THIS week's batch of readers' letters includes a dispute between councillors over the ongoing landslip issues at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful, debate over the decision to keep the Blairvadach outdoor centre near Helensburgh open for the time being, and a thank you message from a retiring couple.


I HAVE to take issue with the latest press release (March 5, 2020) from Argyll and Bute Council leader Aileen Morton, where she refers to the most recent closure of the Rest and Be Thankful in terms of a ‘sticking plaster approach’ taken by the Scottish Government.

Perhaps Councillor Morton should be reminded of the £13.3 million that has already been invested in landslide mitigation at the Rest and Be Thankful by the Scottish Government, which has prevented its closure on no less than 48 occasions since the programme’s inception.

Moreover, Councillor Morton really does need to reflect on her grasp of basic facts when she asserts that the mitigation measures failed ‘yet again’, despite the evidence that this most recent closure occurred outwith the existing mitigation area, where harvesting operations by Forestry and Land Scotland and extreme weather conditions were contributory factors.

Instead of cheap political point scoring, Councillor Morton should perhaps acknowledge the hard work of Transport Scotland, BEAR Scotland, and Geo-Rope in keeping the Rest open and safe on the aforementioned 48 occasions.

Iain S Paterson

SNP Councillor for Lomond North

READ MORE: Transport secretary pledges £1.9m for new A83 landslip mitigation work

IN his response to my letter in the Advertiser (March 5) on the proposed closure of Blairvadach Outdoor Centre, Ross Greer, regional MSP with the Scottish Green Party, refers to the inaccuracy in my comments that the Green Party on Glasgow City Council insisted on the closure of Blairvadach in return for supporting the SNP Council’s budget proposals.

I am happy to put my hands up and confirm that, although my statement was not correct, it was based on an inaccurate BBC report that was only withdrawn from the BBC website after my letter to the Advertiser had been submitted.

This does not take away from the fact that the Green Party, the SNP and the Conservative Party on Glasgow City Council were all happy to support the closure of Blairvadach in the final budget proposals that their parties supported.

Ross Greer admits that the closure of Blairvadach was included in the SNP budget proposals but does not highlight that this was a proposal that remained in the SNP budget proposals that the Green Party supported.

It was only after the public outcry over the proposed closure that the Greens and others started to back track.

It is clear that the funding that was allocated to local authorities in the Scottish Government’s final budget proposals gave Glasgow City Council the opportunity to remove the closure of Blairvadach from their budget cuts.

Unfortunately, it appears that this reprieve is only for 12 months and that we could be back trying to save Blairvadach next year.

I can confirm that I took no view on the proposed development at Portincaple that Ross Greer referred to.

My point was that he was happy to accept the positive publicity he had secured on that issue but not the negative publicity relating to Blairvadach.

Unless Ross Greer is telling us that he, as an MSP, instructs his party councillors across Scotland what to do, then I am assuming that it will be down to Green councillors on Glasgow City Council to decide the fate of Blairvadach next year.

Councillor George S Freeman

Independent, Argyll and Bute Council

READ MORE: Delight all round as Blairvadach outdoor centre is saved in council U-turn

WE would like to thank everyone for the good wishes, cards and generous gifts given to us on our retirement.

We have been overwhelmed by your generosity.

Simon and Irene Fraser


RURAL areas in Scotland will benefit from £5 billion investment in broadband from the UK Government.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced the landmark investment as part of this week’s budget.

The investment will expand gigabit broadband and spread 4G coverage across the nation.

The UK Government has pledged that Scotland will see some of the greatest improvement in the next five years.

This is the Union delivering for the people of Scotland; we say no to indyref2 so we can say yes to so much more.

Cllr Alastair Redman

Kintyre and Islands ward

READ MORE: Helensburgh garage owner retires after 40-years in fast lane

THIS Mother’s Day, I am thinking about everything women do to give their children the best start in life.

Like the women in countries such as Malawi, Liberia and India, who rise early each day to cook and serve food to hungry children in their communities with the charity Mary’s Meals.

Their dedication epitomises powerful motherly love, and it is thanks to them that Mary’s Meals is able to feed 1.6 million hungry children around the world every school day.

The food they lovingly serve attracts little ones into the classroom, giving them the energy to gain an education that can, one day, be their ladder out of poverty.

I am in awe of these incredible women. And that’s why I am asking your readers to send a Mary’s Meals gift card to the special women in their lives this Mother’s Day. For just £15.90, it will feed a hungry child every day for an entire school year.

Please visit to purchase your gift card in honour of the mums who make Mary’s Meals. I have already told my boys this is a gift I would be delighted to receive.

Sophie Thompson

Actor (writing on behalf of Mary’s Meals)

I’M writing to encourage your readers to join millions around the world in turning off their lights and celebrating WWF’s Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28 at 8.30pm.

We’re in the midst of a joint climate and nature emergency. We’ve destroyed forests, polluted the oceans and messed up the climate. But what happens next is up to us. By taking part in Earth Hour you can be part of the change.

All eyes are on Scotland this year ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow this November, so now is the time for Scottish communities to stand up and be counted.

So whether it’s switching off your lights, switching off your phone for an hour, or celebrating with others – Earth Hour’s a time to reconnect to what’s important.

Taking part is a great way to showcase your group’s environmental action, get new people involved, and be part of a global movement.

There are hundreds of events happening across Scotland, you can find out what’s on near you, by visiting

Lang Banks

Director of WWF Scotland

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser : February 27, 2020

WE all know that a poor night’s sleep can leave us feeling less than our best. However, a regular lack of sleep can also have wider implications on our physical and mental health. To mark World Sleep Day (Friday, March 13), Natalie Armstrong, sleep expert at Sealy UK, has compiled a list of sleep tips that will help you reap the benefits of a great night’s sleep.

1. Remove technology from your bedroom: According to a survey, 47 per cent of us use our electronic devices when in bed, but this common habit can really impact our quality of sleep. The blue light emitted by the screens of phones, tablets and TVs impacts our levels of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.

2. Declutter your bedroom: The environment in which you sleep plays a huge part in the quality of your sleep. In fact, studies have shown that those who have a messy and cluttered bedroom have a worse night’s sleep due to increased stress levels - compared to those that keep their room nice and tidy.

3. Avoid that night-cap: In Sealy’s survey, one quarter of respondents admitted to having alcohol within three hours of going to bed. While a nice glass of wine might be an enjoyable way to de-stress at the end of a long and hectic day, alcohol can have a negative impact on our rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is often considered the most restorative stage of sleep.

4. Take a bath: Your temperature naturally dips at night as your body prepares for rest. When you soak in a hot bath, your temperature rises by a degree or two, and the rapid cool-down immediately after the bath imitates this natural decrease of your body temperature, which can help to induce tiredness.

5. Listen to white noise: In simple terms, white noise is a noise that sounds similar to the static from a TV or radio, and has many frequencies including low-frequency, mid-range and high-frequency, with equal intensities. By investing in a white noise machine or downloading a white noise app, you create a constant background noise which helps to mask any other sounds that you may hear during the night, helping to ensure an undisturbed night’s rest.

6. Stick to a routine: Creating a regular sleep routine can help you get better quality sleep. While you may be tempted to treat yourself to a weekend lie-in, this can actually have a detrimental impact on your body clock. The later wake-up time, and in turn later bed-time the following evening, can mean you experience ‘social jet lag’, where there is a discrepancy between your body’s circadian rhythm and the social clock.

Natalie Armstrong

Sleep expert at Sealy UK

Click here for all the latest headlines from across Helensburgh and Lomond