THIS week's letters to the Advertiser include your views on Helensburgh pier and the Waverley, Universal Credit, Brexit, air pollution and more.

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

Please remember to provide us with your name and address, and to 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We also need a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.

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With reference to coverage in the Advertiser of the Waverley's absence from Helensburgh pier this summer, I'm sorry but I can't see where this problem arises.

Does the sea bottom need to be dredged to let the Waverley dock?

Since I was a wee boy back in late sixties I have enjoyed watching the Waverley arriving and departing Helensburgh pier. It was a magnificent view on a sunny summer's day.

Surely the main body of the pier, where Waverley moors, is safe and sound, with modern steel stairs appearing to be strong and firm.

About 50 feet towards town is the wrecked skeleton of the old pier which is fenced off for public safety.

I'm no expert of cost to repair by any means, but surely it is within a reasonable level of spending to have the Waverley once again mooring at Helensburgh!

Local restaurants and shops would benefit from passengers disembarking and the money spent in the town would be worth the cost of repair

Am I being unrealistic or should we not be spending money to gain money through tourism?

Alex Winter

Via email

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The baby without any milk because its parents didn't turn up to claim benefits is clearly a fake news story. No mother would miss a Universal Credit appointment if her child was starving.

Brendan O'Hara MP and Mrs Catherine O'Hara (his taxpayer funded employee), responsible for spreading this disgusting 'poverty porn' story, should hang their heads in shame. Ruth Wishart (Advertiser, April 11) should check her facts before writing her political tirades.

Anne Baird

West Princes Street, Helensburgh

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On behalf of Oasis Crossreach and its staff, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the people who use the service, their families, carers and our faithful volunteers who supported our spring tea, featured in the Advertiser on April 4.

We could not do this without your generous support and donations. It is always much appreciated.

Mary Neal

Oasis Crossreach, Garelochhead

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Rhu Amateurs would like to thank all those who bought or sold horses for our recent successful race night, and to those who attended on the night.

We are also grateful to those who sponsored a race, namely ex players Tom Griffiths and Tommy Heron, DCF, Scott Leishman Plumbing, Jim Schultz, Roger Scullion, Brown & Cordiner Plumbing, DG Joinery, Riding Sawmill Cardross, Sam Gemmell, Stewartfield Dentistry, Kevin Walker Butchers or Kilcreggan, and Cardross Pharmacy.

Thanks to all.

Alistair McKenzie

Rhu Amateurs FC

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For the past month, I have been living on Mahe, the largest of the 115 tropical islands in the western Indian Ocean that make up The Seychelles archipelago.

Mahe is slightly larger than Bute. The total land area of The Seychelles, the world's smallest independent state, is the same size as Arran.

These islands are specks on a satellite image. Insignificant in the world order.

The United Nations has formalised the previous 200 mile territorial limit extending from the shores of a sovereign state. It is now an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). When this is taken into consideration, The Seychelles grows to six times the size of the United Kingdom.

The EEZ recognises the growing importance of the ocean as a national resource.

Helensburgh was originally the small fishing village of Millig. The inhabitants were dependent on the waters of the Clyde for their living. When Sir James Colquhoun of Luss bought the land and renamed the village Helensburgh, his plans included a pier.

This pier was later donated to the burghers of the town with the pierhead.

The Clyde and the pier continue to be an important resource for town residents. While fishing has declined, the water has the potential for transport and recreational uses.

Helensburgh pier is listed by Argyll and Bute Council as an asset. An asset that has been neglected by the Council – to the extent that the pier lost its maritime certificate and now the Waverley can no longer call.

Indeed, neglect is an official Argyll and Bute Council policy for buildings and other council assets. This is clear in the Audited Report for 2017/18.

If no maintenance is carried out, there is an immediate saving. Since the asset is now in poor condition, it is worth less and can be depreciated at a faster rate on the council's books.

Effectively, it pays Argyll and Bute Council to neglect public assets.

While this may be council policy, it makes no sense in a world of limited resources. Taxpayers don't benefit from these financial reporting schemes and take better care of their property.

Helensburgh pier and other town assets have suffered as a result. Meanwhile, public funds were lavished on the new Civic Centre and CHORD. The public benefit of either is debatable.

Sir James Colquhoun placed conditions on his donation of the pierhead to the town. It is unfortunate that he did not do the same for the pier.

John Black

Beau Vallon, The Seychelles

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Helensburgh Advertiser readers will be justified in wondering whether the UK Parliament’s failure to deliver Brexit is down to conspiracy or just bungling incompetence. Perhaps it’s a bit of both!

After all, it was LibDem, Labour, Conservative and Green MPs who in gay abandon voted to have a referendum on Brexit in 2016, even though a Press Association survey of the time revealed that 480 out of the 650 MPs were pro-EU.

So why did they give us a choice? Perhaps they thought we would do as we were told by big business and the political establishment, just as we had done in 1975.

If they had supposed for one second that we would vote to leave the EU, they wouldn’t have given us a say, let alone promise to carry out whatever we decided.

So perhaps the last three years of dithering, defeats, grandstanding and botched proposals, accompanied by non-stop EU flag waving and 24 hour bad news courtesy of Project Fear Mark 2, are all part of a cunning plan orchestrated by the powers that be to convince the public that leaving the EU is too difficult, that our quest for independence is just not worth the bother, and that Brexit is a failure, even though we haven’t actually experienced being outside the EU yet.

The only way to settle the nationwide argument about Brexit is to suck it and see. The UK has experienced 46 years of EU membership and decided in 2016 to try something new.

What of it? Nothing lasts forever. And there’s no point in another referendum until we have experienced life outside the EU for a few years to see if Brexit works.

If it doesn’t, then we can decide to apply to re-join the EU, but we need to experience a “clean break” Brexit first before we can make another judgement.

Trying Brexit is logical, it’s democratic and it’s the British way of doing things; we vote, we experience the consequences of how we voted and then we vote again in the light of our experience.

It is imperative that this simple but precious process is protected against the machinations of Brussels, the political establishment and big business by ensuring that that the will of the people’s vote of 2016 prevails, whether it be for good or ill.

David Green

Hartwood Road, Southport

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One in four cars on our roads at peak times are on the school run. Change this and we’ll improve our children’s health.

The State of Global Air 2019 study, published earlier this month, shows that air pollution reduces life expectancy by 20 months on average worldwide and is a bigger killer than road incidents.

For children, air pollution is more harmful – stunting their lung development and causing lifelong implications.

To reduce the levels of toxic air caused by motor vehicles, we need to encourage and enable more families to walk to school.

Walk to School Week takes place next month and schools across the UK have plans to encourage families to walk more. From behaviour change initiatives through to closing streets around the school; it’s important that each school finds what works for them.

We’re proud to be helping more than 3,000 schools UK-wide to take part this May.

It’s a misconception that children are protected from air pollution inside the car. But it is clear that the benefits of being physically active outweigh the air pollution risk and in walking to school, we become part of the clean air solution.

Tanya Braun

Head of Policy and Communications, Living Streets