THIS week's crop of readers' letters includes your thoughts on older people, Helensburgh's submarine museum, the Helensburgh Seafront Development Project and more.

To add your views to the mix simply email with 'Letter' in the subject line, and we'll publish the best of the bunch next week. Happy writing!

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Councillor Alastair Redman (Advertiser Comment, August 10) portrays the elderly population of Argyll and Bute as a problem.

Personally I see our pensioners as a great asset to the community.

Far from ignoring the ageing population, the Scottish Government’s recent paper ‘Reshaping Care for Elderly People’ states 'Older people are valued as an asset, their voices are heard and they are supported to enjoy full and positive lives in their own home or in a homely setting'.

People in Scotland are living longer thanks to improving health care and living conditions, surely something we should celebrate.

Yes, there are challenges for Scotland's NHS as the age profile increases. What do you expect when the budget continues to be cut by Westminster Tory austerity? Although it's worth remembering that on many different measures of performance Scotland's health services are the best in the UK.

Problems in recruiting health and social care staff will only increase due the hard Tory Brexit that Mr Redman’s party is implementing, as we will no longer be able to welcome citizens from the EU.

Currently around 10 per cent of NHS doctors and nurses are from EU countries and the number applying to work in the UK has dropped sharply since the EU referendum.

Everything we hear from the Conservatives only serves to remind us of the shambolic state of their Westminster government and makes me more convinced that Scotland should now seize the opportunity to become an independent country within the European single market.

Alastair Redman and his fellow Conservative/LibDem councillors in the administration need to focus on the day job of improving services in Argyll and Bute, rather than punting relentless negativity while offering no solutions for the way ahead.

Eleanor Hunter, Helensburgh

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It is with concern, but with no surprise, that I read the Advertiser’s report into the ongoing delays relating to the Helensburgh submarine museum.

This is a project that the council allocated £140,000 of the public’s money to at the start of 2014, and that councillors were told would be completed and open during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July 2014.

Although this was a major local project, for some unknown reason, the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee was never given the opportunity to discuss it.

When a request for the council to release the £140,000 for this project was considered at the council meeting on March 20, 2014, I and a number of other councillors raised serious concerns with regards to the timescale for this project and the fact that the area committee had not been given the opportunity to discuss any of the details.

I also found it strange that although I had highlighted that I had copies of an earlier consultant’s feasibility study into a full size submarine visitor centre, no one ever asked to see that study.

Although the council’s administration at that time were happy to approve the release of the £140,000 to the project, Councillor Richard Trail and I moved an amendment to defer a decision on the funding and to refer it back to the area committee for discussion.

Unfortunately the council approved the release of the funding, with me, Councillor Trail and Councillor Vivien Dance being the only local councillors who supported the proposal for this issue to be brought to the area committee for discussion.

Here we are, more than three years after the council was told that the Submarine Museum would be open, more than three years since the council allocated substantial public funds to the project, and, as far as I am aware, the council has not requested any formal update for members on the project or what has happened to the public’s money.

It is a pity that all local councillors were not given the opportunity to discuss this project, which may have allowed us to avoid the situation we now find ourselves in.

Councillor George Freeman (Independent, Lomond North)

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On behalf of the chairman and trustees of the Helensburgh Seafront Development Project I write to you to clarify some points in regards to your article of August 10 on the project.

The Chairman’s actual statement was ‘That if we don't get the backing of our local councillors then we will have to go down other avenues to make this project a reality for the town’.

HSDP have only the good of the community at heart and we would rather have all parties on side rather than having negative reporting which only serves to taint people’s view of what HSDP will achieve.

Unfortunately Cllr Ellen Morton is obviously not up to date with the recent interaction between HSDP committee members and senior council officers.

There have been several important and beneficial meetings with council members who have shown support and a desire for the project to proceed.

It is with regret that the paper saw fit to print Cllr Morton’s quoted comments where she portrays Mr MacQuire as acting alone.

As she is well aware this is not the case and that the HSDP is a community group. As a registered charity we are bound by the charity rules to have trustees with a written constitution, yet Ms Morton refers to our chairman as ‘him’, ‘his’ and ‘he’ as a singular entity in regards to the project.

Further, Cllr Morton stated that "I asked him to consider working with the council, but he wasn't interested in doing that".

In actual fact, Mr MacQuire and Ms Morton met after the HSDP had approached her to ask if she could help the committee with the project. Unfortunately she declined as she stated the project was too big for her to get involved with.

In regards to Councillor Morton's points about the HSDP fund raising, and her view that "if he hasn't raised whatever he needs for his feasibility study I'm not sure how he's going to secure the funds needed for the project".

Anyone who has tried to raise funds for a feasibility study will know that there are very few funding options available, hence the reason that the HSDP has struggled to find the funds for it.

Whereas, for the main build funds, HSDP have been pledged the major portion of the required expected cost, but all the backers require the feasibility study to be completed prior to them committing resources.

HSDP did ask at an area committee meeting of 10 local councillors if the HSDP could get assistance in the form of an award from the CHORD underspend as part of community funding for the feasibility study.

We were told 'No, as your project is out with the original CHORD area’.

We were somewhat taken aback as more than half of the areas that received funding were out with the CHORD project area. This example highlights the obstacles being put in front of the HSDP.

The HSDP are actually looking to improve the pier for the good of the community, install a walkway to remove the risk of flooding on West Clyde Street and thus save Argyll and Bute Council money and a considerable amount of effort.

To find out what HSDP is ‘actually’ doing and how we plan to achieve the successful completion of this seafront enhancing project we encourage your readers to attend our public meeting at the Helensburgh Parish Church Hall on Thursday, August 31. Doors open at 7pm.

It would help a great deal if the local paper and the community could get behind the HSDP and put pressure on the local councillors to back our project. After all, it would benefit the town in many ways.

HSDP is a community project, for the community, by the community. There is no financial or political gain to be had by any trustee.

Bill Purdon (Secretary, Helensburgh Sweafront Development Project)

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With Ruth Davidson being put firmly “back in her box” over immigration by the Prime Minister’s number two, Damian Green, this neatly puts well and truly to bed the claim that the Scottish Conservative leader has some influence within the portals of power in London.

Ms Davidson is right in her call for a debate over the UK Government’s ridiculous target to reduce net migration to less than 100,000.

While the amount of pensioners in Scotland is expected to rise by 28 per cent over the next 25 years, worker numbers are only increasing by one per cent.

We therefore face an ageing population, but only marginal growth in the working age population, yet all that seems to concern the Tories is achieving a bizarre arbitrary migration target that was set in 2010.

In the run up to the EU referendum senior figures in the Leave campaign, such as Michael Gove, promised increased powers over immigration would come to Scotland, with the introduction of a points-based system, should the UK vote to leave the EU.

These pledges, like many others that were made in that campaign, have been predictably quickly forgotten.

Scotland desperately need an immigration system that caters to the challenges we as a nation face, and while Ms Davidson may be calling for such a debate, absolutely no one within her own party is listening.

Alex Orr,

Via email

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Dyed-in-the-wool nationalists are airing their republican sympathies online by demanding 'Queen Nicola' (I jest not) should open the new Forth crossing, not the Queen (Elizabeth, that is).

That the Queen is head of state and that she will perform the Queensferry Crossing opening ceremony 53 years to the day since she opened the Forth Road Bridge count for little.

If you're a passionate separatist your focus is division, as represented by the SNP and its leader, not continuity and heritage.

The majority in Scotland are more circumspect: Ms Sturgeon's personal popularity has nose-dived on the back of her UK break-up obsession combined with the SNP's lacklustre management of Scotland’s public services.

Martin Redfern, via email

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More than 250,000 people in Scotland are living with Type 2 diabetes. It’s a serious condition which can lead to life-limiting complications if people are not supported to manage it well.

Diabetes is complex and it requires careful management every day in order to stay healthy. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you will undoubtedly have a lot of questions and may feel overwhelmed by all the information that is out there.

At Diabetes Scotland, with support from Scottish Government, we are developing a Type 2 diabetes education pack which is currently being trialled in a number of GP practices.

Our aim is to provide all the information you need in an easy-to-read guide that can be kept and used as you require.

We’re looking for people who are living with Type 2 diabetes to advise on the content of our Type 2 education pack and help make sure it meets the needs of people who are newly diagnosed.

If any readers are living with Type 2 diabetes and would like to be involved, please email me at or call 0141 245 6380.

Chloe Duffus, Type 2 Education Project Manger

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The school summer holiday in Scotland has sadly come to an end, and now that children are back in school it’s important that parents of children with asthma keep an eye out for the early warning signs of an asthma attack.

Children are at a much greater risk of having an asthma attack when they’re back at school, partly due to exposure to triggers such as cold and flu viruses.

In fact, the latest hospital admissions data showed that children in Scotland were 68 per cent more likely to be rushed to hospital following an asthma attack in August than in July.

Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK, and three people die from asthma every day, so it's important for parents to spot the signs of an asthma attack early.

You should book an urgent appointment with the GP or asthma nurse if your child is: using their reliever inhaler (usually blue) more than three times a week; coughing or wheezing at night; feeling out of breath and struggling to keep up with their friends.

Parents who have any concerns about their child’s asthma can speak to our expert nurses by calling the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri; 9am-5pm), and can find more information on how to protect their child when they’re back in school this August by visiting

Sonia Munde, Head of Helpline and Nurse Manager at Asthma UK