OUR latest Councillor Column comes from Argyll and Bute Council's depute leader, Cllr Gary Mulvaney (Conservative).

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AS anyone who has taken a stroll along Helensburgh’s waterfront recently can’t fail to have noticed, Heron Bros are making great progress on the town’s new leisure centre development.

All the structural steelwork is complete and casting of the reinforced concrete walls and of the floor to the studio pool and main pool are nearing full completion, while mechanical and electrical installations have started in the changing village, reception area and plant room.

Our application to Sport Scotland for financial support for the project has secured a £100,000 award, which will be used to support and enhance the existing plans, including adding a moveable floor to the studio pool.

The addition of Changing Places facilities and ‘pool pods’ will also enable more people with disabilities to access swimming as part of a healthy active lifestyle.

The project has also received an excellent rating in a recent audit conducted by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), a not-for-profit, independent organisation founded to raises standards in the construction industry.

READ MORE: Developers hail 'tremendous progress' in 'world class' leisure centre project

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COVID: Although the virus will never go away, the UK vaccination programme offers us a route back to normality.

I had my own first vaccine dose two weeks ago and saw in practice what a professional operation we have in place locally – with the expectation that day that 1,200 people would get their jab.

Well done to all the nursing and support staff who ensured everything ran so smoothly. It’s incredible to think that in a matter of only three months, the UK will have vaccinated more than 30 million people.

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ELECTION: Albeit we are not quite out of the pandemic yet, the starting gun has firmly fired on the Holyrood election.

READ MORE: Opinion - 'Be thankful that upcoming Scottish Parliament election is free and fair'

The SNP’s playlist is not much different to its usual tune, with Indyref2 being top of its hit parade as it tries to drown out the cacophony of failures under its 14-year reign.

We have an SNP education system dropping down the international tables; an SNP health service failing to achieve most of their own waiting time targets and failing so many cancer patients time and time again; and an SNP tax system that sees Scots paying more than neighbours in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Under the SNP our services have got worse, not better – and much like the Salmond-Sturgeon scandal of betrayal and cover-up, they’d like you to think no-one at the top is to blame.

Rebuilding and recovery is what is needed, not referendum and rancour.

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