A holiday activity programme to provide West Dunbartonshire families with fun this summer as the cost of living crisis continues has been approved by councillors.
An emergency motion was brought before full council on Wednesday night by depute leader, councillor Michelle McGinty who wanted to ensure every child in the area has the opportunity to get involved in their community.
During the meeting, members were informed that £200,000 was still left over from the cost of living working group funding pot which would help fund free activities such as lawn games, a mini funfair, pony rides, face painting and family fun days out for everyone regardless of whether they have been on holiday or not.
Labour councillor McGinty said: “We talk about how people are struggling between heating and eating and a holiday is a total luxury nowadays so we should be looking at what we can do to ensure that kids are getting opportunities.
“I think when this idea to do more, if we had the money, it just seemed that we had to take that opportunity when we could.
“We have set aside around £2 million in the cost of living working group and about £200,000 left so there is enough money to do this and to be able to ensure that families across the authority are all getting the opportunity to do something this summer.
“We are seeing that rise in kids that have nothing to do and I think everyone is aghast at some of the issues we have seen locally in Balloch recently with young people being the victim of knife crime.
“Anywhere where we can offer alternatives and offer kids something to do, we should be embracing it with open arms.”
The programme will also offer the chance for people to get involved with others in their community while bringing those young and old together to enjoy parks and activities available at their front door.
Traders will also be asked if they want to get involved in community days.
SNP councillor Gordon Scanlan agreed that the summer activities would be a good opportunity for young people across the area.
He said: “I agree with the sentiment of councillor McGinty although I think it would be good, if after recess we can have another meeting at the cost of living working group to see the success and how the activities went. The programme last year was very successful.
“We haven’t had a meeting since November and I do think it is important that the cross party working group comes together after recess and look at the success of this programme.”