All of the candidates have now been confirmed for the council election on Thursday, May 4.

And the debate is really under way about the type of future you want for Renfrewshire and the type of council that will best stand up for our communities in the challenging years that lie ahead.

As council leader, I am proud of the achievements of the current Labour administration.

We have boosted opportunity in education, housing and jobs and are driving forward the regeneration of our town centres.

As you may know, I have decided not to stand for re-election but I remain fully committed to seeing that work continue and develop in the years ahead.

One of the most important roles a council has is championing the community it serves.

We all know that public services have to operate with reduced funding, but the Scottish government has deliberately and persistently chosen to penalise Renfrewshire by cutting its funding by comparatively more than the cuts made to other areas.

In five years, not one SNP councillor has spoken out against that. They have put political party interests before the people they claim to represent.

It is vital that a Labour council is elected to continue to stand up for Renfrewshire and hold government accountable.

A look back at the first two decisions made by this current Labour council shows the difference in values and priorities between us and our opponents.

We abolished fares to adult day centres for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and we ended reductions in free school travel to school policies which were costing families up to £10 extra a week.

Have a look at Labour’s record.

In very challenging times, we have prioritised education, defended frontline services and produced the lowest-ever level of youth unemployment in Renfrewshire.

The council has invested £6million in an innovative Tackling Poverty programme which is giving thousands of people the support they need and deserve to change their lives.

There are detailed regeneration plans and strategies for our traditional town centres and Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 has captured the imagination of the whole community.

Renfrewshire is at the heart of the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, with three multi-million-pound investment programmes which are bringing

jobs and long-term economic growth – the Glasgow Airport

Access Project, the Glasgow Airport Investment Area and

the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside.

There is a lot of attention on national and international issues at the moment.

However, this election is about focusing on the local issues that matter directly to people in Renfrewshire.

The Labour-run council has shown it is ambitious for Renfrewshire and its people. It can do even more with your support at the ballot box.