Letters, Friday, January 17, 2014

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Another nail in the coffin for our city

HERE we go again, more loss of stature, prestige and credibility for Sunderland with the closure of Gill Bridge and Farringdon police stations.

 Why is Vera Baird not holding a consultation process? Could it be that she is going to blame the cuts for the closures, when actually it is her decision to alter the way in which policing is managed.

 Of course, she will play the political card for all it’s worth, but really her plan is to bring the police to the community and dispense with the cost of maintaining main stations.

 Newcastle is building a new police command complex at a cost of £37million and will become Command Centre North. Why should Sunderland not become the South Command Centre instead of being controlled from South Shields?

 Admittedly it’s not the loss of policing, it is just another loss of stature for a city that has no quality city centre, no main police centre and the possibility that the magistrates’ court will also become history.

 One wonders where the next demolitions will take place, indeed, the Luftwaffe planes did less damage to Sunderland during the Second World War.

 Following the cancellation of the iconic bridge and the continuing saga of the Vaux site, other projects have been put on the back burner too, including the refurbishment of the seafront, presently undergoing piecemeal improvements.

 A replacement for the Crowtree Centre is needed with accommodation for Sunderland Indoor Bowling Club, which is still awaiting a replacement venue along with other groups deprived of a meeting place.

 The aspirations of Sunderland on becoming a city in 1992 have yet be realised.

 Why is Sunderland becoming a backwater compared to Newcastle and now even South Shields?

 The answer is simple – 40 years of Labour rule.

Coun George Howe,

Fulwell ward

More red faces

I NEVER did quite understand why the Labour Party opposed the benefit cap being fixed at a maximum of £26,000 per annum, when first proposed and then introduced by the Conservative-led Coalition.

 It is a decision which has saved, and will continue to save the taxpayer, millions of pounds.

 Are we soon due another admission of a major policy error, along the lines of former Home Secretary Jack Straw, who recently admitted that Labour, when in Government, made a “spectacular mistake” by massively under-estimating the anticipated level of Eastern European immigration from 2004?

 Straw admitted Labour got the figures completely wrong and added that there were “lots of red faces, mine included”.

 On welfare policy since 2010 when in opposition and on immigration before that when in power, Labour has been exposed as being both wrong and clueless.

Michael Dixon

Tell your life story

AWARD-winning history documentary company Testimony Films is making a new series for BBC2 which is paying tribute to Britain’s Greatest Generation.

 We want to hear from men and women in their late 80s, 90s and 100s, who have vivid and interesting stories to tell from their past.

 From childhood to war; romance to retirement – this generation has experienced the most radical amount of change within their lifetime than any other.

 Their memories and values are hugely important for educating and inspiring our future generations.

 Do you have interesting tales to tell of childhood in the 1920s and 1930s?

 Did you serve during the Second World War or keep our home fires burning?

 Have you found a new lease of life since retirement?

 Are your children or grandchildren fascinated by your tales of the past?

 If so, we would love to talk to you about your story.

 If you would like to share any of your memories with us, please get in touch with Pete, Emily or Sara on 0117 925 8589 or email: pete.vance@testimonyfilms.com, or write to 12 Great George Street, Bristol BS1 5RH.

Emily Sivyer,

researcher

Not very original

I read a letter in the Echo the other day by the local UKIP representative.

 As I did so, a thought struck me.

 “Hang on ...” I thought, “this isn’t just any old smug rant – this is a rant I’ve read before.”

 And so it proved. A virtually identical letter appeared in the Newcastle Journal last weekend; the only difference being that the Echo had cut a particularly boring paragraph from the middle of the letter.

 So not only was the correspondent not very original, but he had prioritised Newcastle before Sunderland, and had made no attempt at all to tailor his letter to Sunderland issues.

 Why am I not surprised that members of this organisation are avoiding any mention of their rout by Nissan in their summary of the year. You may remember that Nissan roundly condemned UKIP’s attitude to the EU.

 I see little regard for the local workforce displayed in this generic letter.

 I wonder if I’ll see it reprinted in the Northern Echo next?

Meg Crosby,

East Herrington

True gentlemen

I HAD a very bad fall on Tuesday, January 7, while trying to cross Durham Road.

 I recently had surgery and was unable to get up out of the road.

 A taxi driver stopped on the other side of the road and came to my aid.

 There was a No20 bus (to Durham) coming up the road and that driver also stopped.

 Between them they managed to get me back on my feet and out of the path of the traffic.

 The taxi driver then turned his cab round and took me home and wouldn’t take any payment from me.

 He got me right into the house and made sure I was OK.

 I am quite bruised and have a few small abrasions but it could have been a lot worse.

 I really would like to say a sincere thank you’to these gentlemen as that is surely what they are.

Ellen Robinson