YOUR letters to the Advertiser this week includes thoughts on Kidston Park in Helensburgh, the EU, plans for fish farms in the Clyde, Scottish independence and more.

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

Please keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can, and remember to include a daytime telephone number in case we need to check any details at short notice – though this will not be published.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 RECENTLY took my grandson to Kidston Park and was shocked at the lack of maintenance and poor presentation to visitors.

What happened to the new bandstand promised as an agreement with Osborne builders a few years ago, in respect of planning permission granted by the council?

In conjunction with the pier situation, the council seem to be doing their utmost to discourage visitors to the town.

As a long term resident I must say that over the last number of years the lack of maintenance is now a major issue in the town and is detrimental to both residents and visitors.

Iain Martin

Via email

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I HAVE wonderful news for one very fortunate person. It transpires that there is one seat remaining on the last life-raft due to be lowered from the deck of the Titanic.

If I may be permitted to explain...

Locally, we live in a time of intellectual genocide. Not only are people contributing towards the cost of an ugly shell around Helensburgh's ugliest building, but the streets are abuzz with talk of a second independence referendum.

Filled with despondency, and with cyanide pills at the ready, a group of like-minded individuals decided to give ourselves one last chance at remaining in what is, in truth, a very beautiful country.

Then, eureka!, we discovered a way in which we could live independently from what appears hell-bent on becoming an independent Scotland.

Using little known international and European statutes we have managed to purchase an island on Loch Lomond which will be granted sovereignty. Furthermore, M. Barnier has assured us that our application for EU membership will be looked on favourably. Indeed, it will be the last membership to be granted before the drawbridge is raised.

On the island of Inchfree, those who have not been able to raise the necessary capital will pay in kind. Government will be by a benevolent dictatorship tempered by assassination.

Alcohol, from our own distillery, may be purchased at any time of day or night. There will be no minimum unit pricing.

I appreciate that this will come as very bad news for those of you who had been hoping to remain in the European Union. You will now have to establish your own trade links with other countries.

This said, those of us on Inchfree wish to be magnanimous. To this end we propose to purchase tickets for the Scottish cabinet to be used for a fact-finding visit to another fiercely independent community, North Sentinel Island.

As for the rest of you, feel free to give us a wave if you’re out cruising on the loch.

David W. Weir

Macleod Drive, Helensburgh

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Here we go again! Goodness knows what Brenda from Bristol is thinking – these days, she is probably completely bald tearing her hair out.

It would appear that we will all be voting in the European elections on May 23 – unless there is a sudden seismic shift in the next few days. I know that is how I feel about the shambles this present Westminster government has made of the Brexit discussions.

Only one party has been consistent throughout in its support of the United Kingdom and of the European Union. The Scottish Liberal Democrat Party has always been vocal in support of our nation's largest trading countries – that is England, Wales and Northern Ireland. as well as the European Union.

Why cut off our noses in the vain hope that Mr Trump and his cohorts will come and rescue us from financial disaster?

The amount of money that has been wasted already could certainly have funded our local hospital for some considerable time.

Margaret Horrell


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I WOULD like to reach out to readers in your area who are yachts people, kayakers, anglers, divers, open water swimmers, ramblers, bird watchers or persons who are concerned about the environment and ask them if they are aware of the five fish farms proposed across the Firth of Clyde.

I live on Bute and am part of a group opposing the siting of a large trout farm off the south east of the island at Hawks Neb, below Kilchattan Bay.

The surface area covered by the 10 cages and their supporting grid structure is 150 by 375 metres – 50 of the ferries that carry passengers to and from the island could fit in this space.

The underwater anchoring and mooring area would be 550 by 880 metres – 432 ferries could be placed in this space!

This is a popular area for walkers – the West Island Way, the first long-distance walking route on a Scottish island, is directly adjacent to the proposed site, as well as for sailing yachts and kayaks. On May 25, the Bute Outdoor Swimming Society will be hosting the second swim from Kilchattan Bay to Glencallum Bay.

The same company, Dawn Fresh Foods, is proposing a second trout farm off the northwest of Little Cumbrae and a third between Great Cumbrae and the mainland. Again, these are very popular places for walkers, sailors and kayakers.

All three sites are near to designated navigation channels that are regularly used by commercial ships as well.

DFF says that Acoustic Deterrent Devices may be necessary to protect the cages from sea mammals such as seals. If such devices are used at the three sites, they would deter most marine mammals from entering the Clyde.

The siting of the three farms across the entrance of the Clyde could also have a grave impact on native wild salmon and trout and thus effect angling on any rivers northwards.

DFF has a fourth proposed site near Ardentinny in the Lomonds and Trossachs National Park area. The Scottish Salmon Company has a proposal off the northeast of Arran, consisting of two salmon farms. Mowi, formerly Marine Harvest, is proposing a salmon site south of Carradale, in the Kilbrannan Sound off the east of the Mull of Kintyre.

If you feel that your visual enjoyment of the landscape in these areas or your current freedom to access the waters of the proposed farm sites for the water-based activities you enjoy will be impacted, please go to where you will be guided to the petitions that have been set up to object to the various proposals. You can sign one or, hopefully, all!

Theresa Nelson


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I AM struck by the call from Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, that the next UK prime minister should continue to refuse a referendum on Scottish independence.

I find this curious as in July 2016 a lady, also called Ruth Davidson, commented that it would “not be wise” for the next prime minister to block a request by Nicola Sturgeon for a second independence referendum.

At the time she noted that questions over trading markets, currency and borders were now "utterly different” following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

In fact. sources close to the Scottish Tory leader argued that denying a second independence referendum would provoke a massive public backlash in Scotland that could further drive up support for independence.

With public support for independence and another referendum rising, one would argue that the response from the Ruth Davidson of 2016 is more credible than the Ruth Davidson of today.

Alex Orr

Marchmont Road, Edinburgh

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You do not need to travel the world to find people in need of help from the Red Cross.

We might not always realise it, but right here in the UK, in our local communities, there are people in crisis with no one to turn to.

The British Red Cross is best known for helping millions of people around the world when disaster strikes. But last year the charity supported almost 705,000 in the UK alone.

Whether its supporting people home from hospital, tackling loneliness, preparing communities for extreme weather, reuniting families separated by war, or teaching people first aid skills that save lives – the Red Cross is always there.

Having seen their volunteers in action, I can tell you first-hand that the difference they make is extraordinary. There is no limit to the power of human kindness and every day, no matter what happens, their volunteers are changing people’s lives for the better.

But it’s only through the support of people like you that the British Red Cross can continue doing this vital work. That’s why I’m calling on everyone across Scotland to do one kind thing this Red Cross Week in May, and help raise funds to continue changing and saving lives.

Even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference to those in need.

Make a donation online at

Ben Fogle

British Red Cross Ambassador