I was recently appointed by Argyll and Bute Council to the Blindcraft Trust to serve as a trustee.

Blindcraft is probably best known for its years providing job opportunities in manufacturing for people who are blind or visually impaired.

The Trust's wider charitable purposes are the prevention and relief of poverty, the advancement of education, the relief of those in need by reason of age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage - again, all relating to those who are blind or visually impaired.

One of my reasons for accepting this position is that one of my close relatives has adult vitelaform macular dystrophy, which means they lose their central vision. They cannot recognise faces, read a newspaper, watch TV or drive a car.

Little is known about this disease and more research is needed as there is no cure.

The Trust seeks to fund blind and visually impaired charities and they are looking for suggestions of relevant organisations to offer some financial assistance.

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 bans pavement parking, double parking and parking at dropped kerbs, with certain exemptions designated by local authorities, for example to ensure safe access for emergency vehicles.

Local authorities, including Argyll and Bute, have had the power to enforce the legislation since December 11, 2023. Among other things it means that drivers can be fined £100 if they break any of those parking rules, as well as the existing bans on parking on double yellow lines, in marked bus stops and taxi ranks, parking in a disabled bay without a blue badge, and so on.

I do hope the council enforces this policy as many parts of Helensburgh and Lomond are blighted by motorists parking on the pavement for long periods, obstructing people using wheelchairs or mobility scooters, pedestrians and those with prams.

This behaviour, which I know is by a minority of motorists, is all the more reprehensible as Helensburgh is well equipped with several large public car parks.

Often I go walking around Helensburgh and in Cardross with my Labrador Suzy where there are some beautiful paths to enjoy.

Unfortunately I often see dog poo bags just left by the side of the paths or hanging from trees. It’s very unsavoury and I usually return to pick them up and deposit them in the appropriate bins.

Again, it is a small minority who let down the dog walking community, and I would ask all dog walkers to act responsibly and properly deposit these poo bags where they are supposed to go...in the nearest bin.

Finally I am glad to see that the Scottish Government is considering how to use new powers being introduced at Westminster in a bid to curb vaping.

As was highlighted recently by the Advertiser and some of my fellow Helensburgh and Lomond councillors, there has been a notable rise in teenagers in Helensburgh buying vapes illegally and using them, something which is neither good for their health nor, in the case of single-use vapes, for the environment.