In this week's Councillor Column, council leader Aileen Morton is reflecting on the success of the Helensburgh Summer Festival.


This year has seen some unexpected weather, from the snow at the start of March to the sunshine at the start of July.

And it’s a shame that sunshine in July is so unusual in Scotland – because with the sun you look around and realise it’s an amazingly beautiful part of the world!

The weather can make such a difference to the success (or otherwise) of events.

I was pleased that Saturday blessed the Helensburgh Summer Festival with some sunshine. When I popped by it was great to see so many folk wandering about, with shops and restaurants also busy.

Considering the number of other events on in the area, and the competition that means to bring or keep people in the town, it was clear the Summer Festival organisers had done a great job.

On Sunday I went to one of those competing events, and was up in Glasgow with my family for the last day of the European Championships. It was a much more miserable day and it was clear that the rain was putting a dampener on some of the festival activities.

When I was stopped in the street to fill out a visitor survey, I agreed to do it partly because I have been on the other side – clipboard in hand!

I was able to honestly say though that if it hadn’t been for all of the activities on in the city we would probably have chosen to stay at home.

Events play a big part in getting visitors to come to a specific location, and the aim is to increase the footfall for that day but also to remind people that somewhere is worth visiting even when there isn’t an event on.

The council didn’t provide any financial support to the Summer Festival this year, and it is entirely driven by a small number of volunteers. But even a huge event like the festival in Glasgow requires an army of volunteers.

It’s worth remembering that the next time you see an event is happening, and think “it’s good that’s on” but you don’t go along – it may not continue to survive!

Finally, as the schools go back, congratulations and good luck to all of the young people who received their exam results this month.

No matter what the results were I hope all of those young people have managed to find next steps that they are happy with.