Letters, Friday, May 30, 2014

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Help is at hand for separating families

FOCUSING on National Family Week (this week), it’s important to remember that one in three families with dependent children are affected by separation.

 Recent polling by Relate, the UK’s leading relationship organisation, found that 58 per cent of separated parents don’t believe in a good separation. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

 We know that getting the right support to handle separation makes a big difference.

 Relate offers practical, online support through its What Next? service (www.relate.org.uk/whatnext), helping separating couples to work through each stage of their separation – like telling the children and managing leaving day.

 Visit the site or contact your local Relate Centre for more information on how Relate can help.

Anjula Mutanda,

Relationship psychologist and Relate ambassador

It’s no to housing

AFTER recently learning of Sunderland Council’s plans to build more than 6,000 new houses in and around my home town of Houghton, I took it upon myself to ask the long suffering town’s folk just how they felt about the idea.

 The response I got was a resounding ‘no, we don’t want any more of our town swallowed up by housing estates. We don’t want any more of our greenfields covered over with bricks and mortar. We don’t appreciate having to wait two weeks or more for a doctor or dentist appointment, or to be told there isn’t a place in the local schools for our children, and more than anything we are sick and tired of feeling like strangers in the place we were born and grew up in. Enough is enough’. Just take a look at how many housing estates have been built over the last 10 years or so, where is it going to end? Houghton people have always been proud, not only of our heritage but also our individuality, something we see being slowly but surely stripped away.

 Something has to be done to retain what we have left. We deserve it.

M McArdle,

Houghton

Bizarre situation

THERE’S going to be a bizarre situation when the Scots vote in their independence referendum in September.

 The second largest ethnic group in Scotland is Polish. They will be allowed to vote but Scots domiciled in England won’t.

 It’s incredible, we have a situation where foreigners could vote to break up the United Kingdom. I don’t know how their minds work, but they certainly don’t have the historical and emotional attachments we have towards the Union. Throughout their history the Poles have had powerful neighbours who have bullied and invaded them, so they might be sympathetic to the SNP cause.

 The most unfortunate thing that happened to the No campaign was the intervention of Messrs Cameron and Osborne. It would have been better if they’d kept quiet. Don’t they know how unpopular they are north of the border?

  As soon as they started threatening the Scots over EU membership, keeping the pound and defence issues, Alex Salmond was able to accuse them of bully-boy tactics.

 It will devastate David Cameron if he is the Prime Minister responsible for the break up of the UK.

Henry Whipple,

Washington

Trust appreciated

I’D like to thank the 784 voters in Millfield and Thornholme who placed their trust in me and the Lib Dem Focus Team at the local elections.

 Given the national backdrop to these elections, I was encouraged by this result, and the warm response from people on the doorstep.

 Although it wasn’t enough to win this time, the result saw the Labour majority in this ward fall to just 91 votes. This makes Millfield one of the most marginal wards in the city.

 Congratulations to the successful Labour candidate, who has the privilege of representing one of the most diverse and interesting wards in the city for the next four years.

 For our part, the local Focus team will keep working for residents across the ward, just as we have for the last 34 years.

Brian Robson,

Millfield and Thornholme Liberal Democrats

The fight goes on

I WOULD like to thank all those residents of Fulwell ward who voted for me and so ensuring that Fulwell remained a Conservative ward.

 I would also like to thank my colleagues for their unstinting help throughout what has been a long, hard haul.

 As for the campaign, I must add that while standing on a corner of Sea Road, I met scores of people, many from outside the ward, who wished me luck for the then seemingly distant day of reckoning.

 Even though people were going about their business, they stopped to have a chat and express their concerns, in particular the state of the city centre, the delays in providing a replacement for the Crowtree Centre and especially the loss of the indoor bowling venue, which had 350 enthusiastic members. They are still waiting for the promised alternative bowling venue that was made to them over a year ago by the council.

 I will campaign for that replacement and continue to fight for the interests of the people of Fulwell and throughout the city.

Coun George Howe

Time to research

ARE Australia and Canada, both democratic countries, classed by anyone as racist?

 Nobody raises this against two fellow Commonwealth countries, and yet both operate a system that UKIP would want to introduce to this country. This is a points based system on immigration to this country as well as stricter borders controls.

 Does Ged Taylor want unfettered immigration to this country to continue? With more than four million coming to this country since 2004 and numbers over 200,000 a year still coming, does he honestly believe that this is sustainable?

 UKIP has opened people’s eyes, and all the major parties now acknowledge the debate has to be had on this thorny subject.

 Of course, it is easy for closed minded people to play the race card as it is simple and doesn’t require any research.

 UKIP has maintained this stance for years and it chimes with a great many people. Under Mr Taylor’s law, this makes 24 per cent of voters in Sunderland, who voted for UKIP, racist.

Bryan G Foster,

UKIP candidate for Ryhope