I’D LIKE to begin my first Councillor Column in the Helensburgh Advertiser by thanking all of the voters in Helensburgh Central who voted for me on Thursday, May 5.

It will be an honour and privilege to represent the constituents of the Helensburgh Central Ward for the next five years.

Following the first council meeting of the new term, when appointments were made to council committees and to external bodies, I will be serving on four boards: the council’s own environment, development and infrastructure committee, the Argyll and Bute Harbour Board, Live Argyll, and the Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute Valuation Joint Board.

My first few months as a councillor are certain to be busy, with further training sessions to take part in, full meetings of the council, first meetings of the boards and committees I am now a member of, meetings of community councils, invitations to events and of course my regular councillor surgeries. All are new to me but what is certain is that exciting times lie ahead.

I hope that with me being a member of the Argyll and Bute Harbour Board and the board of Live Argyll, I will be able to help make a difference to the pier and the waterfront area.

I believe that the residents of Helensburgh deserve to see the pier back as a working pier, and the site of the current swimming pool, to be demolished once the new waterfront leisure centre is in operation, used for leisure facilities rather than for retail.

Elsewhere in town, we have roads, pavements, street lights and signs that all require to be repaired. Helensburgh’s pavements also require to be washed regularly, as they often look filthy, which is not a good look for locals or visitors alike.

Looking a little further into the future, there are many houses being built in the area, and more being planned. Do we really have the infrastructure to deal with potentially hundreds more families moving into our town? Do we have enough pre-school places? Do we have enough capacity at our primary and secondary schools to deal with an influx of new children.

I know that individuals and families alike, in Helensburgh and beyond, are feeling the pinch as the cost-of-living crisis bites and are having to watch what they spend their hard-earned cash on.

One way for families and those under the age of 22 to save at least a little money is to apply for one of the free bus passes that are available to children and adults aged from 5 to 21.

The pass can be applied for online or for children at school they can request a form for their parents to complete and apply through the school.

As well as saving families the cost of the fuel used on the ‘school run’, travelling by bus would mean fewer cars being driven to school and would save the planet a little as well.