I am delighted to have been asked by the Gazette to do a blog and write about the main issues that were in last week’s paper.

I want to use this blog to let you know my thoughts but more importantly I want to get your feedback.

I think all Gazette readers were shocked to read the front page article which revealed Johnstone and Linwood are two of the five towns with the lowest life expectancy in Scotland.

I am not going to use this blog to lecture people on what they should or shouldn’t eat.

I like going to the chippy or getting a takeaway from the Chinese or Indian like anyone else and I don’t like getting lectured about what to eat.

However, I am going to try and cut down the number of takeaways I have.

As we know eating healthier is important but more and more of a focus is now being put on physical activity by the Government and health chiefs, useful websites readers may find of interest are _www.takelifeon.co.uk_ http://www.takelifeon.co.uk/ and _www.pathstohealth.org.uk_ http://www.pathstohealth.org.uk/ which show that walking to work, gardening or even walking to the local shops or the bus stop counts towards physical activity.

The Scottish Government have recommended that people should carry out 30 minutes of physical activity a day – I am going to try and do this myself and I will keep you up to date with how I get on.

As Gazette readers know I do not hesitate to challenge Renfrewshire Council when I feel they are letting local people down but in terms of promoting healthy living there are good examples locally.

The Walking Network http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/ilwwcm/publishing.nsf/Content/els-mm-FeelingFitter15_ organises walking in groups from short walks around town to hill walking, there is also suggestions on walks you can do in your own spare time. I am going to try to get along to one of them.

But there is probably more the council can do. As readers may know the Scottish Government has removed ring-fenced for funding on areas to do with promoting healthier lifestyles so there is more responsibility on the council now.

When the weather is bad people understandably don’t want to go out in the pouring rain so people have to use indoor facilities for activity but because people lives busy lives I think indoor facilities such as the swimming pool and gym could be open longer.

The pool and gym in Johnstone shuts at 4pm on a Saturday and a Sunday and I think there could be a demand for it opening later.

These are big issues and I want to know your views on how we can improve healthier living here in Johnstone and how the Council can help achieve that.