Delighted to touch base with Herald readers. As councillor for Ward 2 Garnock Valley I have no high-flown aims, I simply want and will always strive for a fair deal from NAC for our rural Garnock Valley towns and villages. They sometimes feel a wee bit forgotten!

I am fortunate to live in this gem-laden corner of North Ayrshire. It has spellbinding rural scenery, a rich industrial and social history and many amazing ‘can-do’ people

Fifteen fantastic years as the Herald’s Beith correspondent, without missing a single edition of the paper, as well as scribbling many local books, required reliability, dependability and absolute commitment: personal hallmarks. I bring such qualities to my role as councillor.

I do not lead any crusade on issues but do speak my mind coherently and courteously addressing local issues of concern.

Keeping constituents in the information loop is of the essence.

I do that in my weekly community information sharing blog now in its 286th consecutive week.

My blog is a labour of love, but I think it important to keep locals informed about happening in the council and locally.

I distribute it via email to over 400 constituents and publish it on six Garnock Valley related Facebook sites.

I strive to be a dependable and speedy link between constituents and complex council services as well as public-facing utilities and other organisations.

I do so unconstrained by party politics and as a conduit for problem solving.

The financial and manpower constraints NAC face are complex and not always fully appreciated.

Mistakes are made in service provision - we’re all human - but putting them right and learning from them is vital and reassuring in an imperfect world.

My experience is that staff in NAC are hardworking and very committed to serving the public.

People are the beating heart of communities. Sleeves rolled-up I encourage community betterment through volunteering.

We are fortunate in North Ayrshire to have a treasure-trove of folk giving freely of their time and talents all focussing on service provision, helping make communities tick.

They all deserve our support, encouragement and thanks. North Ayrshire Council value them and this partnership role is central to community cohesion.

We can all play a role, irrespective of age, in supporting and improving the lives of others.

Why not dip your toe into the volunteering pool?

I will continue to aspire to be a caring and responsible independent councillor and Older People’s Champion for North Ayrshire, readily contactable, putting the needs of constituents first.

The role is time-consuming, complex, frustrating but more-often-than-not, rewarding, satisfying and enriching giving service above self. I regard it as an honour.

Who could ask for more?