Letters, December 13, 2012

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Care services are vital for the elderly

OVER the last couple of years, local authorities have had to make tough decisions on how and where to make savings.

 As local authorities begin to consult their communities on their budgets for next year, one thing is clear: cutting back further on the care and support services for older people, disabled people and people with long-term physical and mental health conditions and their families will condemn many more to a miserable, isolated and often unsafe future.

 Care and support services help people with basic tasks such as washing, eating and getting out of the house. These are not nice-to-have extras but vital for the daily life of so many people.

 Many are already struggling under the strain of cuts to care and support services in their area, and have been pushed into financial hardship, isolation and ill health. We, as organisations that support people severely affected by the cuts, are deeply concerned about the anguish caused by lack of social care – we witness the harsh reality every day.

 We as members of the Care and Support Alliance are calling on Durham County Council to find ways to protect frontline care and support services.

 For readers who care about the future of older people, disabled people, people with long-term health conditions, and their carers and families we urge you to let your local authority know that you will not accept any further cuts to these vital services.

Care and Support Alliance supporters

Merit in the waffle

YOU know it makes by blood boil when I listen to interviews with politicians.

 It seem to me they arrive with a mantra of answers, which they trot out regardless of the questions put to them.

 Gordon Brown was, to my mind, the instigator of this method of avoiding ones head showing over the the parapet. In fact, he took things a stage further and kept talking waffle so that fewer questions were asked in the time allotted for the interview.

 I did, in fact, write to John Humphreys about this and he agreed but could not really come up with an answer. Of course, the first principle of not answering questions correctly, is never to begin an answer with the words yes or no.

 However, David Cameron commenting on the media that he would accept, in total, Leveson’s recommendations in full, providing they were not bonkers, makes me reconsider.

 However, much as he would like to withdraw his comment makes me wonder whether the “don’t commit yourself in any circumstances” may have some merit for politicians.

 Notwithstanding all credit to him for appearing “brave” by sticking to his principles on the subject against all comers, and there is plenty of them.

 Incidentally also Lord Leveson cleared the Prime Minister and, Jeremy Hunt of joining Rupert Murdoch’s News International on charges of collusion and I trust all the commentators who had them “banged to rights” will now step forward and retract their accusations and apologise.

 Thoughts of pigs and windows occur to me on that subject.

Allan Wilkinson

Too much derriere

MR Wilkinson grumbles that today’s girls are showing too much derriere (December 4.)

 When I was a girl I used to go to dancing lessons. My dancing career came to a abrupt end when I was 18. I was cast as the “beauteous Princess Zubbediya” in an amateur production of the musical “Kismet,” and had to perform a dance for the Caliph of Bagholad.

 At the dress rehearsal a lady handed me my costume, lots of baubles, bangles and beads, a bikini top, a black thong and harem pants. After the opening night my mum came backstage to congratulate me, then said: “Very nice dear but tomorrow you’d better wear a bikini bottom. Those harem pants are too flimsy and everyone could see your bum.”

 I lost my temper with the wardrobe mistress and walked out of the show. Who knows? I could have been another Darcy Bussell – or maybe not.

Sue Tarleton,

Washington

Boxing party

TED Lynn, chairman of Sunderland and District Ex-Boxers, would like to thank Hetton Amateur Boxing Club (ABC), Lambton Street ABC, Sunderland ABC, The Olympian ABC, Pro Box North East and the East End Boxing Club for inviting the ex-boxers of Sunderland to their shows.

 You and your members are now invited to our Christmas party, which takes place on Sunday in Gatsbys in Sunderland at 7pm. There will be entertainment from Geoff Mullholland, The Singing Boxer, and refreshments.

Andy Parkin,

Secretary of Sunderland Ex-Boxers Association

Looking for Betty

I AM hoping to find Betty Harrison, nee Scott, who was born in Ryhope, then married Mr J Harrison, of New Silksworth. They moved to Castlereagh Street, New Silksworth, later moving to Cavendish Place, New Silksworth. She then moved to Pallion many years ago.

Mrs Adam Wilson,

28 Worthing Avenue,

Gosport,

Hants