There can be few with such a breadth of knowledge and insight into modern life and its difficulties than Citizens Advice staff and volunteers.
Whilst the UK and Scottish Governments are amongst the major funders, the service is healthily independent and also supported by a range of other organisations, including local authorities, utilities and charities.
In this region, we are well served by Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service (DAGCAS), which recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and has a network of branches.
I was pleased to receive a copy of chief executive Phil Stewart’s annual report, in which he includes interesting statistics.
Over the last year, the local organisation supported 8,493 people with 38,985 issues, putting £8,110,000 back into clients’ pockets, which indirectly benefited the local economy.
My congratulations to everyone at DAGCAS on reaching this important milestone and for the excellent service they provide, face-to-face and through a range of communication platforms.
Still on reviews, it was good to see a largely positive independent report from the Accounts Commission on Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Strong leadership, sound financial management and clear vision in recent years were flagged up although making changes to service delivery to balance future budgets was seen as a challenge ahead.
It seems to me, the SNP-Green Scottish Government are good at devolving additional tasks for local authorities but not so effective at providing the funds and resources for them to do so.
As most local people know Dumfries and Galloway is one of the finest regions to live in the UK.
I’m sure many readers share this view, rather than the negative poll conclusions about some local towns featured on a national website and reported in last week’s issue.
I, for one, believe there may have been a touch of satire behind the voting and our strong communities and scenic countryside speak for themselves.