THIS week’s look into our archives takes us back 18 years – when two thousand council tenants were told they could be hit with a £159 average increase in rent.

Councillors were considering a 4.9 per cent increase in council rent, the equivalent of about £12 a month on the average council property.

The increase was needed to cover a massive gap in council housing budgets.

Councillors were set to meet to decide on the new rent figure.

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 7-2-2024

Elsewhere, pharmacies in Inverclyde were playing a crucial role in encouraging people to get health checks and change their lifestyles.

And Boots said the forthcoming smoking ban was inspiring many to seek help in giving up the habit.

Boots mounted a ‘Change One Thing’ campaign to coincide with the start of 2006, and Greenock manager Alan Clark said it was very successful.

He said at the time: “We’ve seen a big increase in the numbers coming in for smoking cessation advice, for example.

“People obviously want to stop before the ban starts.”

Smoking inside enclosed places became illegal later that year.

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 7-2-2024

Meanwhile, youngsters from a Greenock primary school were treated to a day of fun and games by James Watt College students.

They were invited along to Inverclyde National Sports Centre in Largs to spend a day learning about different sports.

The day was a way for the students to give something to the community and to complete the event management part of their course.

The students of the fitness, health and exercise HND class organised the day by sending a letter to the head teacher of Highlanders’ Academy and inviting the primary seven class to go along to the sports centre to take part in their Fit Kids Day.

The school accepted and the children attended the specially organised event.

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 7-2-2024

In other news, Inverclyders were taking to the ice in droves, thanks to a reality television show.

Bosses at the Waterfront Leisure Centre in Greenock said that numbers of skaters using the rink had gone up since Dancing on Ice appeared on screens for the first time.

The programme had grabbed the attention of the public and had become a huge success and ratings winner.

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 7-2-2024

In sport, Morton striker Derek Lilley was determined that he and his teammates put on a good show at Firhill against Partick Thistle after a couple of flat performances in successive draws — at Somerset, against Ayr United, and at Cappielow against Peterhead.

He said: “We have set high standards for ourselves this season and after the draws the boys have felt really down.

"We were set up on Saturday to go out and have a real go at Peterhead, but we never got hold of the ball."

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 7-2-2024

“They dominated the first half and we struggled to get into the game.

“The second half was a wee bit better, but we never really got into it.

“The closest we came were a couple of great strikes by Peter [Weatherson] that hit the post.”

Despite the Ton’s determination, they would be held to a 1-1 draw at Firhill.