YOUR letters to the Advertiser this week include comment on Brexit, council transparency, an upcoming arts exhibition 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We also need a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.


With reference to Councillor Gary Mulvaney’s views on Brexit (Advertiser Comment, April 18), it makes a change to hear any politician say democracy regarding Brexit should be upheld.

Most of them seem to think they know better than us “uniformed” voters and are determined to “save us” from our mistake!

We’re not stupid – and if you ignore the electorate now, what’s the point in anyone ever voting again? If you’re not prepared to uphold democracy you should give up your position in government.

Debbie Gordon



I REFER to the report in the Helensburgh Advertiser on April 11 relating to complaints that were received by Argyll and Bute Council about Luss and Arden Community Council and the subsequent investigation that was carried out by a council-appointed review panel.

As Luss and Arden is within my Lomond North ward, I have been asked by a number of constituents and by other community councillors to clarify what these complaints were about.

Unfortunately, I have to tell those who raise this with me that I have been kept totally in the dark by council officers with regards to these complaints and that the first I was aware of this important issue was when I read the report in the Advertiser.

Given that Luss and Arden Community Council is one of the six community councils in my ward and that I attend most community council meetings, I was most surprised to read the report and to discover that the complaints had been dealt with while I had been kept in the dark about the whole issue.

Having said that, based on the little information I have, I am pleased to note that no serious issues appear to have been identified as a result of the investigation.

As the council receives copies of all the minutes from all community councils, I would have thought that one of the first things council officers would have done on receipt of the complaints would be to check the minutes of the meetings concerned to ascertain who was in attendance.

This would have allowed the council to seek clarification on any issues from those Argyll and Bute councillors who were in attendance.

Unfortunately this did not happen, and it appears that ward councillors were totally ignored during the complaints process.

For the benefit of your readers and those who have raised this issue with me, I can confirm that I have not been told who submitted the complaints, or what they were about, and that I was not invited to attend the review panel to give evidence or to clarify any points raised during the investigation.

While this is a fairly new process that council has introduced, my records identify complaints that were raised against community councils in the past but where no such investigations were carried out.

If the council is truly committed to openness and transparency, then I believe that it is essential that such matters are dealt with in an open and transparent way and that elected ward councillors are kept informed on such matters – instead of being ignored and kept in the dark which certainly appears to be an increasing trend within the council these days.

Councillor George Freeman

Independent, Lomond North


I WAS interested to learn that, despite its monopolisation by Roman Catholics, the cathedral of Notre-Dame is owned not by the Vatican but by the French Government.

With French President Emmanuel Macron having already signalled that he is open to new ideas for rebuilding the cathedral following last week’s shocking fire, perhaps it is time to consider reconstructing it as a multi-faith centre for use by all.

For example. the incorporation of a minaret in place of the destroyed spire would be of use to Muslims, whilst the provision of a cafe or restaurant would be in the spirit of Laïcité, the secularism on which the French state is founded.

That would also appeal to persons of all faiths and none – especially if dietary regimes like kosher, halal and veganism were to be catered for.

John Eoin Douglas



Luminate, Scotland’s Creative Ageing Festival takes place throughout May 2019. To celebrate this, three well-established local groups have come together to put on an exhibition in Cove Burgh Hall.

If you come to the Hall on a Friday morning, the Textile Crafts Group will share a wide range of skills using everything from raw wool to glass beads.

It’s about 14 years since the group first met in someone’s home, until numbers grew and they moved to the Hall. They meet from September to May.

About 30 years ago, the amateur Art Group began in the Sailing Club on Thursday mornings. Now they meet in the Hall, between October to April, still on Thursdays, where there will be drawing or painting of a person, a still life, something from a photograph.

Once a month on a Wednesday afternoon, the local SWI Group meet. This year they are celebrating their 70th birthday. Alongside other regular events, they have a creative challenge. There is also a creative sub-group who meet on the third Thursday every month in the evening. Of course the social aspect is important too and all groups offer you tea, coffee, cake and biscuits.

All three groups will be showcasing their work in a free community exhibition on Thursday and Friday, May 9 and 10. There will be tea, coffee and home-baking available at £2 per person. Local musician Stephen Adam will be playing the piano from 2-3pm both afternoons.

Please come and join us for this creative celebration.

Abi Pirani

Cove Burgh Hall


A LEADING independence campaigner has admitted the SNP’s currency plans in the 2014 referendum were ‘disastrous’.

The former chair of Yes Scotland, Dennis Canavan, said nationalists should be honest and admit that their plans for a currency union were flawed.

But we don’t expect to hear Sturgeon admit her plans were a disaster. She will do anything and say anything to advance her independence obsession.

We Scots said no and we meant it. It’s high time for the SNP to get back to the day job and that means prioritizing improving our economy, schools and NHS.

With the Lib-Dems and Labour being far too weak to beat the SNP only the Conservatives can beat the SNP in Argyll and Bute.

I hope your readers will back Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives and help take the fight to the separatists and their destructive independence obsession.

Cllr Alastair Redman

Conservative, Kintyre and the Islands


A NEW guide has been launched to provide health information for veterans, and the people who support them.

Accessed via the NHS inform website, the guide highlights the help available to 6 per cent of Scotland’s population who have served in the armed forces as a regular or a reserve.

Featuring information about veterans’ health rights, it includes guidance on priority treatment for service-related conditions, physical and mental health resources, as well as welfare and financial support.

The guide also explains that every NHS Board in Scotland has an Armed Forces and Veterans Champion, usually a senior member of staff, who holds overall responsibility for making sure that the priority treatment guidelines are understood and applied in their NHS Board area.

NHS 24 is committed to ensuring veterans have equality of access to our services. I am grateful to the many veterans and veteran organisations, who worked with us to create a resource which will help to remove any existing barriers there are for veterans seeking out the help and support that they are entitled to.

NHS 24 worked closely with veterans and veterans’ organisations to better understand them and their families, and to create a guide, which suits their specific needs.

Brenda Wilson

Veterans Champion and Deputy Director of Nursing, NHS24


I AM an ambassador for Sightsavers and we’re on a mission to wipe out a blinding disease called trachoma. With readers’ support, we can make history.

Every blink is agony, and without treatment you could go blind.

Trachoma is an agonising, debilitating disease that traps people in a vicious cycle of pain, blindness and poverty. Yet trachoma is totally preventable.

Sightsavers distributes an antibiotic to treat trachoma at a cost of as little as 15p per treatment.

Readers can join the fight to eliminate this painful disease by donating to Sightsavers. All donations made before 15 May will be matched by the UK government, pound for pound, up to £2 million. See or give them a call on 0800 089 2020 to learn more.

Sunetra Sarker

Actress and ambassador for Sightsavers