This week's crop of letters to the Advertiser include your views on Alzheimer's disease fund-raising, the Luss Faerie Trail, Arrochar car parking charges and more.

To have your say on any local issue, just email your views to, with your name and address, and with 'Letter' in the subject line of your message.

We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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I wish to start this message with a word of thanks to Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's Scotland for the work that they do in furthering research into dementia and for the care and support that they give to individuals and families blighted by dementia.

I would also like to thank Waitrose for allowing fundraising within their stores. I would particularly like to give thanks to the staff of my local Waitrose in Helensburgh who are exceptional in the way that they go out of their way to be kind and helpful to my wife who was diagnosed with fronto-temporal dementia almost six years ago.

On the afternoon of Friday, October 5, I was approached by a couple of professional fundraisers in the foyer of our local Waitrose, acting on behalf of Alzheimer's Research UK and asked what I knew about dementia.

I pointed out that in those past six years I have learned a lot. I mentioned how much support that my wife and I receive from the Dementia Resource Centre in Helensburgh; they responded wrongly, and somewhat dismissively, that it was just a small outfit operated by the local council.

I pointed out how wrong they were, in that it is funded, and excellently run, by Alzheimer's Scotland.

When I praised the work of Alzheimer's Scotland they were quick to point out that they were representing Alzheimer's Research UK, which is a completely different organisation.

They pointed out that Alzheimer's Research UK funds research into dementia and provides care and support to sufferers and families; they neglected to point out that Alzheimer's Research UK do not provide care and support to families in Scotland.

They wanted me to sign up to a direct debit to fund Alzheimer's Research UK. I don't know how successful they were, but I presume that they probably signed up a number of people to support the cause; people who do not understand the difference between Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's Scotland.

I would wonder how successful they would have been if the were honest enough to explain that the funding for care and support would be exclusively spent outside of Scotland.

Alzheimer's Research UK may have had permission from Waitrose head office that they can raise funds in Waitrose stores, but I consider it to be highly disingenuous to be fundraising in this manner in Scotland.

The fundraisers in this instance were condescending in their attitude towards the local dementia care provided by Alzheimer's Scotland, and whilst I couldn’t say that they lied, they were very frugal with the truth.

I have since spoken to the manager of the store and, much like myself six years ago, he was unaware of the division between the two charities and that none of the funds raised would be spent in the care of local families.

I wouldn't expect Alzheimer's Research UK to return any money raised as a result of this fund raising venture, but if there is a conscience within the society, then I would ask them to write to the kind people who have signed up to donate and advise that whilst their donations would help to fund much needed research, none of the funding would be spent in providing support to people within their own community, who would be specifically excluded.

Chris Lee, via email

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I refer to Norman Rodger’s letter (Advertiser Comment, September 27) gerarding the Faerie Trail in Luss.

On behalf of the Luss Estates Company, and as I was involved in the original development of the trail, Mr Rodger’s letter warrants a response.

The Luss Trail was conceived and carried out by the Luss Development Group some 18 years ago in order to provide both residents and visitors with an amenity. Once built, the plan was that the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority would enter into a management agreement in order that the path would be maintained.

The Park Authority declined to complete on the management agreement for its own reasons, which dragged on for more than a decade. Over the course of time, the trail required repair and enhancement.

Despite efforts by a community group to upgrade, the children’s play park in Luss, under the auspices of Argyll and Bute Council, is basic, and indeed lamentable.

In order to both provide something for children to do in and about Luss, and to generate funds to maintain and enhance the trail, Luss Estates Company decided to set up the Faerie Trail.

As well as carrying out repair works, the Faerie Trail has enabled us to carry out a daily litter and dog fouling collection by staff associated with the trail.

Mr Rodger fails to mention the repairs to the trail carried out this year by Luss Estates, and the fact that the trail is now under active management.

It is understandable that people such as Mr Rodger feel that commercial activity of any kind has no place in a village such as Luss. However, in the absence of public subscription, amenities require to be funded through some sort of commercial activity.

Argyll and Bute Council no doubt makes a tidy sum out of car parking charges from the Luss car park, but as far as we are aware the profits go into the general roads budget for Helensburgh and Lomond, rather than the provision of local amenities in Luss, from which those funds are derived.

Geoffrey Fitzjohn FRICS (Director, Luss Estates Company)

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After reading comments on social media in recent days with regards to the increase in parking charges in Arrochar, I feel I just had to put pen to paper.

Councillors from the Conservative, Lib Dem and Independent coalition in Argyll and Bute Council should all be ashamed of themselves and I feel the general public of Argyll and Bute should be informed.

At present Scotland is in the top half of having the most obese nation in Europe and yet these people are restricting people using outdoor facilities for recreational and fitness purposes. How can Argyll and Bute Council justify an 800 per cent increase in parking charges, from £1 to £9 a day, in a car park that provides no facilities whatsoever?

Councillor Mulvaney states that if this increase is not implemented then there is a possibility of jobs being lost across the area. If this is so then why did the council award themselves a pay rise only a few months ago, when other people have not had a pay raise for several years?

It’s funny that the people in the ivory towers at the council have free parking only a few yards away from their place of work and yet nurses have to pay for their parking at NHS hospitals.

Mr Mulvaney states that savings have to be made across the board and all areas covered by Argyll and Bute Council, so can I put the following points to him?

Why, after the upgrade to the sea front and the Colquhoun Square, is there still hundreds of square meters of granite left abandoned at the council yard at the top of Sinclair Street? Surely someone should be held responsible if there was an error in the original order and the waste of thousands of pounds of public money?

How much is Argyll and Bute Council paying for upkeep and security of empty buildings that they have vacated over the last three years? I can assure you this is not hundreds of pounds, but thousands.

Why are the several hire vans/trucks left idle and not used for days at a time left in the council yard? And yet they do have council owed cars that are not used?

Every night the council building in East Clyde Street is lit up like Blackpool just wasting energy every day. Why?

The above are just a couple of points I would like to put forward to our council, but I won’t hold my breath on getting any answers back.

If there are readers out there that don’t believe me just take a wee walk up to the top of Sinclair Street and have a look in to the yard.

However I do feel better now and hopefully have bought Mr Mulvaney’s actions to the attention of the people of Argyll and Bute.

So next time you get a knock on the door and the above parties are looking for your support, just bring the above to their attention and question their running of your council.

Graham Walker, via email

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I write in response to Valerie Reid's letter last week on the Mackintosh Writers.

Ms Reid's assumption is quite correct re the name of the group. It is a group of nine friends who meet once a week.

It is not a club so has none of the restrictions of one. Writers attend as and when they are able.

There is one main aim: to write and help each other improve personal writing.

We do have most of Anne’s writing and hope, once our series of ‘The Seasons’ booklets is completed, to publish some of them.

Thank you for the kind comments on the booklet ‘Autumn’. It’s nice to be appreciated. Fifty pence from each copy of 'Autumn' sold is being donated to the Beatson Charity.

Mary Irvine (on behalf of the Mackintosh Group), via email