This week's bumper crop of Advertiser letters includes your thoughts on Helensburgh pier, a warning to inconsiderate drivers, Brexit, the NHS and 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 site.

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

We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.

Happy writing!

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THE Helensburgh Seafront Development Project (HSDP), a charity whose main aim is the repair, restoration and further development of Helensburgh pier, was fortunate enough last Saturday to be one of three recipients of Co-op local community funding.

The total presented by Helensburgh Co-op to our charity alone was £9,035.

That this comes from the one per cent donated over the last year by local people from their shopping to a charity nominated by them is truly a measure of the importance that people would appear to attach to the pier.

The pier is an iconic part of the town which was unaccountably (and most unfortunately) left behind in the CHORD and Leisure Centre projects. We hope to change that.

The HSDP Trustees wish to express their sincere thanks to both the Co-op and the people of the town for their amazing generosity.

David Cantello (Chairman, Helensburgh Seafront Development Project)

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: November 21, 2019

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PEOPLE waiting at a bus stop in and around the bus shelter are regularly soaked from head to toe by motorists driving at speed through the huge puddle there outside Helensburgh Central.

If you are one of those drivers, be aware that if I am at the bus stop, I will photograph your car registration and report you to the police.

Margaret McCallum, Keil Court, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: November 14, 2019

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I HAVE listened to Boris Johnson ramming home his message that only he can deliver Brexit. He sounds as if he is going to lead his people over some high mountain pass to the Promised Land.

Oh, really? Let’s think about that.

First, his January 31 is not a real deadline. It is Boris who has set this as his second ‘die in a ditch’ deadline, having failed in his first attempt.

Second, even if Brexit is achieved on January 31, it is not a destination. It is only the start date for many years of trade negotiations with outcomes unknown.

Third, there is nothing ‘promised’ about what lies on the other side of his Brexit mountain, only the blind hopes of Tory Brexiteers that Britain will undergo some form of economic miracle - but it could go the other way. The country could go into serious economic decline. Either way, life will certainly be much tougher for most people on the other side of Boris’s mountain.

So how does the voter judge? Well, he or she knows what life has been like in the EU for the past 45 years. He or she also knows what it is like to have had a dysfunctional Conservative government for nine years.

If Boris Johnson is re-elected as Prime Minister, voters might as well brace themselves for more of the same.

And for how long would Boris and his promises survive? I happened to visit a Conservative club in England last week (my first). They have not yet put up a photo of Prime Minister Johnson; they were not sure if he would last!

Over the past nine years, we have had three Conservative Prime Ministers, two Remainers (Cameron and May), both toppled by Boris and his cronies.

Then he threw away his majority by sacking 23 loyal MPs, including Churchill’s grandson and Ken Clarke, their longest serving MP.

If the Conservative Party cannot manage itself, how can it hope to manage the country?

I am a canny man. I prefer caution. Brexit is an entirely Conservative Party induced issue. I feel no desire to follow Boris Johnson in some blind leap into the unknown.

Let's bin Brexit, and concentrate on running the country.

Eric Thompson, Camis Eskan, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: November 7, 2019

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I CAN assure Ms Dudgeon (Advertiser Comment, November 21) that I signed the WASPI pledge years ago and still support this campaign.

When I was the local MP I battled against the Government’s proposals to increase the women’s pension age too quickly. Working with other MPs we were able to persuade the Government to cut six months off the time that the women most affected by the change would need to wait for their state pension.

This injustice was not solely the fault of the coalition Government as claimed by Ms Dudgeon. Labour and Conservative Governments going back many years failed to advise many women of the changes to their pensions.

Also, the SNP Government at Holyrood has the power to compensate the WASPI women, but has so far failed to do so.

Alan Reid (Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll and Bute)

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: October 31, 2019

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I WONDER if readers have clocked Boris Johnson’s latest wheeze?

To save the NHS, he is going to fast track the immigration of doctors (and nurses?) from the EU.

But hang on a minute. It was Johnson who led the charge to stop EU citizens migrating to the UK in the first place - a primary selling point in his Brexit campaign! Is the man completely incapable of planning ahead?

Here is the policy of a man who sets fire to your house then promises to fund a fire brigade. The NHS was doing perfectly well in recruiting EU doctors and nurses before the Conservatives dreamed up Brexit. Let’s just bin Brexit.

Ursula Craig, Cove

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: October 24, 2019

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THIS week our Scottish NHS has been in the news over the failure of the Holyrood Government not acting swiftly enough to address the mounting problems arising in hospitals both in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

However this is nothing compared to the concerns of many hospital staff who are not at all sure what the future holds for them.

About one third of hospital staff are from European Union countries and have no idea if they are going to be allowed to stay in Britain if Brexit goes ahead, their homes may have to be sold, their children may be faced with leaving schools and moving to another country.

We, the patients, will have no say in this, apart from reverting to very long waiting lists.

It is imperative that by choosing to place our vote in the Liberal Democrats, the only party which is advocating remaining in the EU and the United Kingdom, we can avert the loss of so many valued members of our working population and communities.

Margaret Horrell, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: October 17, 2019

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As the cold nights of winter draw in it becomes more apparent how important home is to us all.

While most of the country will be getting ready to celebrate with loved ones and looking forward to a home cooked Christmas dinner, there will be thousands of people facing the struggle of having nowhere safe to call home.

Many of us will have noticed the rising number of people sleeping on the streets where we live or work. But what we don’t see is that for every person on our streets there are many more families or individuals stuck in hostels, on sofas and in unsafe and insecure accommodation. No one should be forced to live, or spend Christmas, this way.

That’s why – outside of our year-round services – Crisis runs special Christmas centres which offer hope where previously there might not have been any. At our centres guests are provided with warmth, food, companionship and access to vital services such as advice on benefits. They can see a podiatrist, have a haircut, and get their clothes repaired.

But we don’t stop there. At our Christmas centres, we introduce people to our year-round training, education and support with housing, employment and wellbeing. This long-term support helps people to rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind for good.

But we can’t do it alone. We’re asking members of the public to help support our work this Christmas and year-round – so we can be there for everyone who needs us. So, whether you attend one of our carol services, become one of our essential volunteers or reserve a place for someone at a Crisis Christmas centre, you’ll be helping to make someone’s wish to end their homelessness a reality.

To find out more or to donate to Crisis this Christmas please visit

Grant Campbell (Director of Crisis in Scotland)

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters: October 10, 2019

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As preparations and excitement for Christmas grows, as a registered charity for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, we recognise that it can be a difficult time for people with both types of diabetes, especially if it is their first Christmas with the condition.

It can be a time of temptation, unpredictable or delayed meals, extra nibbles, excitement and stress, all of which can make managing their diabetes more of a problem.

We have a booklet, ‘Diabetes at Christmas’ to help families who live with the condition. It gives options for Christmas dinners, a recipe for homemade, lower carbohydrate and lower calorie Christmas pudding and many other tips.

We also have a booklet, ‘Diabetes – Everyday Eating’ and we hope that the Newsletter and two booklets will help to make life easier over the festive season.

We are happy to send these free of charge - contact us on 01604 622837 or email

Jenny Hirst (Co-chair, InDependent Diabetes Trust)