This week's letters to the Advertiser include your views on Helensburgh's waterfront project and pier, more thoughts on the support for - and opposition to - housing plans in Portincaple, litter on our hills, and more.

To add your views to the mix for next week, all you need to do is email your opinions to or get in touch via the Send Us Your News section of this site.

Please remember to include your name and address, and 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We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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It seems strange that £5 million more can be found by Argyll and Bute Council for the Helensburgh waterfront project (Advertiser, July 23) – yet £1m cannot be found to put the town’s pier back in working order, which would then give the Waverley a chance to return to Helensburgh.

Failing to restore the pier is a lost opportunity for Helensburgh – a lost history of people flocking to Helensburgh from Glasgow to ‘walk the pier’ or catch the Waverley on her way ‘doon the watter’.

It also takes away a great asset from the people of the town.

At least some of the councillors who have objected to the refurbishment of the pier have been happy to see millions lost on past consultants over these 11 years of frustration to Helensburgh.

Restoration of Helensburgh’s pier, as anyone in the town can see, would have complemented the new waterfront development. Instead all visitors will see is a dilapidated part of a pier.

Yes, the council has agreed to clean it up, but what about the dangerous part of the pier’s structure which remains roughly fenced off?

The cost of the waterfront venture is staggering. Large housing developments have been built in the area at half the cost, and that’s with ground preparedness.

Not including the pier in the waterfront project is very much a missed opportunity and I think in later years it will be seen as a regrettable decision.

Sephton MacQuire (Chair, Dunbritton Housing Association), East Montrose Street, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: July 23, 2020

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“Facts are chiels that winna ding” is a sentiment from Burns that sprang to mind on reading Debbie Carr’s criticism of John Urquhart, regarding the proposed Portincaple development (Advertiser Comment, July 23).

Far from opposing a link from Garelochhead to the Three Lochs Way long distance footpath, as alleged in the letter, the fact is that Mr Urquhart, working with others, was instrumental in the delivery of this link, as matters now stand.

Similarly, I cannot think of a body of which Mr Urquhart was a member that opposed such a link, as was also claimed.

In my opinion, no-one has worked harder than Mr Urquhart in supporting and developing responsible public access to the Scottish countryside.

The trouble with getting some of your facts wrong is that it must then cast serious doubt upon the credibility of your narrative as a whole.

Alistair McIntyre, Shore Road, Garelochhead

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READ MORE: Readers' letters to the Advertiser: July 16, 2020

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Your correspondent Debbie Carr (Advertiser Comment, July 23) says she has difficulty discerning my motivation for supporting the proposed development at Portincaple.

Had she read it, the first paragraph of my submission to the planning authority made that clear.

“Having never met him, I do not know Mr Olive,” I wrote.

“My interest in this application stems from my antipathy to misinformation and my belief that Mr Olive’s proposal potentially offers many benefits for the area.”

Misinformation and unsubstantiated assertion seem to be the hallmark of those who argue against the Portincaple proposal. In the absence of any facts to support your argument, you can always make up something or other.

In Ms Carr’s case, it seems to be the more hysterical the story the better.

She talks of the “devastation” and “huge damage” the development will do to the environment and the community of Portincaple, but says nothing about how this will happen.

She seems to insinuate that I am an “agent” of the developer. I am not.

She seems to insinuate that my photograph of the oak woods might not be genuine – I can assure her it is.

The trees have not been destroyed, nor does it seem the applicant has any intention of destroying them. Indeed, why would he? They enhance the site, and removing them would damage his case with the planners.

With her oblique assertions Ms Carr was already sailing close to the legal wind, but the accusation that she knows I “campaigned against” the Three Lochs Way walk being linked to Garelochhead introduces a new level of falsehood.

It is a silly accusation because not only is it laughably wrong, it is also completely irrelevant to the debate.

What is relevant are the planning gains on offer from the application – new housing, the control of invasive and damaging rhododendron, road improvements, the re-establishment of public access to Portincaple’s foreshore, a public jetty, and potentially linkages to the wider footpath network including the Three Lochs Way, a long distance route in which I have personally invested a great deal of effort over these past 10 or so years.

In future, Ms Carr would be well advised to stick to facts and avoid making unsubstantiated and arguably defamatory statements about me in public.

John Urquhart, Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: The Advertiser's letters page from July 9, 2020

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YOU report that climbers and hillwalkers are being urged to help keep Scotland’s mountains beautiful (‘Mountaineering group's litter plea to Loch Lomond hill walkers’, Advertiser, July 23).

Let’s get this straight: it is not climbers and hillwalkers who are leaving the garbage by the roadside or adjacent fields.

It is, in the main, day-trippers and overnight campers dispensing with still-hot barbecue trays, bags of rubbish, cheap, pop-up tents that no self-respecting hillwalker would even consider buying, leaving them behind for others to collect.

Maureen McGarry-O’Hanlon, Balloch

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: July 2, 2020

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The UK Government is delivering for Scotland. Another £1.9 billion in Barnett consequentials is now guaranteed for Scotland to protect our vital public services and defend jobs.

That means the total extra funding to tackle coronavirus is now £6.5 billion this year, on top of the block grant.

The UK Treasury has also protected the income of a third of the Scottish workforce and thousands of Scottish businesses have now benefited from UK Government backed loans.

This is the Union in action, and its value has never been more obvious.

Cllr Alastair Redman (Conservative, Kintyre and the Islands)

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READ MORE: Advertiser readers' letters to the editor: June 25, 2020

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The European Council, after one of the longest summits in EU history, recently agreed that alongside its 2021-27 budget of almost a trillion pounds, the Commission will borrow more than £680 billion in the financial markets.

This aims to assist member states’ recovery from Covid-19 and will include more than £350 billion in grants.

The Economic Recovery Package includes grants for rural areas and the higher education sector, as well as environmental projects.

Countries’ allocations are based on the projected economic harm resulting from Covid-19, and Scotland may have received something in the region of £5.4 billion.

By contrast, the UK Government has allocated only £3.7 billion to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

As an independent member of the EU, Scotland would clearly have been a major beneficiary from such an arrangement and yet again the UK’s withdrawal from the EU continues to cost us dear.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: June 18, 2020

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We’ve all felt the strain of lockdown these past few months, which means that looking after our physical and mental health is extremely important.

At the British Heart Foundation (BHF), we see it as our responsibility to help people to keep their hearts healthy, which is why we’re asking the nation to take on our new Step Challenge now lockdown has eased.

A brisk 20-30 minute walk each day can be  a simple way to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity  physical activity each week and can also help improve sleep, reduce stress levels, boost energy and help you get fit.

‘My Step Challenge’ has been designed by BHF cardiac nurses so is suitable for all fitness levels, including those with heart and circulatory conditions. 

It is a great way to increase your daily steps whilst raising vitals funds for the BHF’s life saving research.

Like many charities, the coronavirus crisis has devastated our income, costing us around £10 million a month.

We are urging the public to #BackTheBHF and help the millions of people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases.

Research suggests that people with these conditions are at higher risk of complications from Covid-19, meaning our work has never been more important.

Visit our website to find out more about how to improve your heart health and sign up to My Step Challenge –

Barbara Kobson (senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation)

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