YOUR letters to the Advertiser this week include views on dog fouling, beach cleaning, Helensburgh's Hill House and more.

To have your say on any local issue, just email your views to, with your name and address.

Please keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can. We also need a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details with you at short notice, though this will not be published.

Happy writing!

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Dog fouling at the reservoir has been a problem for many years.

It is appreciated that this particular topic has been published on many occasions.

Helensburgh Angling Club has held the lease for the reservoir for many years.

Under the terms of the lease, we are obliged to minimise dog poo waste.

I would like to bring to the attention of dog owners and visitors to the reservoir that dogs must be kept on a lead and may not swim in the reservoir, I would ask visitors to the reservoir to read the advisory/mandatory notices found at the reservoir.

Many dog walkers are conscientious about picking up dog poo, others do not care in the slightest.

I have observed commercial dog walkers come back after a walk with six dogs and not a poo bag in sight.

Frank Boggie

Secretary, Helensburgh Angling Club

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I was most impressed by the excellent turn-out for the recent Garelochhead Beach Clean, organised by Garelochhead Community Council.

It was particularly encouraging to see so many young people there - it’s so important to get the up-and-coming generation involved in facing up to the scourge of plastic that is bringing blight and squalor to our beautiful natural environment.

I could scarcely credit just how much rubbish was uplifted as a result - truly many willing hands make light work!

Keep up the good work!

Alistair McIntyre


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What a delightful letter from Jean Kilshaw, Helensburgh Advertiser, February 14, in support of retired optometrist Mr Malcolm Craig.

Having only recently moved to Rhu and still just managing to be in denial about my deteriorating eyesight I have yet to seek the services of a qualified optometrist.

By all accounts I will find it hard to find someone with the all round qualities of Mr Craig.

What an utter pity to then read the following letter from John Black which purported to be a letter of similar support.

Whilst factually correct and points well made, it turns out that the letter was merely a superficial vehicle for Mr Black to launch a personal attack on Councillor Gary Mulvaney.

By doing so, Mr Black has fatally undermined his otherwise clear message.

There should be no place for this form of point scoring personal vendetta to be aired within the pages of the Helensburgh Advertiser.

A letter of personal support for the reputation of one should not be allowed to become a launchpad for an inane personalised attack on another. It might be wise for you to be more ruthless with your editorial pen in the event Mr Black gains a liking for letter writing.

Robert Stuart

Armadale Road, Rhu

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I live opposite The Hill House and behind Morar House, both of which have, for a year or more, been undergoing renovation/extension which inter alia have destroyed Kennedy Drive.

The work is so intrusive and for the last few days there are two 100 foot cranes swinging across Upper Colquhoun Street.

Having lived with all this for well over a year there seems to be no end in sight although every time I enquire it is always going to be next month and has been this for a year or more.

Have any of MY councillors ever been up and seen this shambles? If so, could they let me know directly?

The work and extension of The Hill House are under temporary planning approval.

Within 10 years it all has to be undone. God help us when that starts!

John Ashworth

Woodside, Upper Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh

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I would love to hear other readers’ reactions to the glossy, expensive Labour leaflet we got through our doors recently.

It’s understandable they used up a lot of space to print “70 years of our NHS”.

The creation of the National Health Service, although many decades ago, was a proud historic event.

It says a lot that they couldn’t come up with anything more recent to be proud of in their leaflet (shh, don’t mention that West Dunbartonshire council has to hand back more than half its council tax revenue servicing debt run up by Labour, including the astronomical cost of Labour’s PFI scandal where new schools and care homes were built so badly they were a danger to the public!)

Thinking about the NHS and the men who helped create it, such as Keir Hardie and our own local hero Robert Cunninghame Graham, reminds me what the Labour party used to stand for – us, the ordinary people.

I look at Labour’s voting record on Tory austerity cuts, cuts to disability, cuts to in-work benefits - Labour abstained, abstained, abstained.

Now they’re saying they will oppose Universal Credit – but in fact after promising to scrap it, they have also said they might simply rework it and change its name.

Thanks for nothing Labour! How is a new name going to help us feed our families?

To rub salt into this wound, the leaflet also tries to claim Labour’s election candidate will support WASPI women (women who had their pensions stolen by the Tories).

Yet she was nowhere to be seen at the big WASPI event in Glasgow recently.

The Labour party didn’t turn up. Our MP Martin Docherty-Hughes travelled from Westminster to be there. The First Minister also came in support along with a huge SNP turnout.

While the clowns in Westminster play “pass the Brexit smelly parcel”, the last remaining ‘Scottish’ Labour wannabes can’t even be bothered to learn which issues are within Scotland’s power and which are still controlled in London.

It’s almost like they just fancy a big paycheque but don’t actually care about any of us…

Cathy Bell


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I share the shock and sadness of others at the recent decision made by the General Optical Council (GOC) to remove Malcolm Craig, our family optician for decades, from its register.

The cited reasons are so far from our experience as to make me wonder if the GOC visited the same practitioner.

Much of what I might write has already been expressed, so I will limit myself to saying that, having lived in Germany for quarter of a century, I have experienced the kind of efficiency and streamlining of processes which the GOC seems to be advocating.

There was a high degree of computerization and delegation of routine tasks to assistants and clerical staff.

Sometimes one felt like a parcel being passed around until one reached the “Holy of Holies” of the doctor’s office, where s/he might be too busy scanning the information on the computer screen to look you in the eye.

I received good, if sometimes impersonal, treatment in Germany, but when it came to having my sight tested, I waited to see Mr Craig on trips back because of his considerable professional integrity.

It was also a more positive experience: there was one friendly receptionist, one treatment room, one chair, one practitioner who actually took time with you. No hustle and bustle to get the next patient in. Mr Craig listened attentively and gave quiet considered responses, laced with flashes of dry, self-deprecating humour.

Above all, I knew Mr Craig would advise me to buy new glasses only if there was a significant change from my last visit (he always had records to hand to refer to) and I can think of other examples of his honesty and generosity.

In my experience he never failed to put his patients first and it’s hard to see how he deserves the action taken against him, particularly post retirement.

It’s also a pity that his situation has been aired so publicly by the Advertiser, but this has at least given those of us who received fine service from him the opportunity to thank him, equally publicly, through our ‘testimonials’.

Eileen McDonald

102 West Clyde Street, Helensburgh

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I am writing to urge residents of Argyll and Bute to help the National Autistic Society Scotland increase understanding of autism in your area by taking part in World Autism Awareness Week (April 1-7).

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.

Around 58,000 people in Scotland are autistic and we know that, although 99.5% of people in Scotland have heard of autism, just 16% of autistic people think it is understood in a meaningful way.

Argyll and Bute residents can visit to download a World Autism Awareness Week pack full of ideas for increasing understanding of autism and raising funds for our charity.

With your support, this year’s World Autism Awareness Week will be bigger, better and do even more to help create a society that works for autistic people.

Nick Ward

Director, National Autistic Society