THIS week's Councillor Column is written by Cllr Gary Mulvaney, depute leader of Argyll and Bute Council.

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WITH the UK Government allocating nearly £5 billion to assist town centre regeneration and community transport schemes across the country through its Levelling Up Fund, it is good to see that Helensburgh features prominently in Argyll and Bute’s bids.

As well as further investment in the much-maligned Dumbarton to Rosneath cycleway, the innovative idea that caught my eye was one for green buses, either hydrogen or electric, to serve the local community and workers at the base, with a potential link to Glasgow Airport.

The other exciting development would be a bid to repair the town’s wooden pier and create a modern berthing facility. With money already allocated to improve the concrete part of the pier, that project would complete the Helensburgh waterfront development.

Elsewhere, there finally seems to be a solution in place for the dangerous building, opposite Tower Place, that has closed the westernmost end of East Clyde Street on many occasions over the years, affecting residents and neighbours alike.

Council officers have been working behind the scenes to secure funding from the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme and work with a developer to ultimately demolish and replace the building. That would be the ideal solution and one that cannot come fast enough.

READ MORE: New hope for Helensburgh pier in planned bid to UK Government fund

Finally, with Nicola Sturgeon having replaced previous Health Secretary, ‘Calamity’ Jeane Freeman with Humza Yousaf, there was some hope that he would steady the ship.

But having failed to master the stability of a scooter, Hapless Humza then advised desperate Scots to “think twice” before they dial for an ambulance.

The revelation that a 65-year-old man died after a 40-hour ambulance wait, and an 86-year-old was left lying on a floor for eight hours with a fractured hip, shows how bad things really are.

With ever more cancer patients waiting for diagnosis and treatment; 1,700 fewer NHS beds than in 2007, face-to-face GP appointments harder to get than a winning lottery ticket, and the British Army called into help, there are multiple crises in our healthcare system after 14 years of SNP rule.

Instead of trying to elbow her way into the world leaders’ COP26 tent in Glasgow in a few weeks’ time, maybe our vainglorious First Minister could get a grip on just one of these crises.