PRAISE for hospital staff, raising dementia awareness, and your thoughts on the upcoming General Election all feature in the latest selection of readers' letters to the Advertiser.

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

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also require a daytime contact telephone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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WITH all the bad press the NHS gets in present times I would like to give all the staff of the Vale of Leven Hospital a great big thank you.

My four-year-old daughter Bonnie had an accident at her wonderful nursery today (Thursday, October 31) and as a result ended up with a fractured arm.

It only took one hour from her entering the hospital to her walking out after receiving wonderful treatment which included x-rays to confirm and locate the break, pain relief as no doubt it was hurting, a plaster cast and a complete rundown for us as parents on what to do next and what to look out for.

I can only thank all those concerned in her treatment from the bottom of my heart.

Neil Hewitt (via

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: October 31, 2019

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ON Monday, October 21 I attended an open day in the Dementia Resource Centre, West Princes Street.

Its subject is, I feel, of real importance to many people, not only in the town but Scotland-wide.

The main purpose of the meeting was to highlight the lack of parity, in terms of access to free healthcare, between those with advanced dementia and those with other progressive and terminal medical conditions.

To illustrate the point, former Scottish TV newscaster Mike Edwards showed his excellent, but hard-hitting, video in which several carers or relatives told stories of the heartache of trying to manage, sometimes with inadequate professional or financial help.

To bring this situation to the attention of the Scottish Government, Alzheimer Scotland seeks 10,000 signatures of support on specially-designed cards. Since there are over 90,000 people with dementia living in Scotland, this is a cause well worth our participation. People with advanced dementia have the right to be treated equally. Help us make this a reality.

Anyone who would like to add their voice to the petition to highlight the need for equal access to free healthcare for those with advanced dementia can sign the support cards in the Dementia Resource Centre or sign up online at

Catriona Malan, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: October 24, 2019

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AS I climbed up Beinn a’ Mhanaich (the big hill at the end of Glen Fruin) on a marvellous morning last Thursday I resolved to write to your paper expressing my thanks for all who made it possible.

Firstly I wanted to publicly thank the late Alan Day, the Urquharts and the local Access Trust for all their hard work in creating, maintaining and trying to extend the wonderful path network that now surrounds our town.

My second huge thank you was to the NHS team at the Jubilee Hospital who saved my life and rebuilt my heart.

The NHS was a wonderful achievement of the Labour party, pushed through against the vehement opposition of the Conservatives, who represented, as ever, the vested interests of the wealthy against the welfare of the people.

Which led to my third thank you; to the Scottish Labour party that pushed through devolution against the vehement opposition of the Tories.

This protected us from the attempts by the Conservative/Lib-Dem government to privatise large sections of the NHS in England, gave our young people a right to a free university education and reinforced the principle of “free at the point of use” when it came to prescription charges.

Just like the NHS itself, the Labour commitment to free personal care for the elderly was derided by the opposition as unsustainable and unaffordable, but in reality must form the basis of a future national care system to solve the endemic care crisis.

The fourth big thank you was again to Scottish Labour for the Land Reform Act which gave us the right of access over our hills.

Sadly further land reform is still needed to deal with the gross inequity of land ownership but progress over the last decade of SNP government has been nil, indeed the situation has got worse.

Land owners have been exploiting a loophole in the last act to get tenants off farms they have been on for generations and replace them with “managers” with no property rights.

The SNP has simply done nothing to protect these ordinary people against the wealthy. Even more pertinent the SNP commissioned a report on council/land taxes that strongly recommended land value taxation, which again would have hit the extremely rich.

I repeatedly ask my SNP friends why this recommendation was never implemented and none have an answer.

Vested interests support nationalism because it creates an “opposition” (the English, or Europe, or anyone) and protects their privileges.

Good left-wing SNP supporters have been misled into supposing that Newcastle gets a better deal than Glasgow (it does not) and that a small independent Scotland can cope with global American based companies.

The experience with land reform is that, even if in law they can, nationalists will not confront the powerful.

In reality the only way to progress is through co-operation with our colleagues in the Democratic Socialist movement in both the UK and Europe to harness and regulate economic power.

Geoff Riddington, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: October 17, 2019

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I FEEL sure that some of your readers, especially the ‘baby-boomers’, will remember going to see the circus in Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.

Every year I used to ask my parents why circus ponies’ hair had black and white stripes all over. “Grooming” was the answer. I still have trouble understanding that answer.

In the same way I have difficulty understanding why Boris Johnson for all his extensive training, coaching and preparation said he would ‘die in a ditch’ last week if the UK did not leave the EU. He still seems healthy to me but perhaps needs some physical grooming. Having made such a promise one would think that he would resign – other PMs have done so for disappointing the public.

Your readers already know all the half-truths, broken promises, deceptions, and abuses this PM has executed in a few weeks. Even his brother disowned him. Who would ever want to stand as the Conservative party candidate for Argyll and Bute at the forthcoming General Election under the leadership of offensive Boris Johnson?

Could it be to ensure the UK leaves the European Union? Disregarding the fact the British motor industry is being destroyed simply because of Brexit. Ignoring the disturbing reality that financial institutes are moving their centre of operation into Europe. Overlooking the reality that UK companies will no longer be allowed to make parts and components for Airbus aircraft.

Locally, people employed in the shellfish industry are worried whether they will be able to effectively export their fresh produce to countries within the EU. Local retailers and pharmacies are already feeling the threat Brexit is having on their ability to meet people’s and patients’ needs.

I just wonder whether the Conservative Party groom their candidates to ignore the destruction that Brexit will have on local, national and the UK wide economies. Or have they also been fooled by Boris?

Finlay Craig, Cove

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: October 10, 2019

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I AM astounded to learn that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has found a magic money tree which will lend the present Government oodles of cash with which to fund an amazing number of projects; £2 million here, £40 million there.

What message is this sending to the people who have faced the austerity cuts and been put on Universal Credit?

Our local food-bank has seen an increase in use by folk wanting to feed their families. Some have even had to borrow from payday lenders to pay for everyday needs. They do not get preferential low borrowing rates like the Government does from big banks.

The Labour manifesto also has enormous spending plans. I am afraid that the little people are being left behind by all those seeking to win our votes and promising pie in the sky.

The Scottish Government is no better, I refer to previous correspondence about the Scottish Government's cuts in grants to local councils. The figures are there for all to see on the Scottish Parliament website. The Scottish Government's budget went up by 1.8 per cent this year after taking inflation into account. In contrast the Scottish Government cut the grant they gave to councils by 3.4 per cent after inflation.

No wonder councils throughout Scotland are being forced to make people redundant and cut services.

I wish the Scottish Government would do a u-turn and give councils a fair deal.

Margaret Horrell, Helensburgh