THIS week's Advertiser letters page includes your views on proposed developments in Helensburgh, voting systems, nuclear weapons, and more.

To have your say on any topic of local interest, all you have to do is email your thoughts to or get in touch with us 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 to provide us with your name and address.

We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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It’s disappointing to read of the proposed developments on the approaches to Helensburgh from Cardross.

The area between Bearsden and Milngavie has been spoiled by a mixture of unattractive high density housing, fast food outlets, hotels, car showrooms and supermarkets.

Helensburgh does not need these types of developments.

There should be imaginative investment in the existing town, not further out-of-town developments dependent on the car.

The era of out of town developments is past.

Peter Hillis, Rowmore Quays, Rhu

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: February 6, 2020

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In last week’s Advertiser, Bruce Jamieson of Pure Greenspace Architects makes a number of claims concerning Pelham Olive’s meeting with community representatives in Garelochhead, regarding his development plans for Portincaple.

I have just reviewed the transcript from the original meeting with the community council. Firstly, I can confirm that there was no accusation of bribes in brown paper envelopes.

Certainly there was speculation that Mr Olive was rich, but no accusations were made that he was bribing anyone. It’s pretty offensive to read this assertion.

Secondly, Mr Olive was asked how many houses he needed to build to be able to achieve a positive return on his investment to develop the land and re-route the private road.

Mr Olive stated that the project would not be viable with fewer than 30-35 houses, so it seems evident that the current application is merely phase one of the intended overall development.

Any pretence that this is the extent of his plans for the plot he has purchased – and the adjacent plot that he also has an exclusive option to purchase – is frankly naive to believe that anyone would be taken in by it.

It seems more likely that he is exploiting loopholes in the current planning policies, with complete disregard for the existing community in Portincaple.

Hilary Worton, via Facebook

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: January 30, 2020

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We were astonished to read the results of the recent General Election, so far as seats won in Scotland are concerned.

The SNP won 48 out of 59 seats, on 45 per cent of the vote.

The Tories, on 25 per cent of the vote, won six seats; Labour took just one seat, with 19 per cent of the vote, while the Liberal Democrats won 9.5 per cent of the vote and four seats.

These figures appear to show that 53.5 per cent of votes gained only 11 seats while the SNP, at 45 per cent, gained 48 seats!

If these figures are correct then we believe voting reform is required for future Scottish elections and is something the Electoral Reform Society should look at urgently.

If they are not, perhaps someone with a clear knowledge of the voting system could explain it to us.

J. and D. Williams, Garelochhead

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: January 23, 2020

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Over the past few weeks, while spending some time in Spain, I think my arms have stretched by several centimetres through carrying massive plastic bottles of drinking water.

I had assumed that water from the apartment’s taps was unsafe. I was wrong. Apparently the drinking water is of the highest quality.

“So why does everyone buy gallons of water?” I asked.

“Flavour; easy to chill; convenience of small bottles; and tradition,” was the reply.

I have no clear answer as to why in Scotland I buy bottled water. I think this is something that has crept up on me.

Watching people on TV being interviewed drinking out of plastic bottles? Or maybe because Andy Murray’s early sponsor was a Scottish water bottler? Or because I thought it was trendy, or that a jug of water with glasses is more work than a few disposable bottles?

Oh gracious, we have a climate emergency! We could get world recognition in November when Glasgow hosts the UN Climate Change Conference.

If Scottish Water were to have given every home in Scotland a selection of reusable/recyclable containers and bottles with the instruction “tap fill”.

Scottish Water is publicly owned and we all pay for it through taxes. As a nation we could send a message that the Scotland people are optimizing our natural resources, reducing plastic and strengthening the global environment.

We could have a children’s competition to name the containers: maybe ‘Rap, Tap, Tap’ - maybe not! Electric car manufacturers could include fittings to keep these containers cool.

Surely this is a global branding opportunity that Scottish Water cannot miss.

Finlay Craig, Cove

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: January 16, 2020

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As we ‘take back control’ by leaving the world’s biggest single market and throwing ourselves into Trump’s American dream of chlorinated chicken and privatised health care, we must consider another consequence of this Baldrick-style cunning plan.

In less than a year, on February 5, 2021, the last remaining nuclear pact between the United States and Russia will expire, ending more than a half century of arms control between the two countries.

The 2010 START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was the last remaining restraint on both nations’ strategic nuclear arsenals. The treaty limits each country to no more than 1,550 strategic, offensively deployed nuclear weapons, and verifies compliance through robust on-site inspections and data exchanges.

Russia has twice offered to extend the agreement. In his first phone call with Putin in January 2017, Trump reportedly rejected this suggestion and denounced START as a “bad deal”.

In December 2019, Putin again offered to extend the treaty – this time immediately and without preconditions. To date, the United States has failed to accept this offer.

As the one-year countdown begins to START’s expiration, Derek Johnson, executive director of the Global Zero movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, made the following statement: “Today marks a countdown to nuclear chaos. If Donald Trump lets START expire, there will be no restraint, no inspection, no verification whatsoever of American and Russian nuclear activities for the first time since 1972.

"The collapse of New START would be a global disaster – and can be avoided at the stroke of a pen.”

For us in Scotland the choice couldn’t be more crucial. Either we cravenly follow England into Johnson’s American fantasy world, or we leave the UK and become a normal, modern democratic state in Europe, like Ireland or Denmark.

We can then join the 122 states that voted to support the TPNW (Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons) in 2017.

And it will be good riddance to the world’s most powerful machine for the mass killing of human beings – Trident.

Brian Quail, Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: January 9, 2020

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The SNP are mismanaging public finances. A report from Audit Scotland has warned that costs have quadrupled for private finance deals.

Taxpayers are facing ‘unsustainable levels of debt’ as it was revealed, £9 billion worth of projects will cost upwards of £40 billion in the long run.

The SNP need to ensure that the public are getting value for money and that projects are delivered on time.

This news comes as Scotland’s business leaders have told the government that there should be no ‘further divergence’ with the rest of the UK on income tax.

CBI Scotland has warned that any increase in income tax levels would eat into disposable income and damage growth.

Scotland is to receive the biggest block grant in years so it’s vital the separatists use that money to fund our struggling local authorities and help get Scotland growing again. It’s time the SNP put their money where their mouths are.

Cllr Alastair Redman (Conservative, Kintyre and the Islands)

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: December 19, 2020

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Across Scotland there are thousands of people currently living without a home – whether that’s in hostels or B&Bs, sofa-surfing with friends and family or living on our streets.

That’s not something we, as a society, should accept as the norm.

Homelessness is not inevitable - and we can all do our part to end homelessness for good. At Crisis we provide direct support to people affected by homelessness, we campaign, and we raise funds so that we will one day be part of the change that helped end homelessness for good across Great Britain. But to do that, we need your help.

In March, we will host the first ever Race to End Homelessness, a 5km or 10km walk or run around Edinburgh city centre to raise vital funds to help lift people out of homelessness through one-to-one support, in areas such as housing and employment.

Those that take part will take on the scenic route around the city, starting in Holyrood Park, heading around the foot of Arthur’s Seat, before climbing up Calton Hill and then heading back in to the city and ending at The Glasshouse, the prestigious hotel which has partnered with us for this event.

It’s just £20 to register, with a fund-raising target of £50. Whether you’re a keen walker or runner, or if you simply fancy taking on a new challenge, why not sign up and help Crisis in its mission to end homelessness.

Sign up at

Grant Campbell (Director of Crisis Scotland)