This is the tale of two piers, two councillors and three boats.

First, the piers. The Helensburgh one, as we all know, has now been effectively out of action to any maritime traffic for almost four years thanks to its wooden section having been allowed to decay beyond essential safety levels.

It has just been awarded almost £90,000 as a top up to the quarter of a million already earmarked for the masonry section to reflect “increased construction costs”. (Has anyone ever heard of decreased construction costs? Asking for lots of friends.)

None of that sum will be used to repair or renew the wooden elements necessary to make the pier viable again. And it seems plans to bid for Levelling Up funds for that part of the structure. have now been binned

The second pier, at Kilcreggan, is about to celebrate its 125th birthday. It is the oldest remaining pier of its type in any of the Clyde ports, and plays host to the daily ferries to Gourock and the venerable paddle steamer Waverley.

This pier is currently the subject of a not inconsiderable stushie. It stems from the fact that the Gourock and Dunoon service had been the subject of much discussion re necessary upgrades when somebody, somewhere, remembered about Kilcreggan.

So the committee re-convened and came up with a plan for three boats rather than two, but all the same type and all carrying at least 200 folk more than are needed for Kilcreggan passenger traffic.

They also proposed a pontoon to ensure ease of access for those with mobility issues and a breakwater to protect the pontoon.

Cue outrage from many locals who would have an uninterrupted view of assorted infrastructures rather than doon the watter to Arran, round the Clyde to Gourock, or over the loch to Dunoon.

However the wider row concerned the fact that our now iconic pier would no longer berth the ferries, only the paddle steamer – and would, argue the protestors, eventually suffer the same sorry fate from neglect of its big sister in Helensburgh.

The pier now has its very own Facebook page, devoted to its salvation.

Given all of which, new proposals were advanced by the community council which would have altered the existing pier rather than occasioned a separate pontoon. As we speak, the whole saga has been paused whilst options are reviewed.

Meanwhile – are you keeping up at the back? – it was agreed that a local councillor would join the reference group advising the project, as only Dunoon and Gourock folks had hitherto been represented.

So the Lomond North councillors met and were presented with two options. Newly elected independent councillor Mark Irvine, formerly of the local community council, who lives in Kilcreggan, or Conservative Maurice Corry, who lives in Helensburgh.

Somewhat bizarrely, Mr Corry won by one vote, having been backed by fellow Tories and the Lib Dem.

Now I’m not totally naïve. I do get why councillors and other politicians feel obliged to vote along party lines. But surely this can hardly be deemed party political? Surely it’s down to who knows most and can contribute most on behalf of those served by Kilcreggan Pier?

It’s not that Mr Corry is hostile to piers. In fact, his election leaflet mentioned the Helensburgh one at some length. I hae ma doots that he’s ever set foot on the Kilcreggan variety.

Maybe I’m doing him an injustice. Yet what I do know, as a long time local in these parts, is that the community councillors – of which Mr Irvine was one until his election to a grander stage – have been more than active on the whole issue.

The Kilcreggan ferry has had a checkered past and has suffered a near death experience due to changes in ownership.

After it was taken over by Caledonian MacBrayne we hoped for a more stable future. We also hoped that whoever was appointed to the advisory group would actually live here. Bizarre.