LET'S talk about pies. Scotch pies.

That’s something I know a wee bit about.

For a good few years now they’ve been having a competition annually to see whose is the best and that pie, or rather the butcher or baker that made it, gets crowned the World Champion. Good publicity all round.

There’s this guy up in Angus though, a Mr Pirie, who certainly has the knack of winning it. He’s won it five times. Can’t possibly be a fluke. Anyway, he’s closing down his business and retiring but here my mate down in Wemyss Bay has pulled a masterstroke.

Young Nigel Ovens of McCaskie’s has just went and purchased the pie recipe from Pirrie and has had full training in how to turn them out perfectly. I can’t wait to try them. The rest of us are still left guessing what that secret ingredient might be.

In the meantime, what I intend to do is get the bold Nigel steamboats some night and extract said recipe in the nicest possible manner. He’s a right blether at the best of times. As soon as I get it I will let you know. Nice one Nigel!

On Monday there, a good number of councillors met at the new Inchgreen Gatehouse. Guided tour time. Hi-viz, sturdy boots, hard hats and visors all supplied for 'elfinsafety'.

It’s a big site. You’ll have seen all the diggers levelling it off. Goes all the way from Inchgreen to Pottery Street. And there’s a ton of interest, but all covered by non-disclosure agreements right now. It’s a valuable site with the added advantage of a sea wall. All the electrics are now incorporated into the site at no little expense. The place has so many positives.

Right now, as far as councillors are concerned it’s very much on a need-to-know basis, and most of us don’t need to know. But we trust the guys that do know. It’s easy to see that they are getting excited by the overall project. The job creation is going to be significant. It can’t come quickly enough for Inverclyde.

Two meetings I attended recently were particularly interesting.

A large group of councillors met with a delegation from Africans in Inverclyde. In an enlightening discussion we learned of how they are establishing themselves locally and some of the issues that they are facing.

When I first met with this group last year there were one hundred and five African adults living locally. There are now four hundred and eighty. The one thing that came through loud and clear though was that they want to work, and they want to establish businesses. Not a freeloader amongst them. We need to point them in the right direction.

Councillors and members of Port Glasgow West Community Council were invited to the local mosque for an Iftar Dinner on one of the last days of Ramadan.

The place was packed. Goodness knows how many were there. There was much love, respect and friendship displayed throughout the evening. The meaning of Ramadan was explained to us beautifully in a delightful cultural exchange. The connection of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed according to the Islamic faith was laid out for us. It was a privilege to share food and join in contemplation with our fellow New Scots.