Our latest Community Column is written by Helensburgh Community Council's convener, Norman Muir.

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Now that the clocks have changed and winter is on the horizon, on behalf of Helensburgh Community Council, I would like to express our thanks and appreciation to all our volunteers throughout the year for their support in monthly beach cleans and maintaining the shrub beds in the square.

All those involved have done a great job, the local support and comment is good, and we are looking forward to kicking off again in the new year.

Meanwhile, the community council is always on the lookout to breathe the oxygen of knowledge into matters that affect the town and counter ill-informed rumour.

READ MORE: Life's a beach for Helensburgh youth forum – despite the weather

We are looking to start a series of information briefings which will be a factual up-to-date report on the particular issue concerned.

These will be held in the Victoria Halls during the day and like all our proceedings will be held in public. They will promise nothing except an examination of where we are on a current development.

We are negotiating the first one on the pier and have asked for a budget briefing.

READ MORE: Council slammed over 'box ticking' budget consultation plan

Additionally, we hold a meeting on the last Thursday of each month. It is held in public and the community has a standing invitation to attend. It presents an ideal opportunity to engage with us on matters that concern you and everyone is more than welcome.

We share the frustration of appearing helpless in the face of a bureaucracy bound by rules and regulations but we try to make a difference, so help us.

Finally this month, HCC is a statutory consultee on planning applications in the town. We reflect the expectations of the community and represent them if there are sufficient numbers and grounds for doing so.

In the past year, we have participated in three public hearings on planning applications.

In the latest one we argued against the overbearing construction of a care home in the old depot on Sinclair Street and the negative effect on the vulnerable residents in Birch Cottages.

READ MORE: Plans for 64-bedroom Helensburgh care home approved

Our arguments did not prevail against Argyll and Bute Council but we shall return to the charge to seek independent arbitration.