ANOTHER pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament. Another four years of excuses from Nicola Sturgeon for not holding an independence referendum, followed by another year of asking for yet another chance at the next election.

Congratulations to Jackie Baillie on retaining her seat against all the odds – and to the 4,905 tactical Conservative voters in the Dumbarton constituency who prevented an SNP majority.

Commiserations, though, to the 286,588 SNP voters whose votes in Glasgow and the West of Scotland regions were wasted as the SNP had no chance of adding candidates on the regional list (peach) vote. SNP tactical voting in these regions would have increased the number of pro-independence MSPs by six, and reduced the number of Conservative and Labour seats by three each.

Across Scotland the same approach to tactical voting could have increased the majority for independence in the Holyrood chamber from eight to 30.

Finally, thank you to the Conservatives’ Maurice Corry for his years of service to our community as one of our MSPs.

Maurice is a thoroughly decent man whose treatment by his own party was shabby and totally unnecessary. We wish him and his family well for the future.

James Robb


READ MORE: Opinion - 'Welcome back to our business friends and colleagues - we've missed you all'

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MANY thanks for sharing Alan Frew’s splendid photo and your accompanying article about the cherry blossom in West Argyle Street in the Advertiser last week.

Any resident who had not previously enjoyed the spectacle would surely have been greatly impressed at the scale of what we have in West Argyle Street and Colquhoun Street.

Your readers may be interested to know that the work to maintain and enhance the collection of street trees in the town is undertaken by the Helensburgh Tree Conservation Trust.

This charity raises funds to employ a contractor to undertake the planting of new trees. Residents in streets where trees are being planted are frequently generous contributors to the cost of the work and work parties attend to subsequent maintenance.

I would encourage readers of the Advertiser to explore our website – – to find out more about the organisation and about our work.

We intend to go on making sure that Helensburgh is a great town in which to live, work or explore.

A.J. Kerr (board member, Helensburgh Tree Conservation Trust)

West Princes Street, Helensburgh

READ MORE: Opinion - 'If you're holidaying at home please look after our incredible environment'

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I AM writing to express my grateful thanks to, and admiration for, the many hardy souls who queued outside the gates of James Street Community Garden on the morning of Saturday, May 8, waiting for entry to the Helensburgh and Gareloch Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale.

This event is usually held within the sheltered confines of the Victoria Halls. But Covid meant that the only safe place to hold the sale this year was in the open and the community garden was an ideal location.

Despite the weather being unseasonably cold, and with the threat of rain materialising during the course of the morning, the crowd was extremely patient and good-humoured as they waited their turn to get into the garden. Business was brisk and the extensive range of plants proved popular with the buyers.

I would like to record the society’s thanks to the trustees of the James Street Community Garden for allowing us to use their facility, to all the helpers who turned out on a miserable day, to everyone who donated plants, and to all those who supported the event by coming along and buying our plants.

Tom Stewart

Chair, Helensburgh and Gareloch Horticultural Society

READ MORE: Advertiser View - 'Pleasure to see real progress in Hermitage Park project'

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I AM writing in response to Amanda Jordan’s letter (Advertiser Comment, April 29) regarding the cutting down of trees next door to her parents.

To Amanda I would say this: I am “distraught by the lack of understanding and oversight” demonstrated in your letter.

Firstly, we didn’t cause Covid, and so I can’t offer an apology for you not being able to visit your elderly parents for over a year.

Secondly, I can’t also offer an apology for you not having other measures in place to remain in contact with your parents should an unexpected issue arise in such a rural setting – you know, like if the wind damages the telephone poles or, God forbid, should a fire or something occur, such as has been seen in very nearby Rhu recently.

I can, however, offer you a recommendation – buy them a cell phone or tablet with a data plan, and you can use Facetime, Zoom and Microsoft Teams to your heart’s content. You can even buy them pay as you go, so every cent you spend will be saved until utilised.

It’s a great back-up plan and would prevent you having future issues at bedtime should another accident ever occur.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: April 29, 2021

Your sister’s opinion on the “beautiful mature trees” in my garden is nice to hear. Thank you. As she doesn’t live here, however, she obviously hasn’t been privy to them causing damage to her car by falling branches, as many of them were dead.

She also hasn’t been privy to her car being in the garage constantly with blocked sunroof drains due to the barrage of leaves from the unkempt trees falling on it, or to the lack of light in the garden caused by the shade from the trees causing the grass to die and no flowers to grow, or to the fear of being in the grounds at all due to the high potential risk of the aforementioned branches falling on her.

“I can’t think of a more ignorant action to take in these difficult times” than to write to a newspaper about your parents having no phoneline and internet for a couple of days caused by an accident.

The human and environmental repercussions of us pruning our healthy trees, and removing our deceased ones, were indeed taken into account before any work was done. We wanted to reduce the risk of human injury caused by the falling branches, and for the four trees we have worked on, we have planted 21 new ones.

Twenty-one lovely, healthy, new trees are now growing in our “wonderful grounds”, instead of four diseased and nuisance ones. Fifteen of these new trees are fruit trees, which will reduce our carbon footprint further as we won’t need to buy plastic wrapped fruits from the supermarket – or even have to travel to get them.

“I am distraught by the lack of understanding and oversight” of anybody who lives in a rural environment who cannot grasp that accidents happen and that living out here they may not be fixed as quickly as in an urban environment.

READ MORE: Community column - 'Use the power of your words very carefully'

I cannot apologise for the telecommunications company being unable to fix the problem that very day, but I do know they fixed it within 70 hours, and that the work they did to fix it took less than three hours when they did come.

It would have been nice when the accident occurred if your parents had asked if everyone was OK and checked no one was hurt. They didn’t, and instead chose to focus on themselves and how angry they were about their phone line being accidentally brought down by the work being done.

Everyone was OK though. Just thought I would tell you in case you would like to take a minute and think of anyone else other than yourself. Thankfully the only damage done was to the telecommunications.

It’s very sad that one or two of our neighbouring houses are ignoring us completely and refusing to say hello to us in the street.

I am sure you were grateful when, at our own cost, we filled in the potholes three times during the winter and shovelled the snow from your parents’ gate in case they tripped when coming out.

Here’s how this situation could have played out.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: April 22, 2021

Your parents: “Oh no, there’s been an accident, is everyone OK?”

Us: “Yes, thank you, and we’re sorry about the phone lines. Hopefully it’s not too much of an issue for you?”

Your parents: “Actually it is as we want to talk to our daughter who lives overseas.”

Us: “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll give you one of our five 4G internet hubs. I have them round our house so I always have the internet as I work from home. You just plug it in and connect to it like normal wifi. In fact, it’s quicker than the wifi you have, which is why we use the hubs.”

See how this could have been different and your issue averted?

It takes nothing to be kind. Please remember that. And also, before taking the moral high ground in future, you should really do your research. Otherwise, as in this case, you just look like a self-obsessed, thoughtless, uninformed fool.

I wasn’t planning to respond, but I figured it would be appropriate to let other readers understand the bullying, childish, selfish and irrational behaviours of some of the people who live here.

Laura Hay


READ MORE: All the latest Helensburgh and Lomond headlines

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