Letters, Friday, January 27th, 2012

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Government is using funds wisely

GRACE Cassidy in her letter “Spend money here” (January 20), states that: “Mr Cameron has been giving billions of pounds to Ireland and Turkey”. I’m not sure what has been given to Turkey but the money that went to Ireland was a loan, which was sensible as it helps keep a trading partner afloat.

If Mrs Cassidy is worried about money going to the IMF, well, this is something many countries do to keep a healthy bail-out fund to help countries in trouble. I for one was extremely glad the IMF had plenty of funds when the UK had to go to them cap in hand for a bail-out under a previous incompetent Labour government. Nothing changed there then!

As for robbing cancer patients: this Government has ploughed millions of extra pounds into boosting cancer treatment.The North East has also been given £21million to boost medical research. This is part of the record £800million being invested to fund advances in disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

Sir Leonard Fenwick said this vote of confidence in the region will help generate hundreds of extra jobs. 2,500 extra doctors have been appointed in the NHS under the Conservative-led Government since May 2010.

Mrs Cassidy then expresses concerns about the building of new rail links. Not only will this provide employment for those involved in building the tracks etc, leaders of industry have said that when complete it will create thousands of jobs. Nothing wrong with that, I say.

It’s a wonder Mrs Cassidy does not criticise the millions released by the Conservative-led Government to allow construction of the new Wear Bridge, which will also create thousands of jobs.

Coun Alan Wright, Conservative, St Chad’s Ward

Use the YMCA

RE the story about the closure of Newbottle Community Centre, I, as well as many others, am very sad to hear about the end of a well-loved community centre.

Some of the groups have already been offered alternative sites to hold their activities, but sadly not all have been so lucky, so this just might be the answer. Every night when I am returning from work I see the YMCA at Herrington Burn in darkness and closed for the night.

This is only a stone’s throw from Newbottle. The YMCA has loads of space and equipment to cater for many groups. It’s sad to see this one time hub of the community going to waste.

Terry Fox

City on the slide

IT would be easier to dismiss the latest think tank claims if all it was doing was comparing us to London, or even Cambridge in that Golden triangle of London Cambridge and Oxford, but three of the top five cites aren’t in that triangle. Two are in Scotland, and all apart from London are of a similar size to Sunderland.

Yes, new reports on jobs are welcome for the city, but I bet many of those highly qualified “knowledge workers” in places such as Cambridge are the best and brightest of people from places like Sunderland.

The Vaux site seems to be the key to trying to arrest this continual slide. Sunderland is always scored at the bottom of the pack, but instead of council reserves being used to prime the land with roads and services to attract new companies to Sunderlands city centre (councils now get to keep all new buisness rates) we are seeing the site been grassed over.

Maybe we should ask to borrow Milton Keynes’ famous concrete cows to complete the look when they remove them for a new buisness park to make room for their continual growth.

Shaun Cudworth

Health changes

WHAT welcome news about the proposals for the new dementia unit at the Monkwearmouth Hospital. This £11million project is needed. The Director of Age UK Sunderland has for a long time mentioned this to his Trustees, with the growing aged population in our city.

Engagement is for a whole new model of care for mental health and disability services. At the same time the National Pensioners’ Convention has published an A4 sheet of a dignity code.

In relation to the Clinical Commissioning Group Funding, I believe a meeting will be taking place on February 13 at a venue in the city. While £5million is welcome out of the £100million for patients in the North East, it is known that in London a £7million contract has already been signed for advice/courses on business management for GPs and the Bill via the House of Commons etc. has not been passed yet.

At the Shadow Health Secretary’s visit recently a GP handed out a paper “Keep the NHS public” with a public meeting proposed on Thursday, February 2, at 7pm, St John’s Church, Grainger Street, Newcastle.

Bill Craddock, Donvale Road, Washington

Tiny timetables

I WOULD just like to highlight and ask the question: why do bus stops in Sunderland have the timetable written so small?

In most cases there is a large frame to house a bus timetable but the bus company insists on putting in a reduced-size timetable in that frame.

In poor light, as most bus stops are, especially at night, and with a large number of bus users with poor eyesight, why don’t they fill the frame and use maximum-size timetables?

It is so frustrating reaching a bus stop at night and the timetable is printed so small in a frame that is clearly some sizes too big and it cannot be read – and I do not have impaired vision.

Next time you go for a bus, check it out. It’s bizarre.

Alex Hendry

Poor SoL crowd

ANOTHER very welcome three points gained against Swansea under the greatly improved stewardship of Martin O’Neill and his coaching staff.

However, I was disappointed to see that the crowd was just under 37,000, which was of similar size to when Steve Bruce was the manager, and the supporters generally wanted his exit.

I therefore would like to see the missing thousands return to the Stadium of Light, as the new manager and his more spirited team deserve their full support.

Otherwise Martin O’Neill may wonder what more he can do to achieve regular crowds in excess of 40,000 as Roy Keane’s team in 2007/08 were watched by an average of 43,344 and, dare I say it, the Mags up the road are regularly now watched by 50,000-plus.

Stephen Price, St Helens Way, Coventry

ON behalf of everyone who attended the post-Christmas lunch at the Tansy Centre, South Hylton, on January 12, which was held in recognition of the volunteers to organisations across the West of Sunderland, can we say a huge thank-you to the organisers for a very enjoyable afternoon.

Our special thanks go to Edna Rochester and her dedicated team of volunteers who worked so hard to cook and serve the delicious three-course meal and help with the entertainment.

Fred Chilton, Elizabeth Fincham, Ann Langton, Veggie Park Project, Pennywell Youth Project

ON behalf of Pennywell Community Centre Luncheon Club we would like to say a big thank-you to all the volunteers who have worked so hard to provide our lunches over the past year.

Also the Over-30s Club would like to thank the volunteers who organised the Christmas lunch at the Hastings Hill pub, and also for the surprise gifts which everyone received.

Ron Paul, Hillingdon Grove, Hastings Hill

RE. Mr R. Findlay’s suggestion that the Adelaide quest be shelved and in its place a more realistic and cheaper acquisition be considered, namely a Wear-built SD14. His second stipulation, ie. fit it with a Doxford engine, is pie in the sky.

To my knowledge every Wear-built SD14 was powered by a five-cylinder Sulzer engine.

S. Wake, Carlton Crescent, East Herrington

I WOULD like to thank all the people involved in sending donations to our projects for Christmas.

Vicki, T2

I WOULD like to say a massive thank-you to everyone involved in sending the donations for Christmas. It made our Christmas very special, bringing happiness to us all.

Brittany, T2