LEADER of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Aileen Morton, praises Helensburgh's community spirit ahead of several exciting events in the town over the next few weeks.


SUMMER is finally here – we just need the weather to get on board too!

I’ve had to remind myself a few times, though, that using last summer as my benchmark is slightly unreasonable. Compared to the constant rain we get some years, we’re doing not too badly really.

One of the great things about Helensburgh is the great range of events and activities that take place in and around town. This year, and this summer, is no different.

READ MORE: 'Beats & Eats' festival arrives in Helensburgh

It’s really encouraging to see the level of commitment and effort that local people, businesses and volunteers put in to make sure that shows go on, games are played and, quite simply, that good things happen in and for Helensburgh.

What’s equally heart-warming is the community support for all of this effort – with local people enjoying all the events and warmly welcoming visitors from elsewhere too.

There have been an increasing number of events taking place in the town in recent years, from long-running events like the Beer and Gin Festival in May to the second Street Food Sunday that took place a couple of weeks ago.

This weekend there will be yet more tasty treats with the Beats and Eats Festival in the Civic Centre – combining family fun during the day with DJs and bands at night. And on the last weekend of the school holidays – Sunday, August 11, to be exact – there will be the Summer Festival, based in Colquhoun Square.

Events like this play a really important part in community life and help make Helensburgh a great place to be – a more vibrant, attractive place to live, work and visit – and increasingly highlight the great food and drink offer that’s available all year round in the town.

READ MORE: Helensburgh Beer and Gin Festival in pictures

They also make a real contribution to the council’s overall objective of attracting more people to live and work in Argyll and Bute as a successful, thriving area with opportunities and potential to develop.

The council is in recess during July but, in my role as council leader, I am currently preparing for crucial meetings with the Scottish Government in August to discuss our Rural Growth Deal. This follows a meeting at the very end of June with the UK Government.

Our deal is potentially transformational for every part of Argyll and Bute including Helensburgh and Lomond so I’m focused on securing a deal as soon as possible.