I was really disappointed that the Argyll and Bute Council administration councillors made up of Conservative, Liberal Democrats and four independent councillors chose to vote for a 10% increase in council tax.

It is the highest increase in Scotland, and one of only two councils out of 32 who did not freeze their council tax, the other council being Inverclyde who raised theirs by 8.2%.

The administration councillors out voted the opposition councillors by one vote 18-17 with one no-vote.

What is surprising is the Provost, Conservative Councillor Maurice Corry stated at the Rosneath and Clynder Community Council on December 9, 2023 that: "The budget is still under preparation.

"There will be NO change to council tax with gap being plugged by the Scottish Government." (That's taken from the R&C Community Council minutes.)

All of the Helensburgh and Lomond ward administration councillors (Councillors Gary Mulvaney, Maurice Corry, Gemma Penfold, Paul Donald Kennedy and Graham Hardie) chose to vote for the 10% raise in council tax.

Yet Provost Corry chose to blame the SNP and Green parties in the Scottish Government in his councillor's report in last week's Advertiser, stating that it was cuts in Scottish Government funding to councils fault.

What he did not say was that Westminster cut Scotland's budget by more than £2billion in real terms for 2023/24, including a £500million cut to public service budgets and a £1.6billion cut to capital investment.

Councils who chose to raise their council tax do not 'also' get the 5% equivalent (a share of £209m) offered to councils who froze their council tax.

So, for the 'extra' 5% in funding from council tax, they are adding more woes to already cash strapped families and individuals in Argyll and Bute by making them pay an extra 10%, which could have been avoided.

I am hoping that the roads and lighting sections of the council will soon be able to fix the broken lights in Helensburgh Central that I've reported, and also to remove the ghastly looking silver bins from the reports I submitted last year, and have chased up on several occasions since.