LITTER in Helensburgh, houses in Portincaple, Boris Johnson's leadership of the UK and more all feature in the latest crop of Advertiser readers' letters.

To have your say on any topic of local interest, just email your opinions to or get in touch via the Send Us Your News section of this site.

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Happy writing!

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It was lovely to see visitors and locals alike enjoying Helensburgh in the sunshine on Saturday. But walking into town on Sunday morning was a different matter.

On Clyde Street, outside bars, restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlours, the pavements were filthy; stained with what appeared to be the spillage of food, drinks and ice cream.

I know it needs specialised cleaning to get rid of chewing gum, but wouldn’t it be great if the owners of these premises took a pride in their businesses and the town, and with a bucket of hot soapy water and a brush, every morning, just cleaned the dirt off the pavements at their frontage (as we did in the 60s and 70s)?

It would look so much better and improve the environment for us all.

I really don’t feel that this day to day cleaning is the responsibility of the council. It should be for the business owners who are benefiting from the trade to do their part in cleaning up.

Such a huge amount of money has been spent to improve Clyde Street and it seems sad to see it now when a little effort could make a real difference.

Mrs E. Steele, Cairndhu Gardens, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: August 13, 2020

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The Portinaple Residents Association’s reaction to Argyll and Bute Council’s report of handling on Mr Pelham Olive’s planning application, and the associated recommendation for approval subject to the holding of a hearing, is one of extreme disappointment.

Our impression is that the recommendation seems to be biased in favour of the applicant, but it did not surprise us, as the vast majority of applications in Argyll and Bute receive recommendations to approve.

This is understandable in light of the publicity that Argyll and Bute suffers from a declining and ageing population.

It is almost three years since the residents became aware that something was being planned for the area, and in all that time, it has always seemed to the objectors that the council acted in the way that best suited the interests of the developer – despite all the fine words in the Local Development Plan about “community involvement and engagement” and “protecting and enhancing”, whether that was the environment or the landscape.

Portincaple is designated as an Area of Panoramic Quality – the only one in the Helensburgh and Lomond area outside the National Park.

While the council rightly state that they can only look at the current application, there is no doubt in the minds of many of the objectors that the much larger development hinted at in documents previously submitted by the applicant may well at some stage be applied for.

This is why the campaign has received such widespread support, because of the fear that it will turn a quiet residential area into a destination for day-trippers and holidaymakers – a vision conjured up in the mind of the developer alone, perhaps to link to his Carrick Estates development.

Portincaple has grown slowly and organically over the years, and this should be the case in the future.

The settlement and its residents could accept this, but to suddenly experience a 20 per cent increase in the number of dwellings, a 38 per cent increase in residents and a 72 per cent increase in vehicle movements (not including the 12 visitor parking spaces), which this application would result in, does not seem to conform to the policies as set out in the current Local Plan.

Our objective all the way through has not been to stop any development at all, as has been suggested by some, but rather to ensure that what does get approved complies with Scottish planning policy, climate change objectives and the Local Development Plan and Supplementary Guidance.

In our opinion this does not, and therefore the application should be rejected.

Ron Fletcher (on behalf of Portincaple Residents’ Association)

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser readers' letters: August 6, 2020

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is keen on saying he would rather die than allow certain things to happen.

In September 2019 he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than agree to extend Brexit beyond 31st October, before then having to go cap in hand to Brussels to request a delay until 31st January 2020.

Most recently he noted that there would be a trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK “over his dead body”.

Bizarrely, that was after Cabinet Officer Minister, Michael Gove, announced funding of £355 million to ease trade over what was, according to the PM, a border that doesn’t and won’t exist.

It appears that Mr Johnson has surpassed Lazarus, not just rising once, but twice from the dead.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh

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

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At PDSA, the UK’s leading vet charity, we provide life-saving care to pets in need and believe no pet should suffer due to financial hardship.

But the coronavirus pandemic has left us facing a national crisis. With the country plunged into financial uncertainly, and more than a million extra Universal Credit claims, we expect the number of pets needing our help to increase by around 50,000. So support from local animal lovers is needed now more than ever.

We’re urging dog owners and their four-legged friends to put their best paw forward and support our vital service by signing up to the World Big Dog Walk Challenge.

All you need to do is choose a suitable distance for you and your dog to complete during September.

This could be your regular ‘walkies’ route around your local park or why not stretch yourself and take on a more challenging distance?

Whatever the distance, every small step will make a big different to the lives of poorly pets in desperate need of life-saving treatment.

Visit for more information and to sign up.

Lynne James, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals

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