Letters, Friday, March 6, 2015

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Consider carefully before we vote

OVER the last weekend the topic of safe seats was in the news. I don’t believe anyone likes the fact that safe seats are a reality, but, sadly, they are and Sunderland is considered to be a Labour stronghold.

 But why is that the case when, thanks to the Conservative-led Coalition, city unemployment now stands at its lowest levels since 1990 with more than 14,000 full-time jobs having been created here since 2010, £2million is being injected by Central Government into redeveloping our seafront and the A19 has seen £1.8million of development?

 In fact, many people I’ve spoken to also seem to be unaware of things that the Conservative group on the council do to improve this city. For example, the Conservative group was the one pushing hard to see all council workers paid the living wage and was also the only group on the council opposing the closure of the Sunderland Fire Station from the very beginning.

 Moreover, while Sunderland Council is constantly praised for freezing council tax for five years in a row; the simple fact is that without the additional funding being provided by Central Government for councils choosing to freeze council tax, then we almost certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed five years without it rising.

 Please don’t take this article as a means to belittle the Labour Party, instead it is simply to set out why I believe the Conservative Party is right for Sunderland.

 I think that the economic programme followed by this Government has helped us to recover after the financial crash.

 I believe that by continuing down this path we can all benefit from a stronger economy in the long term, which will drive up wages and create even more jobs for people in the city who need them.

 Sunderland is due to benefit from a number of development packages over the next few years, such as the £87.5million deal which will see a new business park being opened and the £600,000 scheme which will allow the Port of Sunderland to reopen its rail connection and expand its operations.

 Further more by working towards a budget surplus we can begin to pay off the billions of pounds of debt that are currently costing our nation more then £50billion a year in interest payments alone.

 This cycle of investment is something we need to see repeated. We need to develop and improve the metro service, which is vital to the region’s long term development, so it stretches down to Ryhope thus bringing easier transport to the largest single area in Sunderland.

 We must also undertake a radical development programme to create new houses in the area and new sources of employment to match.

 As a final thought, I would just like to say that in this election there will be many issues raised both locally and nationally. It is vitally important that we all consider them carefully and support the party which is offering the right policies to help make our city and our country better.

Harry Todd,

Conservative Candidate for Ryhope

Missing point over station closure

FOR some time Mr W Quinn has been quite adept at denying reality when defending the Labour Council.

 In his letter “Foolish Comments” (March 3) he accuses Coun George Howe of making ‘foolish comments insinuating the decision to close the fire stations was a political ploy’.

 Perhaps Mr Quinn should not belittle the efforts of the Fire Brigade Union in its great fight to have Labour’s decision reversed.

 Out of courtesy he should pay regard to the widely reported words of the FBU official who at a public meeting held by Sunderland Against The Cuts said: “We are convinced that certain members of the Fire Authority want to drive through cuts deeper and harder than they need to, so they can say they were forced into it by the Coalition Government. The Fire Service has become a political pawn”.

 He added: “This has become a political issue and they are playing politics with people’s lives.”

  The duplicity of the Labour Council has been exposed and Mr Quinn does not like it.

Alan Wright,

High Barnes

NHS has been neglected by PM

ISN’T it surprising how a letter in the Echo can reach out to an expat friend of mine on the other side of the world in Brisbane, Queensland, and explain the reason why she had not received any news from me for a while.

 It is nice to be missed, I wished it had not been so painful for me, yet the mystery of no post to her was soon explained by the letter printed on February 4.

 This came about because my friend Win Beston, believing something must be wrong as she had not heard from me for a while, asked another friend if he’d seen me and he emailed my letter in the Sunderland Echo to her in Brisbane.

 Consequently, within only 10 days, I received a lovely letter and card from her.

 I would like to thank Bob Gillan for passing on the news. However, Win and her family were shocked that it took seven hours from my fall before finally being seen by A&E staff and are asking what on earth is going on over her? and is the health system in the UK is on its knees?

 My faith, however, was more than restored when finally being in the wonderful and professional nursing care of Tony and his nurses in A&E to the trauma doctors and nurses, and surgeons. They were all exceptional. Thanks should also go to the paramedics, therapists and staff in the plaster room, Ian of the transport crew, who all give essential support, the team of busy porters, the chefs and food trolley troupers, also for all the teas or coffees and the Mrs Mopps, who cannot be dispensed with.

 I feel this will show another picture to our expats everywhere that our dedicated hospital staff are a credit to their chosen profession or duties whatever they be. Meanwhile our PM Mr Cameron sees fit to give billions of our taxes abroad, blindly ignoring the welfare of our own at home. And who deemed it no longer imperative for our sick and injured to have an ambulance immediately and taken direct to A&E, not a drop-in centre, which is what happened to me.

 The problems lie with Mr Cameron whose dire cuts were never in his manifesto, neither were other issues including pension rights that have angered millions of his electorate.

 Where is he now for those whose votes he needed to put him into power?

Irene A. Dalzell,

High Barnes

Wonderful staff at the infirmary

OUR heartfelt thanks go to everyone who helped with my mum’s treatment at Sunderland Eye Infirmary.

 Mum, Annie McGough, saw Ms Sandinha on Thursday morning, then went for an assessment at lunch time (by a wonderful guy, whose name I think was Martyn).

 Blood sugars were high so she was admitted at teatime on Thursday, February 26, and her detached retina was repaired Friday morning and she was discharged Saturday lunchtime on February 28.

 The service we received was fantastic.

 We were kept well informed of everything that was going on and the staff were brilliant.

 Everyone was so kind and helpful to my mum.

 Ms Sandinha is one of the nicest consultants I have ever met.

 She put my mum completely at ease, and we are so grateful for the time she spent fitting us in after she must have received a cancellation.

 Once again thank you very much.

Iris McGough and Annie Alcock,

Sunderland