Letters, Friday, June 22nd, 2012

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Have your say

Parks are there for everyone to use

IF we were to believe a number of Echo letter writers, dog walkers, the older generation and the disabled are the only people who are allowed to use public parks. What nonsense!

Kathleen Shipley and Jack Grant believe that because they regularly use Herrington Country Park, it’s there for their exclusive use. How arrogant a view is that?

How many of the people who attended the Family Festival at the weekend are regular users too? And does it matter? Kathleen Shipley says she was under the impression it was a public park. It is and it was filled with ... the public!

Does she and Jack believe those who don’t have time to visit the park on a daily basis because they work have no right being there? If that were the case, the council would surely be able to charge admission for the exclusive access of those who have the time to visit regularly.

I accept that it was a shame it rained and left the place a quagmire, but that’s one thing you can’t the council for. You can point the finger at many of their lacklustre attempts of public entertainment, but the rain is something they couldn’t help.

I think it showed what a great community spirit there is that so many people decided the weather wasn’t going to stop them going to the park. I was one of them, and I can’t remember swathes of the park being cut off from the public. Yes, the usual road system and parking may have been suspended but it was for a one-off event.

As for the wildlife – the clue is in the title. The swans, ducks etc are wild and find food. In fact feeding them bread is one of the worst things you can do!  

If the moaning minnies – who complain about everything we do here in Sunderland, from the concerts to the airshow – and Nimbies had their way, the city would do nothing for its residents who deserve something back for their taxpaying. And we’d fall further into the shadow of the Newcastle/Gateshead neighbours, where they appear to enjoy seeing crowds of people enjoying the amenities given to them. With such views, is it any wonder we struggle to attract more big events?

Next time the park is used, I suggest that if someone wants to enjoy a quiet park, they use one of the many others we have around the city. Or pay to go to a National Trust garden if they’re that concerned.

Darren Alanson, Town End Farm, Sunderland

Change the record

IS it possible that one day Linda Colling might write about something other than religion, problem families and the state of our city?

Last Friday we had the same old rant. She derided the Government’s plans to help problem families as being doomed to failure without giving any real reason. It’s not enough to say “it will be money down the drain”. Is the Government just supposed to ignore the problems?

Linda then announced that “committed Christian” Sir Peter Vardy is the answer with his army of church volunteers inspired by the Christian principle of love and helping the poor, hungry and homeless. I didn’t realise Christianity had a monopoly on this. Perhaps Sir Peter is trying to balance out some of the misery caused by religion over the last few thousand years. We know you are a Christian, Linda, so give it a rest for a while.

Next comes the ridiculous suggestion that the leader of the council should not be “talking up the city” but publicising some of the problems we face. How are we expected to revive the area if we do not emphasise the positives? It would be like the Echo telling people about its bad points in order to boost circulation. Not very sensible, Linda.

Finally she berates Michael Gray for his vanity in having a hair transplant and showing it on the internet, calling it gruesome. If it was that horrible, why not turn it off? Where is the cut-off line when it comes to vanity? A new outfit? A new pair of shoes? A new hairstyle? Michael Gray can obviously afford his new hair, so what’s the problem?

Jim “The Pencil” Ewart, Ashbrooke

Falklands debate

WHAT the Argentinian President does not tell her nation is that her husband had an agreement with the Falklands before he died to 50 per cent of oil and minerals found there and tore it up as he didn’t want it. This means she hasn’t a leg to stand on.

Mrs Mary Metcalf, Warwick Drive, East Herrington

Courthouse idea

REGARDING the latest headline about the new “Magistrates Square” proposal: How about saving some money on the new courthouse by converting the soon to be empty HMRC building with the ... I’ll use it ... “iconic” High Street Baths entrance?

Surely it is only a matter of a hole in the wall from the present magistrates’ court.

In these days of austerity, every penny counts.

Tom Potts