Letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: September 10, 2020

TO have your say on any topic of local interest, just email your opinions to [email protected] 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 We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.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! * * * * * * * * * * * * LATE this spring, Argyll and Bute Council provided our residential block of flats with a grey bin for glass recycling.

We were grateful to be able to do our part towards recycling. When the bin was full, we contacted the council to request a collection and we were told it would be once per month. June and July passed by during which correspondence with the council reminded them of our full glass bin.

The council, on the last phone call, stated they were restarting glass collections and didn't see our group of flats in the list. Odd, the council collects the green and blue bins and the food collection has even restarted. Even more disturbing was recent correspondence by the council which stated the matter had been resolved.

Translation: no action taken, but as a token, we have sent out another 2020 bin collection schedule, which oddly enough does not include grey bin collections at all. A cross-reference shows residential neighbourhoods in Helensburgh having grey bin collections for 2020. Mull and Tiree also have an announcement of the resumption of their glass collections on the Argyll and Bute Council website.

The council's unmarked utility truck has since arrived. Even better, as you will see it collects waste, and you will also see it drives off with our council supplied grey bin. Incidentally, waste loads should be covered and secured when driving on public roadways.

I wonder if it will re-appear. Or if not, since there is a discrepancy in residential collections of recycling waste materials, will we see a reduction in the invoice that comes to our door once a month with the council's hands cupped, demanding payments for services not supplied or managed effectively? Stephen Sheskey

Cardross READ MORE: Helensburgh bucks Argyll and Bute recycling trend with less landfill waste * * * * * * * * * * * *

I AM writing in response to Marion Brown's letter last week (Advertiser Comment, September 3)regarding sabotage techniques. A civilised society is supposed to move forward and be guided by enlightenment. The problem with enlightenment is that it doesn't serve to maintain the status quo, so what better way to keep things as they are than by resorting to age-old tactics that ensure the money keeps rolling in and the patients (or 'lab rats') know no better?

These tactics are used from the highest level of government all the way down to GPs, whose job it is to follow the 'guidelines', label the 'illness' and not address what's really going on. On the issue of suicide, often people assume it is a selfish, unnecessary and unexplainable act. It is none of these.

Many factors contribute, but it is predominantly that a person's internal environment - that dictates largely they see the world - has been made hostile, and has not only lost its chemical stability, but is in a state of unrelenting torture. This leaves no peace, stability or connectedness and so stopping the pain is the only way to escape it. Prescription drugs - especially antidepressants and other mind-altering drugs - contain nasty stuff that the body is not equipped to deal with.

Indeed, sabotage is alive and well - unlike the victims who have been harmed by mind-altering drugs and who are being endlessly ignored, patronised, sidelined and 'labelled'. Ann Kelly Rosneath (Petitioner group PE01651)

READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser : September 3, 2020 * * * * * * * * * * * * LESS than a month ago, our area's MSP, Jackie Baillie, was spreading ludicrous conspiracy theories about the enhanced lockdown in Aberdeen.

She called it a "classic diversionary tactic", referring to the issues surrounding the SQA and exam results - effectively accusing the First Minister of locking down an entire city just to avoid a news article. Even her own party members were appalled at this irresponsible nonsense. And yet now, three weeks later, she gives her total support for the new restrictions in place for West Dunbartonshire, saying "I cannot stress enough the importance of following absolutely all guidance that has been set".

I believe, as one of the people hoping to be chosen as the SNP's candidate for the Dumbarton constituency in next May's Scottish Parliament election, that these are laudable words, but are lacking in any sincerity. All this shows is once again Ms Baillie will do and say anything for perceived political advantage. Whilst Ms Baillie is busy tweeting conspiracies, or engaging in some of her own against her leader, the constituency is in the grips of the pandemic, with more confirmed cases showing we are far from out of the woods.

And beyond Covid, as she plots against friends or makes declarations about the SNP, our constituency has no advocate for issues like the public toilets being closed in Kilcreggan, no-one to speak up for us to get something done about the snarl-ups at Milton every time the A82 floods, or push for more services at the Vale of Leven Hospital. Yet come the election, or whenever it's politically convenient, no doubt we shall hear Ms Baillie once again shouting to "Save the Vale". If she is to be believed, it is regularly needing saved.

Perhaps it is her that it needs saved from? The Vale is a key local healthcare asset which I would encourage more people to use. Shouldn't we have an MSP talking it up and asking for more services, not merely using it as a political life-raft every time the polls return more bad news for Labour?

If I am fortunate enough to be selected as the SNP candidate for this constituency, and to win the election in May, I will work tirelessly and fearlessly for the needs of our communities - and never take their votes for granted. Math Campbell-Sturgess Rosneath

READ MORE: Two in fight to be SNP's candidate in Helensburgh at Holyrood election * * * * * * * * * * * * ON Saturday the community council had a most successful beach clean after the many months of lockdown.

We were supported by colleagues from Rotary, a representative team from Morrisons, our new supermarket, and 20-30 volunteers from the community. We are deeply appreciative of the volunteer spirit and effort that everyone displayed in the work they carried out. Once again we were supported by a skip provided by Amenity Services, Argyll and Bute Council and the heavy lifting was carried out by our longstanding supporter, David Howie of Drumfork Farm and his trusty tractor.

A very successful and practical communal project; our sincere thanks to all concerned. Norman Muir Convener, Helensburgh Community Council

* * * * * * * * * * * * THE blatant disregard of the UK of commitments already made by it in negotiations on a future trade deal with the EU has broken new ground, even for this government. Months were spent in negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement and the Northern Ireland protocol, preventing a hard border within the island of Ireland and providing assurances in the areas of citizens' rights and Britain's financial obligations.

The Withdrawal Agreement is not optional, but a treaty which was ratified by the current British Government, and which it is now seeking to undermine through publishing legislation that will attempt to override it. To think that the government is prepared to shirk its responsibilities to two international agreements to satisfy rabid Brexiteer concerns is deeply troubling but not unexpected. With the stakes upped and as we hurtle towards a potential no-deal Brexit, it will be the UK and the businesses and citizens already adversely impacted that will be affected most.

The UK must abide by what it has agreed to do, to stand by the Withdrawal Agreement it negotiated, indeed renegotiated, and protect the interests of those in the UK. Should it fail to do this and we end up with a no-deal Brexit, the British people will only have the UK Government to blame. Alex Orr (via email)

READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser : August 27, 2020 * * * * * * * * * * * * AS a volunteer for the NSPCC's Childline service I have seen first-hand how lockdown has impacted a generation of children.

Combined with the closure of schools and the lack of contact with their usual support networks, many already vulnerable children have been placed at increased risk of mental health difficulties. Since lockdown began, Childline has delivered more than 2,600 counselling sessions to children in Scotland for support with mental and emotional health issues, including suicidal thoughts and feelings. It is vital that children know we are still here for them and that Childline can continue to provide a vital lifeline for them.

This is why I am appealing to your readers to remember us in their will this Remember a Charity Week (September 7-13). Leaving a legacy can have an incredible impact - the amount we receive through legacies is the equivalent of the cost of running our schools' Speak Out Stay Safe programme and Childline combined for a year. As we move from crisis to recovery, we need your help to continue to support children during this challenging, ever-changing situation and beyond.

To find out how you can help please call 020 7825 2505 or visit nspcc.org.uk/guardian. Kat McMahon Childline volunteer, NSPCC Scotland

* * * * * * * * * * * * HEART disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lung disease and diabetes are responsible for around two thirds of all deaths in Scotland - around 39,000 every year - and are among the world's biggest killers. And yet sadly deaths from these conditions are often preventable.

The burden of these diseases on families and on our society cannot be underestimated. This week, as a global campaign takes place raising awareness of the impact of these non-communicable diseases (NCDs), we have come together - representing ten of Scotland's leading health charities - to call for action. We believe many of these deaths and lost healthy years of life are preventable through addressing modifiable and societal risk factors.

Official statistics estimate that each year around 14,000 deaths in Scotland could be prevented through public health interventions. As a collective, we have set out a series of priorities to tackle three of the biggest risk factors that affect people today - tobacco use, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets - to improve the health of everyone in Scotland. Evidence shows the environment around us heavily influences whether we smoke, the amount of alcohol we drink and what we eat.

The visibility of products on our high streets and the way they are marketed all contribute to Scotland having one of the lowest healthy life expectancies in Western Europe. This is particularly true in our most deprived communities where levels of smoking, harmful alcohol use and overweight and obesity are often at their highest. Research shows us that this is in part due to the higher presence of outlets in these areas selling alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy food and drink.

We must act now to ensure that the healthy choice is an easy choice for everyone in Scotland. Covid-19 has also provided a wake-up call on these issues. We are becoming aware of possible links between smoking, alcohol intake and obesity on the severity of Covid-19 infections, highlighting the need to take action now more than ever as we continue to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scotland has been a pioneer in public health. It was the first country in the UK to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces and the first in the world to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol. In this week of awareness, we are calling on all political parties to place the prevention of Scotland's biggest killers as a priority and to give a strong commitment, ahead of next year's Scottish Parliamentary elections, to work with us to create a step change in the health of the nation.

Alison Douglas, chief executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland; Shelia Duffy, chief executive, ASH Scotland; Lorraine Tulloch, programme lead, Obesity Action Scotland; Lindsay Paterson, interim director, SHAAP; Joseph Carter, head of the devolved nations, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation; Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive, British Heart Foundation; Michelle Mitchell OBE, chief executive, Cancer Research UK; Andrea Cail, Scotland director, Stroke Association; Angela Mitchell, national director, Diabetes Scotland

For more news, views and local opinions click here

You may also like...