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LIKE Stewart Noble (Advertiser Comment, October 22), I was sorry to hear that the group working to save Helensburgh pier had given up.

Much more lateral thinking, like his, will be needed if the pier is to realise its potential.

The dredging idea Stewart raises is certainly worth exploring, and a first step would be an engineering analysis of the stone structure, its foundations and underlying geology to see if they would stand up to the removal of material sufficient to allow PS Waverley to come alongside.

READ MORE: Letters: Could dredging be the answer for Helensburgh pier?

Assuming any such study was favourable, however, you still have the problem of how to deal with the mouldering and unsightly timber structure – a task made even more difficult by its recent category A listing.

It goes without saying that considerable sums of money would be required, and without a clear and realistic financial strategy, there is little point in wasting time in hand-wringing exercises.

There is hope, however, and a good place to see it is at the end of the pier itself.

Those of you who are more observant may have noticed recently signs of something growing on the hills behind Greenock.

You can hardly see them, right enough, but what has been sprouting are the support pylons for the Corlick Hill wind farm.

This will soon be producing lots of badly needed renewable energy and making lots of money, some of which is earmarked for communities in Inverclyde.

A few years ago, in its wisdom, Helensburgh Community Council assisted in killing off a similar project on our side of the water, monies from which could have helped to fund a pier resurrection project.

Now might be a good time to revisit the idea, and anyone interested in joining me in such an effort can get my contact details from the Helensburgh Advertiser.

John Urquhart

Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh

READ MORE: End of the road for town's pier restoration project

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STEWART Noble’s letter on Helensburgh pier (Advertiser Comment, October 22) was very interesting, and I was also sorry to learn that the pier cannot be saved.

Some years ago, despite a petition signed by more than 2,200 people from many different walks of life, some £6 million was spent on turning Colquhoun Square into a bleak image of its former self.

Meanwhile the pier and other areas in the town were allowed to fall into disrepair.

Argyll and Bute Council has a lot to answer for.

N.J. Morrison

Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh

READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: October 15, 2020

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I GREW up in Helensburgh and am distressed to learn of the apparent abandonment of plans to refurbish the pierhead.

Having been involved with international cruise ship operations, as well as waterfront development, I can assure you that such an asset would be considered of great benefit to most waterfront communities.

Neil Osborne

New York City

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I HAVE been asked to write to you by the committee and trustees of Helensburgh Winter Festival to clarify the position we have taken in our decision to cancel this year’s festival.

As a committee, having taken the advice of a council environmental health officer, we felt that we could not responsibly organize an event at which we would struggle to contain numbers and ensure social distancing in line with public health recommendations.

We felt that we could not comfortably go ahead with an event which could result in a serious spike in Covid-19 infections.

READ MORE: Helensburgh Winter Festival organisers announce virtual 2020 event

This does not mean that the festival is gone – we will return next year, assuming the virus is no longer a threat – and in the meantime are in the throes of organising an exciting online festival and Christmas market.

We fully understand that town businesses have had a hard time and are facing a difficult festive season and would hope that Argyll and Bute Council will help by actively promoting the town as a great Christmas shopping destination for people coming in small groups over the full season.

However, we stand firm in our belief that it would be wrong to hold any event which would encourage large numbers of people to gather at one time.

Fiona Howard

Secretary, Helensburgh Winter Festival

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ON October 24, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) reached the 50 ratifications needed for entry into force, giving fresh hope for complete global disarmament.

Honduras ratified the treaty one day after Jamaica and Nauru joined the 47 others including Ireland and New Zealand.

In 90 days the TPNW will become binding on all 50 ratifying states. The nuclear armed states, including the UK, are not signatories, but the tide has turned against them.

The TPNW prohibits the developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, assisting other states with these prohibited activities, stationing, deployment or installation of nuclear weapons belonging to other states on a state party’s territory.

READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: October 8, 2020

It moves nuclear arsenals clearly into the category of inhumane, pariah weapons, as has happened with the conventions on chemical weapons and landmines.

A nuclear-weapons-free world is of obvious benefit to the whole planet. There is now a realistic mechanism for achieving it. It is no longer credible to claim that to threaten nuclear annihilation is a rational or moral act of self-defence.

The sooner the nuclear states commit to the TPNW the better the chances are of international cooperation to moderate climate change, stop destroying all living species, address global inequalities and better manage the pandemic.

The UK government should sign up now. If Scotland has to become an independent state before we can sign the treaty then let it be soon.

Lynn Jamieson

Chair, Scottish CND

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EVERY school, every pupil and every parent, is continuing to face challenges as a consequence of Covid-19, with lost time in classrooms and ongoing disruptions to teaching timetables and exams.

But what if we found an alternative approach to inspiring our children that did not rely on conventional textbooks?

What if we could teach our children the resilience to deal with the challenges that inevitably lie ahead through practical learning that draws on the skills and experience of people in this community?

READ MORE: Opinion: A lot to be said in favour of Helensburgh moving to West Dunbartonshire

Young Enterprise Scotland is inspiring young people to learn and succeed through enterprise. Our highly acclaimed and SCQF accredited Company Programme tasks senior phase pupils to set up and run their own companies.

They learn about teamwork, adaptability, good communication and problem solving as they deal with spreadsheets, cash flow and sales channels. What’s more, much of our delivery is carried out by a local volunteer team who develop the key connections with local businesses who provide their support. And it works.

For young people who need to be shown a positive way forward amidst all of the current chaos, I recommend you take a look at our programmes. It’s not too late to register.

Geoff Leask,

CEO Young Enterprise Scotland

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VOLUNTEERS and staff from the NSPCC school service aren’t able to deliver our free Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies in person at the moment, because of restrictions in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

But, so we can continue to work alongside staff in primary schools to help children know what to do and who to speak to if something is worrying or upsetting them, we have launched a virtual programme.

We have teamed up with Ant and Dec to produce a virtual assembly, which can be shown in primary schools across the country.

Our dedicated schools service team across Scotland visited 833 primary schools during the last academic year, delivering our age-appropriate safeguarding sessions to more than 145,000 children in the country before lockdown was introduced.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: October 1, 2020

The assembly, which features our mascot Buddy, helps children understand how to recognise different forms of abuse and identify a trusted adult should they ever have a concern.

Since May, the monthly number of referrals from the NSPCC helpline to agencies in Scotland, because of concerns about the wellbeing of a child, has been more than a third higher than pre-lockdown levels.

The national lockdown left many children trapped indoors in harmful and distressing situations for a number of months, and the main issues the helpline heard about were physical and emotional abuse and neglect.

Ant and Dec are helping us continue to reach children with our assemblies by hosting this new virtual version, addressing additional worries that children are experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is vital that children know what to do and who to speak to if something is happening in their life which is making them feel scared or anxious.

By signing up to the free virtual assemblies with the supporting teaching materials, which are also available in British Sign Language (BSL), primary schools in Helensburgh can help us to protect children.

To sign up visit

Alan Stewart

Schools service manager, NSPCC Scotland

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