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.

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We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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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AS the representative body for land-based businesses and estates, we fully agree with Ruth Wishart’s view that rural young people should be at the front of the queue for housing (‘Scotland’s rural young shouldn’t have to leave’, Advertiser, September 10).

Scottish Land & Estates and its members pioneered the ‘Rural Homes for Rent’ scheme alongside the Scottish Government (which later became the Rural and Islands Housing Funds), which provided grants and loans to develop homes which will be privately rented at below market rate.

Delivering mainstream affordable housing solely through social landlords or local authorities is not possible in rural areas, and land owners play a significant role in provision of local housing for rent.

In many parts of Scotland, especially in the north east, estates are key players in the provision of affordable housing.

READ MORE: Opinion: Kilcreggan coronavirus outbreak a sobering reminder on our own doorsteps

We’ve also seen many estates work in partnership to create new communities such as Tornagrain, a new town of 5,000 homes located midway between Inverness and Nairn.

A recent report commissioned by the Scottish Land Commission found that the impact of lack of access to land is “overstated” in the delivery of rural housing, with land just one of many pieces in a complex jigsaw puzzle.

Sadly, Ms Wishart conflates two points in her article: access to housing and her views on diversity of land ownership and opposition to grouse shooting. Her points on the latter are ones we disagree with.

It should be noted that the vast majority of Scotland’s estates either have no grouse moors or the moor is just one part of a diversified business.

However, a recent government commissioned report did highlight how important grouse shooting is for employment, reporting that around six gamekeeper jobs are maintained for the same area of land that would need one shepherd if used for farming.

This also doesn’t take account of the hotels, shops, restaurants, garages and other businesses across Scotland which rely on downstream revenue from estates for their own sustainability.

We fully agree that housing and skilled rural jobs are vital for young people, but morphing that into criticism of moorland management makes little sense to those who understand the realities of living and working close to these estates.

Sarah-Jane Laing

Chief executive, Scottish Land & Estates

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READ MORE: Opinion: Testing is vital in keeping Covid-19 controlled

I READ that there have been (so far - though there could be more by now) 27 cases of Covid-19 linked to an event at Cove and Kilcreggan Bowling Club.

Can any of your readers think of any reason why the organisers of this event, and everyone attending it, should not be prosecuted for their actions in so grossly ignoring the social distancing regulations?

And then name and shame them all - along with the club’s committee who agreed to the event - in next week’s edition of your paper?

James Duncan


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ONCE again Arrochar car parking is a disgrace and dangerous.

Parking on the pavements and right up to the bad bend just before the filling station, police seem to be waiting for a death to occur before something is done.

On Sunday, September 20, would you believe it they put yellow lines near the old torpedo range and stopped in places to let the idiots park on the pavements?

Someone in Argyll wants to get a grip of this situation before a tragedy.

James Barry Cullen


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READ MORE: Advertiser View: An insight into the wonderful world of newspaper complaints

I AM writing to say thank you to the kind person who dropped off Millie’s dog collar on our doorstep.

She hadn’t had it long, so we were very pleased to get it back.

Adele Taylor

Redclyffe Gardens, Helensburgh

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RESTAURANT critic Joanna Blythman wrote in your sister news paper, The Herald, recently that the Covid ruling against music in restaurants “is simply a step too far for the hospitality industry”.

To my mind music in a restaurant is a curse. I go to a restaurant (unfortunately somewhat rarely at the moment) not only to have a good meal, but also to be able to have enjoyable conversations with family and friends.

I have had hearing problems for at least the last 50 years and, as far as I am concerned, music in a restaurant is just extra noise which makes it a strain for me to hear what is being said at my table.

Consequently I generally have to ask restaurant staff to turn the music volume down, or preferably just to turn it off completely. I am pleased to say that they generally do turn it down.

When making this request once to the restaurant manager of one of Scotland’s five-star hotels, he replied to me that turning it off might “spoil the enjoyment of the other diners”.

I was so amazed at this suggestion that I could not even reply.

With hindsight I do wonder if anyone has ever surveyed diners to find out whether they actually do enjoy music in restaurants. If so, I should be extremely interested to see the results.

I can understand that music may provide some atmosphere for an empty restaurant but, once (say) a quarter of tables have been filled, why not just turn it off?

Stewart Noble


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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: September 17, 2020

IN this age of data, graphs and charts, words have been introduced to describe trends whether they be static or exponential.

The one which sets my teeth on edge is ‘uptick’. Not in 20 years of teaching did I ever come across a ‘downtick’, not even by the most exasperated of teachers.

A tick invariably goes up. ‘Up’ in this context is an unnecessary prefix. The only other tick whose ‘direction of travel’ differs is that of the insect variety which tends to burrow in. God forbid it should go ‘up’!

Maureen McGarry-O’Hanlon


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IT is acknowledged that given the lack of a vaccine the best way to deal with the Covid crisis is to have a rigorous test-and-trace system.

Unfortunately, the governments in the UK seem incapable of providing such a system. Instead, they seem to prefer to flounder from panic mode to panic mode, introducing more and more confusing and bizarre rules.

A clear, concise strategy to deal with this crisis is urgently needed. Instead of which, all we seem to get is a constant ineffectual make-do and mend approach.

The public have been patient and compliant up to now but their thread of patience is at snapping point and one more seemingly unfair restriction on their freedoms will, I fear, break the thread.

Dave Henderson

Via email

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: September 10, 2020

IT is surely about time that the term epidemic in relation to Covid 19 is replaced with the word endemic.

It seems abundantly clear that this particular virus will be around for a very long time. That being the case why are our politicians behaving like headless chickens?

It seems like the hysteria around Covid-19 will never end. Every day seems to bring a change in policy and a further ramping up of the fear factor.

Now seems like a sensible time for someone to realise that more testing, added with empty beds in the virus wards, can only mean that the numbers infected figures produced during the lockdown’s early stages of were hopeless underestimates.

With thousands unemployed, businesses collapsing and mental health problems soaring, it is time for us to get back to as near normal as we can. The price of fighting this virus is clearly one that we cannot afford to pay any longer.

Colin Green

Via email

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DIABETES Scotland is urging everyone in Helensburgh and Lomond with diabetes to take up the offer of a free flu jab.

People who are eligible for a flu jab should be contacted in the next few weeks with instructions on how to get their vaccine.

Getting the flu jab is the best way to protect yourself against the flu and reduce your risk of needing to go into hospital – which is even more important this year in light of coronavirus.

If you’re living with diabetes, you’re more at risk of getting the flu – and if you catch it, you are more at risk of developing serious complications.

Flu can also make your diabetes harder to manage and cause your blood sugar levels to rise dangerously high.

For more information about diabetes and flu, please visit the Diabetes UK website –

Angela Mitchell

National Director, Diabetes Scotland

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