Letters, Friday, July 13th, 2012

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Town council must give people a voice

SINCE February 20 this year I have asked Hetton Town Council, in person at the council meetings and in writing via the town clerk, if members of the council would be kind enough to consider, in situations where members of the public attending are concerned about a specific item on the agenda, that Standing Order 52 be invoked to enable full discussion and sharing of information between members of the council and public when the agenda item comes up for discussion.

The council claimed this was the same as Standing Order 50 (standard maximum 15-minute slot for the public, no matter how many or how few attend), but I felt their interpretation was debatable and asked the town council to obtain clarification from its governing body.

My requests were ignored and, when I persisted, were responded to in an obfuscatory manner with the added excuse that Hetton Town Council’s standing orders are in the process of being reviewed “as they are on a regular basis”.

Unless there has been a review during the last 12 months, when I last obtained a copy of Hetton Town Council’s standing orders the last “regular review” was March 2007.

This review is being formally presented at the next town council meeting on July 16.

If Standing Order 52 is removed, then I feel this might be interpreted as an admission that the town council is afraid to seek clarification from its governing body as it does not want the residents in Hetton to have a proper voice at the town council’s meeting.

Come on, Hetton Town Council – you wouldn’t want your electorate to think that, would you?

Kay Rowham, Lyons Avenue, Easington Lane

Parking spaces

OUTSIDE Sainsbury’s supermarket in Fulwell, Sunderland, are four designated parking spaces, two for Blue Badge drivers and two for mothers and toddlers.

These spaces are abused on a daily basis and no one seems to know who is responsible for the actual car park itself.

Following inquiries, neither Sainsbury’s nor the council own the land and neither did they know who does.

As there are limited spaces in the car park itself, the disabled and mothers have to park far away, causing great difficulty if you are severely disabled or have to juggle shopping with young children.

The question needs to be asked: why designate parking spaces in the first place if no one is responsible for their usage?

M. Bennet, Fulwell, Sunderland

Bus travel policy

TO the driver of the No. 3 bus from Farringdon to Hylton Castle at 6.40pm on Saturday, May 16: Is it common policy for you to tell a 13-year-old that if the bus changes in town for another route they have to get off the bus?

They had paid their fare but had no more money on them. So, this is regarding my grandson, who had to walk to from town to my house.

He was absolutely shattered, with shock and fear of what could have happened to him on the way.

Surely there’s a safety issue with travel regarding children and vulnerable adults in place? You need a good lesson in manners and safety issues.

Hope you learn before this happens again to an innocent child.

Mrs Maureen Pattison, Sunderland

Service thanks

I WOULD like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who attended on Sunday, July 8, at Seaham Memorial Service.

We have tried for a long time to get results, and now things are becoming reality.

I must thank my dear friend Dave McKenna for the work he has done for the project. I also thank the band of the Fusiliers – their presence was fabulous.

They go to Afghanistan shortly. My thoughts are with them all.

I have to thank Shona and Craig, of the Mill Inn, Seaham, for the entertainment that was on for all.

I would also thank the sun for shining!

Thank you, everyone.

Paul Garrett, Melrose Crescent, Seaham

Save regiments

AS a member of the Duke of Wellington Association, I thought the article on the Army cuts was very valid.

The Green Howards, with a history of 11 Victoria Cross holders, are being disbanded. With all the conflicts going on in the world today, only the cost is being considered, not tradition, pride and heritage.

Why can’t some regiments merge, as has already happened, and so be saved?

One simple decision would be not to replace Trident submarines. They are so dangerous that they cannot ever be used.

Bill Craddock, Veteran