This weeks crop of readers' letters to the Advertiser includes your views on charges at Helensburgh's swimming pool, the newly-reopened Hill House, more reaction to the debate on Christianity and same-sex relationships, and much else besides.

To have your say on any local topic, just email your views to or get in touch via the Send Us Your News section of this website.

Please keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can, and remember to supply us with your name and address.

We also need a daytime contact telephone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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My petition regarding the enormous increase in fees for pensioners at Helensburgh Leisure Centre has been signed by over 200 concerned people.

Our MSP Jackie Baillie is also supporting and has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament, and also has asked other MSPs to add their support.

Ms Baillie's motion states: "That the Parliament understands that Live Argyll, the arms-length organisation that runs Argyll and Bute Council’s leisure facilities has raised its charges for older people's annual subscriptions by 37 per cent; believes that this price increase is contradictory to Live Argyll’s own stated commitment to enhance the health, wellbeing, fitness and personal development of residents in Argyll and Bute; notes that, at the same time as this price increase for older people, the price of a family membership has been lowered by 18 per cent, suggesting that older people are effectively bearing the brunt of price increases to subsidise family memberships, and expresses concern at the viability of maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle for older people with this 37 per cent increase in charges."

I was very disappointed with the response from Aileen Morton, the leader of Argyll and Bute Council, who is unfortunately supporting the increase in price for pensioners.

Thank you to all who signed the petition, and thank you to Jackie Baillie for her support, and thank you to Helensburgh Medical Centre (Dr Ram`s side) for obtaining lots of signatures on the petition.

Also, thanks to Helensburgh Advertiser for bringing the matter to public attention.

I am still optimistic that, with continuing public pressure, Live Argyll may reconsider their discriminatory policy.

Joan Scullion, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: June 6, 2019

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The muddled thinking behind Jessica Scott-Smythe’s letter (Advertiser Comment, June 6) cannot be left unopposed.

It appears to be a response to comments made by Ruth Wishart on the Rev David Young’s speech to the General Assembly on the Scripture Union’s questioning the suitability of a would-be group leader on account of their being in a same sex marriage.

Ms Scott-Smythe says: "The issue being discussed here is not so much what we believe, as our right to believe and behave as we want to. LGBT people have chosen a lifestyle that they are happy with, and they have the right to do that. Christians have also chosen a lifestyle and belief they are happy with."

I would like to call myself a Christian, but I can predict with some certainty that my lifestyle is very different from Jessica Scott-Smythe's. Does that make me unwelcome to her Church?

She seems to infer that people of different lifestyles should create their own churches, presumably not to upset the apple-cart for set minds.

Lifestyles are as multifarious among the LGBT people as they are among so-called 'straight' people. We are all human beings, and we are a motley and colourful lot, and we have all got something to contribute – if we are but willing and allowed.

The day we no longer need to define ourselves as LGBT, 'straight', black or white, man or woman, may not yet have arrived, but for heaven's sake let us strive vigorously towards it.

You are not asked to change your religious belief, you are asked to change your attitude and be inclusive of people different to you.

Berit Vogt, East Argyle Street, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: May 30, 2019

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Jessica Scott-Smythe (Advertiser Comment, June 6) is wrong to assume Scripture Union Scotland can refuse to accept LGBT volunteers and carry on as before.

Now that a discriminatory policy has been exposed it needs to be addressed.

Scripture Union (SU) is not a church but a charity, supported by a wide range of individual Christians and churches who will have differing views and interpretations of the Bible on same sex relationships, as we know the Church of Scotland and some other denominations are accepting.

For a charity to discriminate against individuals on the basis of sexuality is contrary to equality legislation.

Much of SU's work is carried out in state schools – leading assemblies, taking RE classes and leading Christian Union groups. Schools will find it difficult in future to justify bringing in members of a discriminatory organization to undertake any of these activities in future.

SU also holds camps and house parties for young people who will often have questions on identity and sexuality, and SU needs to show it will deal with these issues without prejudice, as many individual volunteers already do.

While I have great respect for the work that SU has done, and still does, this is an issue that cannot go away, and to carry on its work SU must bring in non-discriminatory policies – even at the risk of alienating some of its more conservative supporters.

In the past I suspect this issue has often been dealt with on a 'don't tell, won't ask' basis.

Bob Floyd, Dennistoun Crescent, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: May 23, 2019

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I spent Sunday morning at a world-class visitor attraction, here in Helensburgh.

Having lived in an Alexander 'Greek' Thomson house in Cove for many years, I was never greatly enamoured with Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House in Helensburgh.

Now, however, as it sits within its protective chain mail 'box', and with walkways around and above the building, the Hill House is, as someone once said, fab-u-lous.

Vivien Moir, Helensburgh

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It was intriguing to note New Zealand’s Labour coalition government recently unveil its “world-first” wellbeing budget.

Billions of dollars will be invested in mental health services and to address child poverty, as well as record investment in measures to tackle family violence.

New Zealand is the first western country to design its entire budget based on wellbeing priorities and instruct its ministries to design policies to improve wellbeing.

GDP has too often come to be seen not just as an indicator of a country’s wealth, but as the main measure of its success.

Yet following a decade of global economic turmoil, the limitations of that view have become increasingly clear.

In countries around the world, such as New Zealand, there is a growing realisation that growth is not the only measure of a successful economy, in fact in some respects it might not be the best measure of such.

There is a growing realisation that we must give much greater priority to the wellbeing – and the quality of life – of people living in a country.

Last year the Scottish Government made ‘wellbeing’ explicitly a core part of the Scottish Government’s purpose, and the broader definition of success is also evident in Scotland’s economic strategy.

The promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth is a vital way of raising living standards for all.

That growth is only of any real value if it makes people’s lives better, creating a fairer, healthier and happier nation in the process. It is not and never should be seen as an end in itself.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: May 16, 2019

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Seven out of ten people with diabetes feel overwhelmed by the demands of their condition, significantly affecting their mental and physical health.

That’s why we’re calling for new national standards for diabetes emotional and mental health support, and to increase support available locally in Argyll to people living with diabetes.

So as part of Diabetes UK’s Diabetes Week (June 10-16) we’re urging people in Helensburgh to #SeeDiabetesDifferently and back our campaign for national standards for diabetes mental health support and services.

Our recently published research revealed that the relentless nature of diabetes can impact people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health, ranging from day-to-day frustration and low mood, to specific psychological and mental health difficulties such as clinical depression and anxiety.

The findings, published in the report “Too often missing: Making emotional and psychological support routine in diabetes care”, show that diabetes is much more than a physical condition – and that emotional and psychological demands of living with diabetes should be recognised, and support provided to everyone who needs it.

Diabetes Scotland is urgently calling on the NHS to create national standards for diabetes emotional and mental health services.

These should ensure that everyone receives joined-up care, that they are asked how they are feeling as part of every diabetes appointment, and that a mental health professional with knowledge of diabetes is part of every diabetes care team.

To sign our petition, go to

Angela Mitchell, National Director, Diabetes Scotland