There is a great divide among the voters.

No, not THAT one. It concerns how you view council duties versus personal responsibility.

It came to the fore when shrub bed maintenance in Helensburgh’s handsome main square was taken on by green-fingered volunteers. That’s the council’s job, said the naysayers.

And in truth there are many things we grew up with provided by our local councils which have slipped off the list of budget priorities.

Every year now it seems there’s a list of threatened facilities as local authorities try to balance their books.

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For a while Argyll and Bute has been considering whether we should extend this kind of devolved task to doing winter maintenance jobs like gritting our own pavements.

For many folk this will represent a (literally) slippery slope to a full dereliction of council duties.

Much will depend on how the notion is “sold” to the public – and one Helensburgh councillor has been musing on the authority’s failings in that regard – and also on the ready availability of the tools for the job.

It also means everyone being the kind of 'good neighbour' prepared to do the work for elderly or infirm neighbours.

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I’m always amused – sort of – by the sight of bits of grassed being mowed exactly to a perceived boundary line and not a blade more. Or hedges being trimmed down the middle, which must be a sight more difficult than taking a chopper to the whole top.

I guess it’s all down to temperament.

During the height of the pandemic, when vulnerable groups were fully locked down, a neighbour’s husband went supermarket shopping for me, bringing essentials to my front door.

I guess he thought he was just being a decent human being. I thought so too.

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