The council is now back in full swing after the summer recess and the new 18 councillors who were elected in May are focussed on the day-to-day business of dealing with the wide range of representations made to them by local residents.

The political administration of the council comprises 10 councillors, with five drawn from the SNP, four from Scottish Labour and one Independent.

With the number of elected councillors in East Renfrewshire being reduced from 20 to 18 by the Boundary Commission and the number of councillors who comprise the political administration reducing from 13 to 10, it is inevitable that the workload on administration councillors in particular has greatly increased.

As one of the longest-serving councillors, I have been very impressed by the enthusiasm and energy of all those in the new administration.

And I have absolutely no doubt that the new team will continue to ensure that ERC remains one of the best-run councils in the UK.

One of my most pleasant activities recently has been the opportunity to tour our three new schools which opened for business last month.

All three buildings are absolutely fabulous.

Crookfur Primary is a complete renovation of the school on the existing site and is completely unrecognisable from the tired old building that previously stood there.

Children who attend the nursery and primary school will enjoy one of the best educational experiences in Scotland.

Meanwhile, the joint faith campus of St Clare’s/Calderwood Lodge is a brand new build in a new location and the superb design will produce a great learning experience for pupils who attend both primary schools.

It is particularly pleasing that the joint Roman Catholic/Jewish faith campus, which we believe to be a world first, is such an innovative, impressive structure.

My final visit was to the new Barrhead High School, which is truly stunning.

I hope as many Barrhead residents as possible are able to visit the new school and see for themselves the quality of the building they now have in their area.

They will not be disappointed.

The school is bright and airy and very unlike the type that people of my generation will remember being educated in.

It has been a long time in coming, of course, and the delay caused by the so-called and very inappropriately-named ‘Friends of Cowan Park’ was very regrettable.

The new school, however, is well worth the wait and I am in no doubt that pupils and teachers alike will enjoy being there.

The examination results of pupils attending Barrhead High continue to rise year on year and I am sure being educated in such a well-designed, good-quality building will give a further boost to results in the future.