier as 1,000 sign Waverley petition

The Helensburgh Seafront Development Project has the drive, ambition and foresight to address the ‘no pier, no ferry, no Waverley’ situation. Sadly, the local councillors in the Tory/Lib Dem administration voted against a proposal supported by the other councillors to nurture the drive, ambition and foresight of the HSDP in valuing, preserving, and regenerating our iconic seafront heritage for generations to come.