Greenock Telegraph 16th July 2021

I have a long list of things that could be done to improve Inverclyde. Don’t we all? Let’s knock down the West College Scotland on Finnart Street and use that site for houses or a new sports centre or a new hospice. And then build a new college down at the East India Harbour but do it properly, knock down the Police station and build a combined emergency services hub for Ambulance, Fire and Rescue, Police and Coastguard on the site of the existing Fire Station at Rue End Street. And once we have done that lets put hydropower stations behind Port Glasgow to power the much neglected Upper Port Industrial Estate, and behind Greenock to power houses in Spango Valley (if we must build houses there) and behind Inverkip to power the Ardgowan distillery, while regenerating the Peatland on Duchal Moor. Run a competition for architects and town designers and see what ideas they could come up with for the Inverkip Power Station site. And while I am on a roll, the coast, the views from there and access to them are for the common good, not for housing and exclusion.

All very aspirational I am sure, but we need big ideas and big ambition that can be honed into practical working solutions and then when we have feasibility studies, we can go seeking finance. And we won’t get them all, but we will learn from each one and get better each time because the alternative is handing out a begging bowl at the end of the line of all the other bidders and losing while learning nothing. I am sick to death of people talking down this area. It’s time to start aggressively promoting Inverclyde as the gold standard destination. The naysayers will have a field day telling us why we can’t, but we need to bin that mindset. Only then can we create a better Inverclyde for us all.