THIS week's bumper crop of Advertiser letters includes readers' views on the state of Faslane Cemetery, the decision to grant permission for a care home in Helensburgh, Brexit, Scottish Government spending, and more.

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

Please remember to include your name and address when emailing, and to keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can.

We also need a daytime telephone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.

Happy writing!

* * * * * * * * *

I RECENTLY visited Faslane cemetery to put flowers on the graves of my mother, father, my granny, my grandfather and my uncle.

I was shocked to find how untidy and unkempt the cemetery has become. The grass is in dire need of cutting, and grass already cut from way before is still lying in big wet clumps around the graves. It has become very messy and unkempt.

There is no tap available to fill your flower vase with water. There was one before but this is behind a row of rickety safety fencing which is trying to hide the dilapidated former gravediggers cottage which has fallen into disrepair.

The mess is exacerbated by the naval war graves, which sit at the front of the cemetery and are well tended and immaculately kept; the grass is cut and the edges trimmed back, which helps create a relaxed environment and atmosphere of respect.

I know the council will talk about cuts to services but keeping the cemetery tidy and maintaining the grounds to a certain standard should go without question, and is surely not impossible to achieve?

The council may have conveniently pushed this responsibility into the long grass under the guise of budget cuts, but people with family buried in the graveyard certainly have not.

Kenneth Grant, Brookfield, Renfrewshire

* * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: October 17, 2019

* * * * * * * * *

I, like many other people, have great respect for our local MSP Jackie Baillie. Over the years she has been an effective representative at Holyrood.

However, I am beginning to wonder whether she sees herself more as a Local Authority Councillor than a Member of the Scottish Parliament.

In recent weeks she has expressed negative views on matters for which Argyll and Bute Council has responsibility, including planning, community alarms and health and social services.

We are aware that the responsibilities she had at Holyrood on behalf of the Scottish Labour Party where considerably reduced. It must be hard for her to achieve much in the Scottish Parliament under the current leadership of her party.

I just wonder whether it would be better for her to spend more time and effort exposing the weaknesses of the Scottish Government in relation to the underfunding of local authorities; the SNP’s broken policies on education; the horrendous waiting times at out-patients departments; and Scotland having one of the highest drug rates in Europe.

The Labour Party is totally ineffective in holding the Scottish Government to account for the decline in local services due to SNP incompetence.

Of course Ms Baillie may simply be adopting the behaviour of the SNP MSP for Argyll and Bute, Michael Russell, who distracts any criticism of him and his party by focusing on any limitation of the council.

There is a great need for the Scottish Government to be held to account for its destructive bungling.

Finlay Craig, Cove

* * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: October 10, 2019

* * * * * * * * *

THE decision by Argyll and Bute Council to approve the planning application for a care home in Helensburgh (Advertiser online, 16/10/19) is a sad day for the town - a poor decision which conflicts with the local authority’s own policies and well as Scotland-wide policies.

This flies in the face of much local opposition and shows a lack of understanding of the importance of the War Memorial and Conservation Area.

There are issues around the local authority benefitting from the sale of public land etc. A poor show by those councillors who voted to approve this by the narrowest of margins.

D Paterson (Via

* * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: October 3, 2019

* * * * * * * * *

WITH reference to the article in the Advertiser (‘Part of Helensburgh ‘most at risk from Brexit impact’ says government report’, 17/10/19), here we go again, nothing but doom and scaremongering.

Nobody is certain what will happen after Brexit and we won’t be for a while. But the SNP wouldn’t agree with anything coming from Westminster - even if they agreed with the Scottish Government, they still would argue.

Just like when the world was going to stop in the year 2000 - guess what, nothing happened at all.

So, the best thing for all these doom and gloomers is to wait and see and then moan if something does go wrong.

From day one the SNP has had a negative approach to every suggestion and moaned at every attempt along the way. At the end of the day it was the UK that voted to leave, so just like the independence vote “Get over it” and stop all this “We didn’t like it so we will have another vote”.

‘Whiskywalker’ (Via

* * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: September 26, 2019

* * * * * * * * *

CASH-strapped councils are struggling to provide key services due to SNP cuts.

Research has revealed a gulf in the quality of schools, housing and roads across Scotland’s local councils.

The research pointed to struggling schools due to teacher shortages, below acceptable standards of council homes and every local authority failing to hit recycling targets.

The ‘separatists’ need to start properly funding our councils and prioritising local services.

Nicola Sturgeon needs to drop the indyref2 obsession and get back to the day job.

Cllr Alastair Redman (Conservative, Kintyre and the Islands)

* * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: September 19, 2019

* * * * * * * * *

THE Tory plan to put a customs barrier between Britain and Northern Ireland will be costly for businesses who trade with Northern Ireland and mean queues for travellers at ferry ports.

It is shocking that Boris Johnson repeatedly promised he would never do this, but then shamelessly signed up to this customs barrier in his EU withdrawal agreement. Every party in Northern Ireland opposes the Tory Government’s Brexit proposals.

This Tory betrayal of their former allies in Northern Ireland shows they can’t be trusted to fight to keep the Union between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Nobody voting Leave in the referendum knew they were voting to put up this customs barrier. That’s one of many reasons for putting Boris’s deal to a referendum.

Liberal Democrats want to bring down barriers, not build them.

Alan Reid (Liberal Democrat candidate, Argyll and Bute)

* * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: September 12, 2019

* * * * * * * * *

MY father and his two brothers all flew with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War; one in Coastal Command, one in Bomber Command and one in Fighter Command.

I imagine it was quite unusual that the three brothers flew in the three separate branches of the RAF and even more unusual that, come the end of the war, had all survived.

I am very proud to be backing the RAF Benevolent Fund’s centenary campaign to reach out to RAF veterans and let them know the help and support they deserve is out there.

The fund, which celebrates its centenary this month, is here to help the whole RAF Family through the toughest times. They estimate that there are up to 100,000 veterans and their partners who urgently need help. Often National Service veterans and their partners, who answered their country’s call more than 60 years ago, don’t even realise they can turn to the RAF Benevolent Fund for help.

Time is running out, we only have a few years to help these veterans before it is too late. So I urge you to speak to your relatives, neighbours and friends and if they once served for the RAF and are in need of support encourage them to contact the fund.

It is our duty to ensure these veterans spend their twilight years in comfort and dignity, with the help of the RAF Benevolent Fund. If you know someone who needs support, call 0300 102 1919.

Sue Holderness (RAF Benevolent Fund Ambassador)

* * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: September 5, 2019

* * * * * * * * *

Bowel Cancer UK is encouraging men across Scotland to get sponsored to grow a beard this December.

Taking part in ‘Decembeard’ is really simple. All you need to do is shave on November 30 and let your facial fuzz grow throughout the month. Already bearded? No problem. Dye, ditch or decorate your beard and join the campaign.

Around 3,700 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in Scotland, making it the country’s third most common cancer. It’s also the second biggest cancer killer but it shouldn’t be as it’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Whether you already have a beard or are growing one for the first time, Decembeard is a great way to do something amazing this festive season and support those living with bowel cancer. The money you raise will help fund vital services and lifesaving research.

Join the campaign and help us stop people dying from bowel cancer.

Visit for more information.

Claire Donaghy, Bowel Cancer UK