Letters, Friday, May 18th, 2012

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Human cost of plans for Remploy

REGARDING Remploy factories – 36 factories compulsorily closed – the remaining 18 factories are all under serious threat.

My disabled son works at Sunderland Remploy. Until approximately two years ago they were working 24 hours a day, shift work. Much new machinery has been put in and they have nearly always been a viable factory. Unfortunately, with the uncertainty of Remploy’s future they have been undercut and lost orders.

In July 2012 the Government is withdrawing all support and funding from the 18 remaining Remploy factories.

One Remploy worker to be made compulsorily redundant, not from Sunderland, has committed suicide.

How any government can take away a disabled person’s feeling of worth and self-respect because they are working is beyond understanding.

The Government has said it costs £25,000 a year for every disabled person. I do not know what this entails as they get approximately half this amount in wages. It has been estimated that if each taxpayer contributed £1 a year every Remploy could be kept open.

What will be the cost to the NHS because of a decline in mental health, medical depression etc? My son is 53, and it breaks my heart to see him so worried and depressed about his job. Petitions and a trip to the Houses of Parliament have been to no avail.

The Government continues to ride roughshod, determined to close all Remploys.

Three cheers for Marks and Spencer, which gives Remploy Sunderland work making its packaging.

Mrs M. Giles, Trevarren Drive, Ryhope

Leave her alone

IN response to Scott Andrew’s letter, let’s get the facts right about Councillor Florence Anderson.

Fact, the Facebook page she “liked” to regarding Mrs Thatcher was over two years ago. It was dug up by a recently running council candidate for the opposition.

Has Mr Andrews never agreed or ticked “like” to something he agrees with?

The reason the Labour Party has, as he puts it, not said anything is because it was deemed that it didn’t infringe Labour Party rules and an investigation was carried out and Florence was exonerated.

My personal views are I totally agree with the Facebook page, as Margaret Thatcher ruined this country, as the current Prime Minister is also doing.

So again Mr Andrews, Florence Anderson is a lovely woman and if you took time to meet her instead of judging her by what you read you would totally change your opinion.

Kevin Stoker, Labour Party member, Sunderland

Human sameness

YESTERDAY was International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Homophobia is fear of gay men and lesbians. Biphobia is fear of bisexuals. Transphobia is fear of people who are transgender.

While some people like to emphasise human difference, I prefer to speak up for human sameness.

We are all members of the human family. We are all animals and we are all closely related to monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas and apes.

Our sameness far outweighs our difference.

John Watson, Granville Street, Sunderland

Bowls club plea

REFERENCE the two articles in the Echo of April 9: “Houghton Residents growing own garden produce” and “Bowled over” in which a couple were delighted at joining North Biddick Bowling Club.

These two articles have prompted me to write this letter.

I am a member of Grindon Mill Bowling Club, and as the club is not council owned we are responsible for all the maintenance, e.g. cutting and tending of the green and its beautiful floral surrounds.

Unfortunately, the two members who have tended the green and its surrounds for the past 15 years or so are having to give it up at the end of the season and unless someone is found to take on these tasks, the club may well have to fold, after being a member of the Sunderland and District BA and serving the local community for the past 79 years.

We also have in the grounds, an allotment, which we can offer to anyone, for their own use and pleasure, in return for keeping the bowls green – cutting, feeding etc – and surrounds in good order. Training is available as well as sole use of the allotment area. We can also offer free membership of the club and also all the necessary equipment, feeds and expenses.

If anyone is interested and feels fit enough to do the job and would enjoy being in a little corner of heaven to potter at their leisure, than ring our secretary Gordon on 551 7578 or Jack on 5653870.

J. Price