Letters, Friday, November 1, 2013

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Another big loss for the city centre

ONCE again our Labour council has shown complete disregard for the city centre as we see their policies drive out another successful business.

 This time it is the award-winning Amore Restaurant.

 Having closed the one facility, Crowtree Leisure Centre, which brought thousands of potential customers into the city centre they then closed a very popular and well-used car park to build what is seen as a white elephant.

 Providing facilities that could increase employment is good, but the decision to build there was flawed. The Tavistock car park provided 200 spaces and helped support businesses and facilities in the area.

 When the car park opened in 2006, Phil Barrett, then Sunderland Council’s director of employment and regeneration, said: “The car park was expected to be popular with visitors as it was close to many of the city centre’s top attractions such as the museum, Winter Gardens and Mowbray Park.”

 He was right, it was very well used.

 Then the council chose to close it to build the Software Centre, which they claimed would accommodate 60 companies employing 140 people. Apparently there are about eight people employed there.

 Why did the council not build the Software Centre on the under used Tathem Street car park?

 Or, as suggested elsewhere, why was it not built on part of the Vaux site in an attempt to kickstart development there?

 Is this serial incompetence,or worse still, indifference.

Keith O’Brien,

Middle Herrington

New broom needed

THE Coalition’s successful bill to legalise gay marriage had us all dancing with joy and dripping with gratitude, I’m sure, and its tireless efforts continue to enhance the lives of us all. Having narrowly avoided another Iraq scenario in Syria, more by good luck than management I grant you, our faithful disciples of civil liberties, hell bent on delivering prosperity and good order, pursue a goal even more vital to our existence.

 Of greater import than the hunting with dogs legislation, which was championed by Tony Blair, the present Government is about to ensure that no one will ever again tap Hugh Grant’s telephone.

 Well, with the economy now showing a massive 1.4 per cent growth, what else would the Government do?

 Ignoring the terrifying gravity of these events, we may find the irony amusing, these people are playing politics while they ignore the important issues of the day.

 We have all seen MPs dodging issues and real problems because an honest answer or a particular solution may be too complex, or may expose them to criticism.

 Many of the problems of the last government remain issues today, but are still largely ignored.

 From losing control of the borders and the economy to cheating on expenses and lying about referendums, from escalating energy and rail prices to virtually giving away Royal Mail – our last public utility.

 Labour governments, Conservatives and Lib Dems alike have demonstrated that they are unable or unwilling to provide the lead which this country needs and deserves.

 Surely, UKIP’s new broom would go some way towards sweeping up this mess which passes for our parliament.

Denis Gillon

Pitiful existence

WHO are the real scroungers, I wonder?

 Let’s start with a couple having lunch at Claridges in London for example, who would possibly pay £4,000-plus for a bottle of wine, for one meal.

 Now let us turn to an unemployed worker, who is having a £1.50 bottle of cider.

 I bet a lot of people would want to know where this unemployed person got the £1.50 to pay for the cider.

 Many possibly wondering if he had scrounged it from someone, or did he pay for it out of the “pittance” that is given to the unemployed?

 They will be thinking: “If he can afford cider, he is getting to much money.”

 This is a common thread and as long as capitalism has one worker calling another, it takes their mind off the couple having lunch in Claridges.

 Please don’t make me laugh by saying the wealthy capitalist worked hard to be able to afford a £4,000 bottle of wine.

 Is it hard work that made people wealthy?

 If that were the case, my father would have been a millionmaire. He worked 45 years in a pit, in the bowels of the earth.

 In actual fact, on the day he died, he had about £3.50 on his person.

 Enough said.

Mrs E Colborn

Blue bin mystery

I AM having a problem regarding my blue recycling bin.

 A couple of months ago, the inner part of this bin went missing when it was emptied.

 I emailed and received a new one. The next time it was emptied, I had a scruffy inner bin and found my new one in the bin next door.

 Then, when it was emptied again, it disappeared again. So I emailed and received a new one again. This time I put stickers on with my address.

 Sure enough when it was emptied again it disappeared never to be seen again – even though I looked in all the bins around my street.

 So I received another new one.

 This time I thought I would be clever and tied some washing line to it and then tied it to the inside of the bin with enough length so that it could be placed on the ground. And again it has gone – snapped off.

 What are these binmen doing?

 I have rang and complained and I now have yet another inner bin.

 I have now contacted my local MP to complain about this situation.

 I had this last one about eight weeks before it disappeared.

 All this is costing the taxpayer money. Someone is not doing their job correctly and I am having the inconveince of having to contact the council for a new one.

 What is going on? Is someone collecting these extra inners? Am I the only one having these problems?

Ellen Mustard

Disgraceful toilets

I TRAVELLED from Washington on public transport on October 21 for an afternoon in Sunderland City Centre.

 On the way back to the interchange bus terminal, I found I needed a public toilet, as it is quite a long journey back to Washington Galleries for a senior citizen like myself.

 The public toilet at the interchange is disgusting. Who is responsible? I assume the management. They should be ashamed and I defy them to use the same toilet.

 I do not wish to use a public house or restaurant before I get my bus home to do what is a normal bodily function.

 When I visit again, if needed, I will pop over the road to the civic centre where I’m sure the toilets will be first-class, for cabinet members and staff, as it should be, and also for the travelling public.

Hugh Barry,

Oxclose

Time to be clearer

THE latest outpouring from the fountain of knowledge that is Mr Howe regarding our own Bill of Rights leaves me in a quandary as to which hat he is wearing this time – Tory or UKIP, as he sits astride his two horses.

 I think we should know as one hat disbars vast parts of the population in limbo.

 Please, put one of your hats away and be clearer.

T Thompson