Letters, Friday, July 20th, 2012

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Have your say

Not just our city that is struggling

MOST of Mick The Pen’s letters I take with a pinch of salt. They can be quite humorous. However, in his recent letter in the Echo (July 14), he has a right to have a go at the state of our city. I do agree there is vast room for improvement and money needs to be spent in developments in a lot of areas.

Unfortunately, the council alone do not have the millions required to do this. This has to come from the private sector, and right now they are reluctant to do this. They want to hang on to their millions until there is a much better economical climate in the country. Or to put it another way, these money men are waiting until we, the taxpayers, have finished bailing out the mess the banks got us into.

This town, it was then a town, got two sweeteners from the government of the day when they shut down our two major industries. We got city status and the Nissan car plant. I just wonder how many men went directly from the local coal mines or the shipyards to work in the car industry.

If Mick would like to take a stroll around some other industrial towns and city centres in this country he just might notice they are in much the same state as Sunderland.

Get into your “Jag” Mick and take a look at what is happening elsewhere. Take off the shades – there is a big wide world out there.

A. Kelly, Tunstall Vale, Sunderland

Rangers fans

I AM replying to the letter from Frank Seely (July 14). I totally disagree with his comment about Glasgow Rangers and their fans.

I remember Gary Bennett’s testimonial game in 1993 with Rangers, and everything was fine. Yes, Mr Seely, you might have had the odd couple calling you, but the Rangers fans are very well behaved where Sunderland are concerned.

I have supported Sunderland since 1957. The worst experience I have ever known was Celtic in the summer friendly in 1965. I was 15 years old then. The older supporters will remember this game, and Celtic fans – trouble on every corner, police, fights everywhere, windows and bottles smashed, hundreds of arrests, nearly all Celtic.

I also must point out that Jim Baxter was a great player. He was 10 years ahead of his time, and not rubbish as Mr Seely suggested. Also it was our chairman Tom Cowie who sold Ally McCoist on the cheap – it wasn’t Ranger’s fault. If Sunderland held out they would have got a lot more.

So I wish Glasgow Rangers the best of luck for the future years and Ally McCoist who still loves Sunderland.

Bobby Smith, West View, Ryhope

Error over transfer

HAVING spent the past 15 years regularly travelling to Scotland to watch their league football, I was interested to read the differences of opinion between Scott Andrews (Letters, July 17) and an earlier correspondent, Frank Seely, over Rangers Football Club.

Both made some valid points. However, Scott Andrews did suggest to Frank Seely “to get his facts straight” on a few issues. That may or may not have been true, but Scott Andrews himself did not get his facts correct with reference to Ally McCoist’s transfer from Sunderland to Rangers, when he stated: “It was your chairman who could see he could make a fast buck by selling him back to us.”

McCoist was not sold back to Rangers at all, because he was bought by Sunderland from the Perth team St Johnstone.

Michael Dixon, Sunderland

Wrong response

HOW typical of this Labour council, when they can’t admit when they’ve got something wrong.

The Echo headline reported “a red flag for beach”. EA test results on samples showed three breaches of the maximum level of intestinal enterococci, often found in human waste, and water at Roker was contaminated by unacceptable levels of harmful bacteria, as well as showing excessive levels of the E-coli bacteria.

So how irresponsible of Councillor John Kelly, cabinet member for public health, instead of telling people to avoid swimming in the water, he unbelievably plays down the health risk by saying – and I quote the Echo’s report – “However, the bathing water quality of all our beaches remains fine to swim or paddle in.”

I wonder, would he be prepared, or would he let his children swim in the sea, to prove that’s the case?

Mr G. Potts

Pub thank-you

THE management and staff of Chaplins would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who supported Rob Smithson’s fund-raising event in aid of the MS Society.

It was lovely to see local businesses such as Marcellos, Nandos, Tulip and Wearside Golf Club, to name but a few, getting behind such a worthy cause. £647 was raised on the night.

Thank you again.

Deb Jones, Chaplins, Stockton Road

Bus travel blues

I HAD the misfortune to have to put my car into a bodywork shop as a result of scratches made by other car owners who can’t negotiate parking bays at supermarkets.

I had the great idea of dropping the car off and getting the bus to South Shields for the day. After having a look around the market I went for the obligatory fish and chips and, nicely satisfied, went for the bus back along the seafront.

It came eventually and I stepped aboard. All seats were full and about 20 people were standing in the first 15 feet of bus, with 10 people to get on and the platform next to the driver packed to suffocation. No one would move down the bus, but being six feet tall and getting stressed at the stupidity, I decided to go through the lot of them to 10 feet of lovely free space at the back.

A lollipop lady said: “There’s no seats at the back” and I told her all I wanted was somewhere to get my feet on the floor, being 17 and a half stone and taking up a lot of air space. As I went past her a little fella took umbrage at my feet on his and my belly knocking his hat off.

Eventually I got a square foot and relaxed a bit, then people started to get up at the back to get off. With a bit of squirming about, doing steps you would use in the ballroom, they got past and created a bit of space, and all those whom I trampled on my way through came down aft. If they had done so before me there would have been no bother.

Why don’t people just use their brain and think? So much for my good idea at the start. Boy was I pleased to get my wheels back.

I think I am a 73-year-old spoiled brat. I think it will be a while before I have any more good ideas that includes going without my wheels and putting myself at the mercy of the bus-travelling personnel.

A. E. Steel, Phoenix Road, Sunderland

Empty shops

SOMETIMES when I get a chance to go into the town to do a bit of shopping, it always makes me sad to see the empty shops.

Some of them relocated to the MetroCentre at Gateshead or to Newcastle. Why is this?

I would like to see Sunderland for a change being on top of the ladder, number one in everything.

I think Sunderland deserves the best and that’s what Sunderland wants – no more empty shops. This is what I think is best for the city of Sunderland, what I think we deserve.

Edwin Robinson, Zetland Square, Sunderland

Forms of greed

I CONSIDER myself well and truly chastened by Mr Scott’s letter about greed. Chastened but not convinced.

Fred the shred or Northern Rock are no longer newsworthy villains. Entire rain forests have been sacrificed in the ventilation of their sins.

My point is that various forms of greed are appearing everywhere and even where we would least expect it to.

Despite it being common knowledge that our nation is well nigh bankrupt – it is currently borrowing £1 of every £4 it spends – the elected government’s attempts to cut public spending, meets the same response from every quarter: “Not me. I don’t intend to contribute to the shortfall”.

Let’s face it: any influential group can argue a case why they will not pay, and if that’s not greed “God didn’t make little green apples and it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summertime”.

Of course so-called fat cats should pay, but if you put all their ridiculous bonuses together it would barely scratch the surface of our problem.

Denis Gillon, Sunderland

Shameful action

I THINK it’s disgusting that a soldier is being discharged from the Army 85 days before he has 25 years and will not be given a penny for the service he has given willingly for his country.

That is the thanks he gets for putting his life on the line from this Government.

Mrs Mary Metcalfe, Warwick Drive, East Herrington

Put Britain first

IT makes me very angry that despite all these cuts we all have to take, Britain still gives billions to overseas aid. Why must we give to countries which at this moment are actually richer than we are?

Come on, Cameron, I voted for you to turn our country around. Let’s look after our own country first.

David Rogers, Byron Street, Monkwearmouth

Give cheap parking

I WROTE in about six months ago about the state of the Vaux site and I suggested then that they could make it into a car park.

Well, I see they are getting on with it now.

I also said they could give people that work in The Bridges a cheaper rate, maybe £2 a day. My grandson works in one of the shops in The Bridges and he cannot afford to pay £9 a day to park his car. That is what they charge in the city centre.

They don’t get a big wage working in a shop. My grandson has to park his car at a friend’s house at Trimdon Street beside B&Q.

He cannot afford the charges, so come on councillors, get off your backsides and get something done about it. You will have your nice little car park at the civic centre free of charge.

Mr G. Ellis, Gleneagles Road, Grindon, Sunderland

Scrap the Gala

IT’S about time the Durham Miners’ Gala was stopped, one obvious reason being there are no miners left in the North East now.

It’s just an expensive nostalgia trip for some and an excuse for binge drinking for others.

Also, grown men who go in dressed in miners’ clobber are an embarrassment.

Most of the banners are now being made by schoolkids and are just jazz-band banners.

So let’s keep the streets of Durham clear for shoppers and visitors to the cathedral and castle.

John “The Pun” Watson, Pensher View, Washington