THIS week's crop of Advertiser readers' letters includes views on Helensburgh Community Woodlands Group's land buy-out plans, an appeal for Helensburgh railway memories, a 'thank you' message to two local 'good Samaritans' and lots more.

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

Please remember to provide your name and address, and also to keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can.

We also require a daytime contact telephone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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I WOULD like to thank all your readers who took part in the recent postal ballot arranged by Helensburgh Community Woodlands Group.

The ballot was to quantify the level of support for a community acquisition of Castle Woods and the open ground at Cumberland Avenue.

We had a very creditable response rate of more than 43 per cent from the defined community area, and 90 per cent of respondents were in favour of a community acquisition.

We will be publishing the full results in your paper and they are also available to view at

We are delighted with the outcome of the ballot – a resounding endorsement by the community to go ahead with a community acquisition.

We will now submit applications to the Scottish ministers to purchase the land on behalf of the community and to restore, develop and manage the woodlands in a way that meets the high standards expected of those with land rights in Scotland.

This is a detailed process that requires a lot of work by our team but we have renewed vigour following the response from the community.

I also wish to underline that since the start of this project a key goal has been to ensure that the community is fully involved in any plans for the development of the woodland.

In line with this approach we will continue to arrange community briefing and discussion meetings to ensure views are heard and acted upon as the project moves forward.

On behalf of all the membership of the Helensburgh Community Woodlands Group, our sincere thanks for your response to the ballot, and for your continued support.

Andrew Donald (Convener, Helensburgh Community Woodlands Group)

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – October 3, 2019

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The article by Graham Hardie (Advertiser, October 3) on “How ACHA works on our doorsteps” is very welcome but has one very serious omission.

Graham has omitted to mention the seven tenant members of the ACHA voluntary board of management in his piece.

Without the support, commitment and involvement of these seven tenants it would be difficult to see the whole picture as to how ACHA was performing.

As the chair of the board of management I value tenant representation and consider it essential to the smooth running of ACHA as a whole.

In concert with many other organisations, ACHA is aware that asking people to give up their employment, leisure and family time to “good causes” is becoming more difficult.

We are continually looking at new ways to make volunteering easier but there are no easy answers.

Could I mention there are a further three places for tenant members on the board and we would welcome interest from any ACHA tenants who may wish to get involved?

I am available to speak with any prospective members to explain what the board does and how their presence could benefit not only themselves but the wider Argyll and Bute community.

In particular the board would welcome interest from the younger age group, from female tenants and from ethnic minority tenants.

Thank you for the opportunity to correct Graham’s small, but to ACHA, a very important, omission from his piece, and to be able to publicise that we are looking for three new tenant members.

James M Milne MBE (Chair, ACHA voluntary board of management)

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser – September 26, 2019

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WE CAME to Helensburgh every year of my childhood to visit aunts, uncles and grandmother.

One of the many highlights for me was to see the steam trains at Helensburgh Upper and my uncle worked on the West Highland Line. It’s where my love of railways began.

I had a particular affection for the local service that ran between Craigendoran and Arrochar and Tarbet, “The Wee Arrochar”.

I am writing an article for the magazine of the Friends of the West Highland Lines and would like to include some stories, anecdotes and memories from local people. If you have any then please contact me.

My email address is

David Crossley, Nafferton, East Yorkshire

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – September 19, 2019

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I AM a resident of Milngavie and on Monday, September 30, along with two friends, I was cycling from Balloch to Rosneath along the Glen Fruin road.

At the point where this road and the new road join up adjacent to the new military buildings, I had what can only be described as a freak accident.

My foot went through the bars of a cattle grid finally terminating with a violent end when my right thigh jammed in the grid.

Unbelievably painful!

I needed to get to hospital. What luck – two lovely ladies in a car appeared from nowhere having been walking their dog and immediately offered their assistance in getting me to Helensburgh where my wife came to meet me and take me to hospital.

I was in such discomfort that not only did I not get their names, but I didn’t even note the type of car they were in.

So, to those good Samaritans, whoever they are, many, many deep thanks. I am now on the road to recovery.

Gwyn Kennedy, Milngavie

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser – September 12, 2019

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It was disappointing to read in the Advertiser (October 3) that recycling rates in Argyll and Bute have dropped. This, however, does not surprise me.

The scheduling of bin uplifts seems overly complex. In some weeks I am invited to put out four bins on three different days. Hardly a week goes by without one large bin going out plus a food bin.

I don’t think this can contribute to lowering our carbon footprint with all these different collection vehicles touring our streets on such a regular basis.

I know that Fife Council empty blue, green, and brown bins (they don’t do food bins) on a three-weekly basis. It is the same day each week for householders to put out the requisite colour of bin.

This is not only more convenient for householders, but surely must cut down on carbon emissions. Simple!

Mary Jack, via email

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – September 5, 2019

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The Scottish Conservatives have rightfully voted against a recent bill that could see loving parents wrongly criminalised.

No-one wants to see violence against children but the smacking bill is not the answer.

It makes the law less clear and increases the chance that normal parents are wrongly accused of harming their child.

We in the Scottish Conservatives would rather help and support families than bring in a bad law that could turn children against their parents.

This is yet another case of the separatists’ Orwellian overreaching and their constant imposing on everyday family life, just like their failed Named Person policy.

Cllr Alastair Redman (Conservative, Kintyre and the Islands)

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser – August 29, 2019

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This week is Challenge Poverty Week across Scotland. New research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows poverty is increasing in Scotland again, from a low 20 years ago.

Shocking, but perhaps not surprising given that our wages aren’t keeping pace with increases in the cost of living.

In Westminster, our MP Brendan O’Hara has highlighted how Universal Credit – a cruel policy introduced by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition – has pushed millions of people further into poverty.

He is not wrong but his party, the SNP, forms the Scottish Government and has the power to be doing much more.

With one quarter of us living in poverty, it needs to do much more.

Where is the action to ensure secure employment on a real living wage? Why has the SNP frozen the Scottish Welfare Fund since 2013? Why isn’t it doing more to tackle the cuts in council services we see every year?

Reducing poverty cannot be done in a week. We need our governments, at every level, to make this a priority every day – and with action, not words.

Polly Jones, Treetops, Garelochhead

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – August 22, 2019

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This year, Macmillan's World’s Biggest Coffee morning fund-raiser entered its 29th year.

In community centres, schools and workplaces, thousands of coffee mornings were held across Scotland to raise money and help us support people affected by cancer.

I would like to offer a huge and heartfelt thanks to every single one of your readers who held or attended a coffee morning – your energy and generosity never ceases to amaze us.

Whether it’s specialist cancer nurses, support workers or benefit advisors, we can only offer the support that people with cancer need, thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of our supporters.

The number of people who need our help is growing, and we want to offer support to everyone who needs it.

We are almost entirely funded by the public, so every coffee morning held – every cup of coffee bought – makes a difference.

And please remember, if you need information, support or a chat with Macmillan you can call us free on 0808 808 0000.

If you’d like to support Macmillan and do something amazing today, you can also visit

Thank you all so very much.

Janice Preston (Head of services, Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland)