This weeks letters page sees residents discuss the issues surrounding litter in Helensburgh and how they are being tackled, as well as further thoughts on a potential seafront supermarket.

To have your say on any topic of local interest just email your views to, with 'Letter' in the subject line, by 12 noon on Monday.

You can also send your views direct to us via the Send Us Your News section of this website.

Please include your name and address. We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be printed.


I was very disappointed to read that Councillor Gemma Penfold is so despondent about the idea of solving Helensburgh’s litter problem, as noted in her Councillor Column in the Advertiser last week.

There are many solutions to the litter problem, which both Helensburgh Community Council and Plastic Free Helensburgh have been working on for the last few years.

If we want to solve problems we need to work collaboratively and take positive community action.

On page 4 of the very same edition there is an excellent article entitled “Tireless community effort sees town secure ‘plastic free’ status”. This article goes on to detail many of the positive steps Plastic Free Helensburgh, Helensburgh Community Council, local businesses and community groups have already taken to try to solve the issue.

Indeed Jackie Baillie praised the Helensburgh community for their efforts as she presented the award at the excellent Vision for Helensburgh initiative. The steering committee of Plastic Free engaged with more than a thousand locals to discuss the issue over the two days.

Plastic Free Helensburgh encourages businesses and community groups to take our pledge to reduce litter and eliminate single use plastics and are are currently informing and supporting local businesses with the forthcoming single use plastic ban.

We collect data on our regular Beach Cleans and litter picks, to identify where the litter – both land and marine – is coming from. There is a Facebook page – Helensburgh Area Litterpickers – where members regularly post their achievements, concerns and challenges.

Plastic Free and the Community Council are currently surveying the litter bins as we did last summer. We need to establish three things: Are they in the right place? Are they in good condition? And are they fit for purpose?

We will provide our findings to Argyll and Bute Council with whom we then hope to work collaboratively to solve problems.

Everyone in the community is encouraged to join in our efforts and the Advertiser has given us great coverage. A number of organisations who have expertise in dealing with litter including Argyll and Bute’s GRAB Trust, Keep Scotland Beautiful and the nationally recognised Surfers Against Sewage have supported us in our endeavours.

This Saturday, March 26, will see the return of the monthly beach cleans organised by the Helensburgh Community Council during the spring and summer months. We meet at Helensburgh Pier at 10am and work until 12 noon. Equipment will be provided please come along and join us, it is amazing what even half an hour achieves.

There is so much we can do. Let’s show that Helensburgh is a community that cares, not one that gives up on difficult problems. Let’s show that it is a community that can do better and that we are determined to become a greener, cleaner, bluer place.

We would welcome some support from our local Argyll and Bute councillors with our efforts. Be assured you will be made very welcome by our regular volunteers, both at beach cleans and when out litter picking.

Local elections are in the not too distant future, so let’s ensure when the time comes we vote for councillors who are prepared to work collaboratively with the community to solve problems and not just give up on them as being too difficult.

Sarah Davies

Helensburgh Community Council and Plastic Free Helensburgh Steering Group


Some enthusiasm for a new supermarket on the seafront prevails in limited quarters.

George Hargan’s letter in last week’s edition of the Advertiser suggested that a new Aldi in Helensburgh would create 40 jobs. Where will the employees come from? We are already short of supermarket workers.

If Aldi and Lidl have stores in Dumbarton and Alexandria  where will the new customers for a Helensburgh store come from? And will their trade affect Helensburgh’s local independent businesses more than exhisting supermarkets?

We have already have had Waitrose and Morrisons come in to “save” the town. Leave the seafront image of the town alone.

John Ashworth

Woodside, Helensburgh


This March I am supporting Mary’s Meals’ lovely Mother’s Day campaign, Mums Make Mary’s Meals. 

These wonderful women volunteer their time so that children can have a good meal and the chance of an education that can lead to a better life.

Just like my mum and others here in the UK, they know the food will nourish their little ones and give them the energy to learn and play.

This Mother’s Day, you can show your love and appreciation to the wonderful women in your life by giving them a gift from Mary’s Meals. The charity has a beautiful range of gift cards and digital gifts, starting from just £15.90, that will feed a child every day for full a school year.

Please visit for more information about the Mums Make Mary’s Meals campaign or to buy a truly special Mother’s Day gift.

Ching He Huang MBE

Celebrity chef and food writer