This week's Advertiser letters page includes thoughts on the sale of the town's Waitrose site, road safety, parking, the Paradise Papers and more.

To have your say on any local issue, just email your views to Please keep your contributions as brief as you can, and include your name, address and a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice.

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With reference to the sale of Helensburgh's Waitrose site (Advertiser, November 2), the headline in the Advertiser on November 1, 2013, as Councillor Vivien Dance opened the new supermarket, was “Helensburgh’s new Waitrose store is the busiest in the UK”.

At the time Councillor Dance said: “Helensburgh and Lomond residents are delighted that from today Helensburgh will be known as a Waitrose town, joining other communities across Scotland that will derive significant economic benefit from having a company such as Waitrose in their area.

“We welcome the 200 new jobs, the unique community involvement that Waitrose offers and the fact that this puts Helensburgh firmly on the map as an attractive shopping destination."

Drum Developments, who owned the site and the building, have just sold it for £13.5 million. A significant economic benefit for the company.

The land was worth £12,000 at the time the planning application was lodged with Argyll and Bute Council. Councillor Dance orchestrated local support for the application. The application was contrary to the Argyll and Bute Local Plan, and against Scottish Government policy on out-of-town shopping centres and on Green Belt land.

Drum Developments negotiated a deal with Argyll and Bute Council. Under Section 75 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, Drum Development Company (Waitrose) paid £868,000 to Argyll and Bute Council. This is an assessment of the increase in value of the land with planning consent. It is not a gift from a generous developer.

Drum Development Company (Waitrose) is registered in the Isle of Man. Ownership of the company is difficult to establish.

In 2017, the Helensburgh Waitrose continues to be the busiest in the country during lunch break at Hermitage Academy, across the street from the supermarket. It is estimated that the store costs the Argyll and Bute school meals programme £80,000 per annum.

In 2017, it is unclear who derives the significant economic benefit from the out-of-town Waitrose.

John Black, 6 Woodhollow House, Helensburgh

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I was most interested in your report in the Helensburgh Advertiser of November 2, stating that community councillors were identifying ‘stalled spaces’ in the town and had spoken to the owner of the derelict site by the Victoria Integrated Care Centre (VICC), at the former Jeanie Deans Unit, and that they had been trying to sell it.

The health board should be seriously interested in buying this plot of land to increase their car parking capacity and alleviate the severe congestion at the VICC site and on the surrounding streets.

There is a clear need for at least 40 more parking spaces for staff and patients coming for treatment.

I previously raised this with our MSP Jackie Baillie, and she obtained assurances from the health board's chief executive that they were wanting to improve provision of parking at the East King street premises.

Now is the time for them to actually do something about it and purchase this ideally located and available space.

Kenneth Speirs, Granville Street, Helensburgh

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Regarding the article in the Advertiser's November 9 issue on road safety concerns on the B833, perhaps Argyll and Bute Council would consider, at no significant financial challenge, reducing the speed limit of 60mph between Rosneath and Kilcreggan to 40mph, to match the rest of the road.

The 60mph stretch is a winding, narrow stretch, too narrow in parts to allow buses and HGVs to pass each other.

There are also approximately six residential driveways on that section, pulling out into what is currently a 60mph limit.

Maybe Argyll and Bute's councillors should include this in their concerns, before we have another tragic accident.

Andy Murray, Shore Road, Kilcreggan

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Through the Advertiser I would like to thank all those involved in making the recent 60th anniversary celebration of the Garelochhead Senior Citizens Association such a success.

It was a lovely afternoon and being able to present flowers to Agnes Steel, who has twice been the group's president in the past, and our current president, Deirdre Gibson, was particularly special.

In particular I would like to thank the local businesses who supported our afternoon tea on Friday, November 3, especially N.J. Slee Welding and Fabrication and James Auld Funeral Directors for their donations towards the cost of the event.

In addition, the following businesses and individuals donated prizes to the raffle held on the day - the Anchor Inn, Spar and Eureka in Garelochhead, Garelochhead Post Office, Robert MacIntyre butchers of Rosneath, Mairi Smith, Linda Freeman, and Caroline and Matthew Finlay.

Rita Ferguson of Rosneath baked our 60th anniversary cake, cut by our oldest member, Willie Lamond.

Thanks also to the staff of the Rosslea Hall Hotel in Rhu for their warm welcome and excellent hospitality.

Evelyn Smith (Secretary, Garelochhead Senior Citizens)

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Inching my way through immigration on returning to the UK recently it occurred to me how much Brexit could improve the speed of the process in future.

Only foreigners need have their documents examined whilst UK citizens should be able to speed past the queues with a 'Schengen Wave' of their blue passport.

John Eoin Douglas, Edinburgh

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"Pornography claim piles pressure on PM 's aide." That recent headline was the first time I saw the word 'pornography' used since recent allegations on women being sexually abused first came to light.

I find it astonishing for our Prime Minister and First Minister, also women leaders of other political parties, to discuss the subject of pornography and for an inquiry into the effect it could have. More so as, in my opinion, it is degrading to all our women.

John Connor, Dunfermline

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In light of news surrounding the Paradise Papers I wonder how many companies across the length and breadth of the country are questioning how secure their documents are?

No one wants their business affairs aired like dirty laundry, but if documents are not stored securely, there is a risk of damaging their own – and their clients’ reputation.

The majority of data loss is the result of employees accessing confidential material and losing it or leaking it.

Naturally, organisations are not wanting to publically claim their technology is woolly, nor do they want to put the onus on employees - or ex-employees with grievances – and far too often cite the breach was due to a cyber-attack and skilful hackers.

As documents have to be legally kept for seven years, as long as they are legible and in black and white they can become public knowledge, despite being saved electronically or printed off and stored in a locked vault.

We are never going to be able to store data that is 100% secure, but through creating several layers of security, database encryption, implementing distancing levels to files and separate and secure logins, organisations can mitigate confidential files coming into the wrong hands.

As the founder of a bespoke and efficient document management solutions provider, I have witnessed first-hand how other companies store confidential files which, at times, has been a horrifying discovery.

As good business practice, all business owners need to take stock of how secure their documents are, otherwise, they potentially run the risk of being lined up to appear on a future Panorama documentary.

Stewart Wright (Founder, YourDMS)

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It’s World Diabetes Day on November 14, and for anyone – or their child - who has just been diagnosed, I wanted to let them know that having type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean you should wrap up in cotton wool.

I was diagnosed 20 years ago and throughout my teens I would inject insulin four or five times a day and test my blood glucose with finger pricks another four times a day.

I wake in the night when my blood glucose level needs attention, monitor my glucose levels as many as 13 times a day and weigh nearly everything I eat to work out the carbohydrate content so that I can inject insulin accordingly. Yet, oddly enough, I consider myself lucky.

You might think that having this condition may seem a burden, but it hasn’t ever held me back.

I’ve held down jobs, travelled the world and due to technological advancements, managing my type 1 diabetes with a flash glucose sensor and an insulin pump – technology only available because of medical research – has enabled me to become a healthy mum of two children.

I believe that a cure is within reach, which I why I work as a fundraiser.

I don’t fundraise for myself, but for children who have been diagnosed. I want them to have a ‘normal’ childhood where they can go to birthday parties and eat cake, or have sleepovers at friends’ houses with midnight feasts, without the fears of high blood glucose levels and the necessity of carb counting.

Constant thinking, adjusting, calculating, measuring, worrying and stress is a part of life for many people with type 1 diabetes, but with a cure, it will be all be gone.

Holly Davies (Fundraiser, Junior Diabetes Research Foundation)