COUNCILLOR Iain Shonny Paterson (SNP, Lomond North) writes this week's Councillor Column...

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THE Scottish Government’s proposal for a National Care Service for Scotland is to be welcomed.

I see on a regular basis the demands that are put on families and staff that work in this sector, dealing directly with constituents who are catering for the needs of their loved ones.

Watching someone you love gradually deteriorate is harrowing to put it mildly, but when you also have to deal with the issue of what may not be available for your loved one, and what you do when that service falls short, it creates immense stress on families.

And that is not to mention the employees who are at the front line of providing care, who have to deal not only with families of those they support, but with the companies they are working for.

I have nothing but admiration and immense respect for the care workers who provide a good service, working long hours for the individuals and families they deal with. Don’t get me wrong – there are some who work in the industry who leave a lot to be desired, but thankfully they are very much in the minority.

READ MORE: 'Vision is good' - but councillors' doubts persist over National Care Service proposal

I also have to give special mention to all our country’s unpaid carers who do an immense job in caring for their loved ones. The care they provide saves councils hugely in financial terms: too often they are forgotten, and many feel isolated and unsupported. They need to be recognised and supported better for the work they do.

That’s why I support the Scottish Government’s proposals. A National Care Service will improve the lives of the people who need care and the people who provide it – and who deserve the pay and conditions that reflect the excellent service they provide for our loved ones. I know there will be hurdles to be overcome, but with will and drive I do not see why this cannot be achieved.

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ON a different topic, I would also would thank Luss Estates for answering my plea to grant free parking to members of the Arrochar mountain rescue team at their car park in the village.

The team’s members delivered school meals and prescriptions throughout the pandemic, as well as undertaking many other tasks, and to Luss Estates’ credit, they didn’t hesitate to agree with my proposal.

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FINALLY this month, I recently visited Kilcreggan to deal with issues brought to my attention by residents there.

While I was there I took a walk along the pier. What a fantastic asset it is to Kilcreggan and the wider area. I hope we will soon have representation on the Argyll and Bute Harbour Board that reflects the views of the people in our community.

The pier, in my view, is fundamental for the development and prosperity of this lovely part of my ward, and I hope Kilcreggan gets the representation it deserves soon.

READ MORE: Council raises 'significant concerns' over plans for National Care Service