THIS week's Advertiser letters page includes more of your views on Helensburgh's waterfront redevelopment, on Argyll and Bute Council's budget, and how Helensburgh and Lomond responded to the heavy snowfall of two weeks ago.

To have your say on any local issue, email your views to with 'Letter' in the subject line of your message. Please also tell us your name and address, and we also need a daytime phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published. Happy writing!

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In last week’s Advertiser Comment, Andrew Nisbet, the chair of LiveArgyll, painted a rosy picture of the consultation process for the new waterfront project and implied that Helensburgh Community Council was unaware of such developments.

As convener of Helensburgh Community Council, I attended one of the four focus groups that Mr Nisbet refers to, and at which one of his LiveArgyll team was also present. These took place on January 30 and 31 and, although the community council representatives and others gave significant feedback at these sessions, the drawings that were made public on February 26 are no different to the ones that we were shown.

This is the Helensburgh Community Council’s concern – that Mr Nisbet’s comments, and Argyll and Bute Council’s phrase that “the public has already contributed through previous engagement exercises”, suggests that the community has had direct input into these plans as currently displayed. This is not the case.

The 1,200 respondents to the council’s consultation exercise seven years ago rejected (by 55%) the 2010 design for the waterfront, to which the current plan looks very similar. The 2012 Masterplan that was created as a result of that feedback was very different but received only 29 comments.

That feedback, now six years old, is the last public input to this project until the current consultation process and, crucially, there has been no polling for the requirements of the building from the community at any stage.

When we asked the project team at the focus group how the requirements for the project had been created, they deferred to the LiveAgyll representative.

He was not aware of any survey of the existing users, or of the community, that could have led to the current design brief.

At this stage in the project, with Argyll and Bute Council intending to submit the planning application in June, it feels very late in the day to be having to ask such fundamental questions.

We would therefore reinforce Mr Nisbet’s encouragement to all residents to attend the drop-in sessions between 11am and 7pm on March 26, April 30 and May 14 at Victoria Halls and make their views known to the council’s project team.

Norman Muir (Convener, Helensburgh Community Council)

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In last week’s edition, every comment about the new waterfront leisure centre, be it a letter or a comment, is critical of the proposed design.

We are very fortunate to have so many talented designers in the town, all of whom claim that they could do better.

The solution would be to set a design project team, based on the community council, embracing all the town’s amateur experts and to advise the council what the inhabitants want .

John Ashworth, Woodside, Helensburgh

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I NOTE that the SNP opposition on Argyll and Bute Council could offer no improvements to the ruling administration’s budget from Conservative ‘Chancellor’, Councillor Mulvaney.

Not a single policy idea. Nothing to differentiate the SNP as a political force or better serve the people of Argyll and Bute. No support for any argument for an independent Scotland.

Seems like the promised new politics just means they (we) are all Tories now.

No bad thing perhaps, as any lingering hopes of a Nicola Sturgeon calling a second binding independence referendum finally disappear.

James Robb, Helensburgh

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Our dog, a Shar Pei called Silky, went missing while we were walking on the Cobbler last Tuesday.

Without the help of many people we firmly believe she wouldn’t have been found.

We would like to express sincere thanks to the following people.

Garry from the local council who instigated initial social media awareness. He lent warm clothes and helped to look for Silky on the hill.

Maggie and Phil, who live locally, took time off work to stay on the hills, constantly searching for Silky.

Jason, who works for the Forestry Commission. He drove us around himself on the hill trying to find her. He lent us lots of mountain gear and fed us well as he owns the local fish and chip shop. He also put up photos of Silky around the mountain and village.

Barry, from Glasgow, who is part of a group who help people find dogs lost on mountains. He organised the search (tons of people turned up to help look), raised further awareness on social media, spent hours – including well into the early hours – on the hill looking for her.

Aaron and his wife helped search on the hill. They had a drone and were the first to get a sighting of her on Wednesday afternoon.

Sam the fell runner ran up and down the mountain daily for hours trying to find her. He saw her on Wednesday evening.

Ian, Lynn and dog Bailey, from, Armadale who were also staying at a cabin at the forest holiday park (who we met on Monday evening when Silky and Bailey played for ages).

They spent every day walking up the hill with Bailey in the hope Silky would come out to play!

Indeed, on Wednesday it was Ian’s 50th birthday and he spent it searching for Silky. By sheer coincidence they are the couple who also put in an offer for the same house as us!

All staff at Forest Holidays who helped look on the mountain, helped gather people to search and did everything they could to assist us by contacting the police, forestry commission etc

Brian,a local guy who rescues husky dogs, spent hours each day searching for her. He helped raise awareness locally.

We are enormously grateful for their help.

Sarah and Andrew Parker , North Berwick

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The claims made by Iain Doig (‘Businesses could do more in the snow’, Advertiser Comment, March 8) cannot go unchallenged.

It is the job of Argyll and Bute Council to keep the pavements in the centre of the town free from snow. The council workers were sent home on Wednesday afternoon at the same time as the four year olds in the local primary schools when there was half an inch of snow on the ground.

There were no snow ploughs on the town streets on Wednesday night/Thursday morning when the snowfall was at its worst.

McLachlan Road, which is the main entrance and exit to the Glade Estate, wasn’t ploughed until 1.15pm on Thursday afternoon.

Council workers (and subcontractors) returned to work on Monday when the town roads were black. Gritters and snowploughs were driving around the town on Monday and Tuesday looking in vain for snow!

The pavement snowplough wasn’t sighted until 2.30pm on one of the pavements in upper Sinclair Street. Meanwhile, the pavements in the town centre had been walked on and the fresh snow was turned into sheet ice.

The shopkeepers in West Princes Street did shovel the pack ice from the pavements in front of their shop fronts – without consulting their lawyers who would have told them not to. If a passer-by had slipped after they had cleared the pavement, they could be sued.

Iain Doig could have joined me. I cleared snow and ice from The Nippy Sweety, The Sugar Boat, Nature’s Harvest, G. & S. Coyle and Anne of Loudenville on West Princes Street.

At 77 years of age, I still know how to use a shovel – a skill I learned in my first job milking cows for Davy Christie of Hill of Camstradan Farm, Luss.

After the milking, I had to muck the byres, so I still recognize excrement when I see it.

John Black, Woodhollow House, Helensburgh

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I would like to thank the staff at Morar Lodge nursing home for their 150 per cent effort treading through snow to the nursing home during the horrendous blizzards.

Many staff walked miles to Morar Lodge in below freezing conditions. The dedication and loyalty of all my wonderful staff truly took my breath away.

Many staff brought in changes of clothing and prepared to stay over, making sure the residents would have staff to care for them. There was not a day without our full staff compliment, which was just amazing.

Thanks also to our wonderful manager Sandie in her Chariot 4x4 Rav 4 – the only person on the roads.

From 7am on Wednesday to Friday, Sandie picked up and ran staff home in treacherous driving conditions, which was totally unbelievable. She must have been terrified at times.

Sandie and our great team put the contingency plan into action inside the home and made sure it was safe.

We all love you Sandie. You are so very kind and thoughtful to residents and staff and to everyone seeking help in crisis situations. I am so very proud you are the leader of this gold medal team.

Lena Dormer , Morar Lodge Nursing Home, Helensburgh