A LIVE high explosive WW2 mine was found tethered in the Firth of Clyde this week.

It was dealt with by a controlled explosion. According to reports the bomb disposal team based at Faslane are called out on a regular basis to deal with a variety of types of ordnance – some live, some not.

This mine had apparently lain undiscovered in the waters of the Clyde for around 80 years. One wonders how many more there are in our estuaries and around our shores.

We have a number of Royal Navy minesweepers based here in Faslane and it springs to mind that it might be worthwhile to incorporate an exercise to search for any more into their training regime.

I’m not knowledgeable about how these boats operate but I imagine they will have some method of finding metal objects in the water without having to search blindly with wire hawsers.

The last thing we want is for one of these ageing and dangerous things to blow up unexpectedly and do serious damage.

Dougie Blackwood, Helensburgh

READ MORE: Watch Royal Navy experts detonate German WW2 mine in Firth of Clyde

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PLANNING decisions taken within a National Park should be in line with the Sandford Principle.

This is a conception for the management of protected landscapes in the United Kingdom. It states: “Where irreconcilable conflicts exist between conservation and public enjoyment in National Parks, then the conservation interest should take priority.”

Obvious, one might think. Not in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

As reported in the Advertiser, two weeks ago the National Park’s planning and access committee unanimously approved an application from the Hunter Foundation for a ‘Global Leadership Centre’ at Ross Priory, Gartocharn.

The proposal is on a scale that will dwarf Ross Priory; the new building with large plate glass windows will be obtrusive, situated as it is right on the shoreline.

READ MORE: Unanimous backing for Hunter Foundation's Loch Lomond development plans

The internationally designated National Nature Reserve is less than one kilometre from the proposed development.

No environmental impact assessment was deemed necessary after the National Park planners decided they were content with form filling – in my view a defective process.

No site visit took place. The wildlife and environmental survey submitted by the applicant took place with two visits, one in March and one in November restricted to the development site only, implying that flora, fauna and wildlife follow lines on maps.

A letter has gone to the minister for planning at the Scottish Government, Kevin Stewart MSP, to ask that an environmental impact assessment be carried out.

If this were undertaken then other more sustainable options for the global leadership centre would have to be taken into consideration, such as Balloch Castle or Ardlui Outdoor Centre.

Our planners have failed to protect our natural heritage.

Sally Page, Gartocharn

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: December 3, 2020

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DECEMBER 1 this year was a memorable date, marking the release of the vaccine against coronavirus, when humanity celebrates a triumph over death.

But how many people appreciate that on January 22 an even more momentous event will take place - when the world will outlaw nuclear weapons?

Now, if we can just stop trashing the planet, we might have a future after all. We don’t have to burn together. The Gadarene rush to extinction can cease.

It is important to appreciate that this treaty is unique; it is the Charter of the Victim (ie. you and me). This treaty is focused on the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.

Previous agreements arose from discussions among those in the Big Boys club, who saw nuclear weapons as an asset.

This was their Precious; like Gollum, they coveted that which drives men mad.

In spite of Art 6 of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), where the signatories pledged to work towards global disarmament (signed way back in 1968!), nothing was achieved by pious evocation of multilateralism, except that the nuclear powers modernised their arsenals, so that the Doomsday Clock stands closer to midnight than at any time in the past.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: November 26, 2020

We are in this nightmare because we worship power - the power to dominate others. Whether it is the identical clones parading in Pyongyang, or our brave boys marching in London, or the heroes of the Red Army commemorating the defeat of Fascist Germany, it’s all the same. We just love military power.

Established churches only demonstrate their loyalty to their pagan past when they play their classic role of justifying the state to the plebs, showing that the ways of the powerful are the will of God.

So on May 3 last year Westminster Abbey staged a farce by thanking God for 50 years of CASD - continuous at sea deterrence.

The great and the good gave thanks to god that in his loving mercy he has granted us the power to slaughter his children, our brothers and sisters. And Jesus wept.

In 1955 in their Peace Manifesto, Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell wrote: “Remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.”

Now, at the eleventh hour, can we not choose humanity?

Brian Quail, Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: November 19, 2020

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2020 has been hard for everyone, especially for children with cancer and their families.

CLIC Sargent’s Social workers have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic, helping bring light to young cancer patients and their families in their darkest times. And with Christmas coming, they’re working even harder to keep families together, to make sure they don’t have to worry about anything else.

But they need your help. We are asking the public for their support so that we can be there for these families, helping to keep them together this festive season, and beyond.

With the community’s support, donations will help fund CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home service, which provides free accommodation for families near hospitals, so they can be close to their child whilst facing cancer this Christmas.

Your support will also mean CLIC Sargent social workers can be there to provide practical, emotional and financial support.

Please donate today to make sure no family has to face cancer alone, especially this Christmas - www.clicsargent.org.uk/christmas/

As well as donating, there are other ways the community in Helensburgh can support CLIC Sargent’s vital work this Christmas – from visiting the charity’s online shop for Christmas shopping, to becoming a ‘Stamp Champ’ by collecting your used stamps from Christmas cards and other mail for CLIC Sargent. Details can be found on our website – clicsargent.org.uk.

I’d like to say a personal thank you to everyone in the community who has supported CLIC Sargent this year. Your help and generosity means CLIC Sargent can continue to be there for more children and young people from Helensburgh facing cancer.

Carol Jones, CLIC Sargent fund-raising engagement manager (South and West Scotland)

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: November 12, 2020

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EVERY year thousands of children contact Childline about being bullied online and tell us that they feel it is hard to escape from.

Lockdown has intensified these feelings for many and since April we’ve counselled more than 1,500 children and young people across the UK about online bullying.

Children have told us about people sending threatening or abusive messages and being pressured into engaging in sexual conversations. Others have shared that they’ve been excluded from online games by other children, while some spoke of online identities being stolen to embarrass or cause trouble while using their name.

Before lockdown measures were first introduced this year, the average monthly number of counselling session with children about online bullying was 134. Between April and October that value increased by 70 per cent to a monthly average of 228.

Bullying can have a long-term impact on the mental wellbeing of a child and it’s important to ensure that every child knows who they can turn to for support.

If a parent thinks their child is being bullied online, it can be hard to remain calm, but it’s crucial not to overwhelm a child with questions.

Taking their device away is likely to make them feel like whatever has happened is their fault; instead, it’s helpful to listen to their worries, suggest they take some time away from certain apps, and provide them with reassurance.

Adeniyi Alade, Service head of Childline at NSPCC Scotland

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