THIS week's crop of letters to the Advertiser includes your views on commercial development in Luss, public transport, immigration and more.

To have your say on any local issue just email with 'Letter' in the subject line of your message.

Please include your name and address with your letter. We also require a daytime phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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Ruth Wishart (Advertiser, September 13) highlighted that damage might be done by the proposed Flamingo Land development in Balloch. She was concerned that the wrong sort of development could damage the Loch Lomond brand.

Unfortunately the brand has already been damaged earlier this year by the most awful commercial development of a Faerie Glen at Luss.

For many years the walk on a constructed footpath through woodland leading through the old slate quarries and alongside the river to the village was a source of much pleasure to many people.

However the route has now been designated a Faerie Glen and lots of the most hideous signs and sayings have been attached to trees alongside the path. Signposts have been erected and small doors etc attached to or at the bottom of trees. Income is being generated by having families purchase a booklet for the children, tickets for the adults, as well as “faerie dust” and other “faerie items”.

To further compound the misery wooden fences have been erected, presumably as a health and safety measure.

The whole character of the walk has been changed for the worse – and that is before mention is made of the wear and tear now evident in the woodland, and the usual discarded rubbish, which on my last visit included a nappy and a pair of child’s pants.

I acknowledge that children seem to enjoy it, but they would enjoy it no matter where it was located. My point therefore is similar to Ruth’s, i.e. is this the right place for this sort of attraction? I certainly do not think so.

Luss Estates and the National Park Authority have big questions to answer about this tacky attraction. Brand Loch Lomond is in danger.

Norman Rodger, Helensburgh

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Following the distribution of leaflets from Helensburgh Community Woodland Group recently, we, the land owners of Castle Woods, would like to clarify we have absolutely no intentions whatsoever of building a housing estate comprising 72 houses on the land at Castle Wood.

Margery Osborne and Thomas Paterson, via email

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The No. 1B First bus from Glasgow to Helensburgh is timetabled to stop at the bus stop at Smithy Road in Cardross at 2.57pm.

On September 12, I was at that bus stop at 2.50pm and, just before 2.57pm, the No. 1B bus appeared. However, instead of stopping, the bus raced past this stop.

The driver clearly saw me and pointed up to the indicator board, which stated: ‘Sorry, I’m not in service’. The bus was almost empty. I therefore had a half hour wait in the rain for the next bus and later saw this same bus returning through Cardross, heading for Glasgow at the normal time.

I tried to report this matter using the First Bus online complaint form, but it would not let me submit the form because I could not provide the driver’s name and number, or my ticket number – this is for a bus that zoomed past at 30mph!

Upon taking the matter up with First Bus by phone, I was told that they will investigate the matter, but they would not be providing me with feedback as to the outcome “due to data protection” – what drivel!

Are we now to expect stop skipping on buses as well as station skipping on trains? No wonder people use cars – or bikes.

Archie Westwood, Cardross

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In the tradition of our political class, Argyll and Bute’s SNP MP, Brendan O’Hara, commends immigration for economic reasons while ignoring other considerations (Advertiser, September 13).

I’m not sure that population decline is the catastrophe that he attempts to portray, as services and businesses will realign as population changes.

But what’s his long term plan? Just keep importing more and more people? How about looking at policies encouraging families to have more kids and making the area more attractive?

Mr O’Hara does not seem to even contemplate the potential problems associated with large scale immigration in terms of integration, social cohesion and incompatibility of values.

There are few issues where politicians are more out of step with the people they claim to represent.

Richard Lucas, Leader of the Scottish Family Party

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At the same time as the recent report from the Migration Advisory Committee outlined the impact of immigration on the UK, Oxford Economics published an assessment that highlighted the value of EU citizens to the British economy.

It noted that when it comes to the public finances, European migrants contribute substantially more than they cost, easing the tax burden on other taxpayers.

Taxes will therefore have to rise if Brexit brings strict curbs on EU workers, because they pay far more to the public purse than British-born residents and also those from outwith the EU.

Migrants from the EU contribute £2,300 more to the Exchequer each year in net terms than the average adult. Over their lifetimes, they pay in £78,000 more than they take out in public services and benefits – while the average UK citizen’s net lifetime contribution is zero.

Non-European migrants will make a positive net contribution of £28,000 to £50,000

This is because most EU migrants arrive fully educated, and many leave before the costs of retirement start to weigh on the public finances.

In total, the net benefit from the class of 2016 was expected to be £26.9bn, with £19.3bn coming from EU migrants and the remaining £7.5bn from migrants from the rest of the world.

It is all well and good wanting to curb immigration from the EU, but people living in the UK must be made aware of the clear impact this will have on the British economy.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

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The National Autistic Society is looking for people and organisations who’ve done something amazing for autistic children, adults, or their families.

Perhaps it’s a teacher who has helped a child achieve something great, an autistic adult who has been campaigning tirelessly or a business that has put a lot of effort into making their workplace accessible.

If any of your readers know of a person or organisation like this, please nominate them for our seventh annual Autism Professionals Awards.

We want to celebrate their achievements, so we can improve understanding of autism and inspire other people and organisations to make a difference too.

Find out more about autism and nominate by visiting

Carol Povey (Director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism)

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As chief executive at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) I see first-hand the incredible impact gifts left in wills make to the charity.

Research funded by the BHF has helped halve death rates from heart and circulatory diseases over the past 50 years and so much of our work has only been possible thanks to the amazing individuals who have remembered the BHF in their Will.

These special gifts fund more than a quarter of all cardiovascular research in the UK, which makes them incredibly important to help us beat heartbreak forever for the seven million people living with these conditions right now.

In the past year alone, residents in Scotland left more than £6.1 million in their wills to the British Heart Foundation to help fund life saving research into heart and circulatory disease, including heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia.

I would personally like to honour these people and express our gratitude for the research breakthroughs and thousands of lives they have helped to save. But there’s still so much more to do, and there are approximately 685,000 people in Scotland living with cardiovascular disease right now.

A gift of any size, after you’ve provided for your loved ones, will enable the BHF to continue to fund pioneering research to find future cures and treatments into heart and circulatory conditions.

A recent survey to support ‘Will Power’, the BHF’s campaign to encourage people to consider leaving a legacy in their will showed that Scottish people would like to be remembered for their generosity, kindness and humour over wealth or professional work achievements.

More than two thirds of those asked said they wished they could do more to help others and a fifth said they wanted their will to improve the lives of others.

We couldn’t make medical breakthroughs such as heart transplants and pacemakers without your generosity and support and it is because of your support that we continue to fund £100 million of research into heart and circulatory conditions every year – thank you.

To find out more about leaving a gift in your will and to download a free guide, please visit

Simon Gillespie (chief executive, British Heart Foundation)