For the past 23 years, I have had the real privilege of being elected as a ward councillor to represent constituents on Argyll and Bute Council – for the first eight of those in the Garelochhead and Cove ward, and then, since the introduction of multi-member wards in 2007, as one of three councillors for Lomond North.

Now that the election results are behind us, and those 23 years in elected office have come to an end, I can now put my hand on heart and say that, although I did not manage to resolve all the problems that everyone brought to me in that time, it certainly was not for the want of trying – and I certainly gave 100 per cent in trying to serve those I was elected to represent.

Now that I am one of their constituents, I can say that I now expect no less from the three councillors who have been elected to represent the Lomond North ward over the next five years.

I pass on my congratulations to them, and I wish them well in all their endeavours.

It was obviously hugely disappointing to lose out at my sixth election by less than 10 first preference votes, especially when nearly half of the electorate – 48.3 per cent, to be exact – did not turn out to cast their vote on May 5.

The many touching messages of support I have received from members of the public since the election result was announced have been overwhelming.

In spite of that disappointment, I am determined now to take the positives from this result and now look ahead to what I can do in helping to address the needs of my community.

Although it has been suggested to me by one newly elected councillor that I should relax and put my feet up, I can confirm that I have no intention of disappearing – and will continue to hold both Argyll and Bute Council, and individual councillors, to account when required.

Although, at the time of writing this column, we do not know the makeup of the council administration or of the political groups within the new council, I would express one hope: that those who have been elected will put what is best for their constituents and their wards first, before meekly toeing the line of the ruling administration or of the political groups of which they may be a part.

Finally, I would like to pass on my genuine and sincere thanks to all those who have supported me over the years – and I look forward to how I may be able to serve many of you in the future.