Letters, Friday, October 18, 2013

Have your say

City of Adelaide should be here

HOW good to read in the paper (October 11) about nominations for the North East England Tourism Awards. How much better it would be to read about the City of Adelaide being included in the list.

 The Australians have done us a great turn in moving the ship from Scotland to Kent. It is, increasingly obviously, by no means certain, that she will get to or be welcomed in Australia. It is a short hop from Kent to Sunderland.

 There is still the very last chance that the ship could come here. The ship, of course, should come here. She could do so much more good here, than anywhere else.

 It needs the active engagement of local politicians with those who have campaigned over the years.

 The Council needs to give wholehearted support, to make it known to all, that they will, for example, assist in Lottery Funding applications, and applications for governmental and European grants for new businesses, job creation and apprenticeship schemes.

 It needs the active engagement of the Tourism and Museum sectors. Those who have, in the past, written the ship off as a heap of old scrap, need to realise at this eleventh-plus hour, that the opportunity exists on a plate, to do something great and lasting for us inhabitants of the city. And that they have a duty to do it.

 Jobs for Sunderland. Pride for Sunderland. Meaning for Sunderland.

Dr David Inglesby,


Response to parking letter

I THANK Mr Arnold for raising the complaint through the Echo following his visits to Byron Place (October 3).

 I am naturally disappointed that, overall, their visit was not a good one as we at Byron Place work very hard to create a welcoming, safe and friendly environment.

 This includes the car park management scheme on the whole of the site. The car park is regularly checked by our staff and CCTV and the 347 parking spaces are well utilized but rarely filled to capacity. The blue badge bays and family bays are regularly checked and on occasions abused.

 We do take action when this happens by issuing tickets and warning drivers.

 My staff, on occasions, have been abused when they do so, however, they still do their job and address the abusing of the blue badge or family bays.

 The most regular excuse given by 40 per cent of the public who misuse the blue badge bays is that the owner has left the badge at home.

 The problem regarding the taxi rank occurs rarely and the system in place has served us well since we opened in 2007.

 I have contacted all the taxi drivers and reminded them of the rules for using the rank at Byron Place. We do our best but cannot have a permanent presence in the car park.

 We have had so many positive comments about the centre, including how clean it is, and about the free car parking but take the comments seriously.

John Brady,

centre manager,

Byron Place Shopping Centre,


Don’t squeeze tax payers too hard

IT is important we all feel the tax system is fair; that those with most income pay most and those with little pay just a small amount.

 The news that, for the current year, the best paid one per cent of workers (earning at least £160,000) will contribute 30 per cent of all income tax suggests the Government has got things about right.

 Interestingly, the share of total income tax contributed by the best paid has been rising in recent years – from 20 per cent in 1997 to 24 per cent in 2010.

 The lowest paid, of course, have benefited most from the increase in the basic tax allowance since the coalition came to power – next year the first £10,000 of income will be totally free of tax.

 Some in the Labour party still want to tax the better off until “the pips squeak”. That is a very foolish approach – there is a point at which tax rates can squeeze taxpayers too hard and act as a disincentive to growth and investment. 45 per cent (if not 40) is a better rate to levy on higher earners than 50 per cent where disincentives are more likely to kick-in.

 How many of us really think it fair we should be expected to pay half or more of our income to Government? Because they do not discourage investment and initiative, lower tax rates can sometimes bring in more revenue. We all benefit from that.

Peter Wood,


Your opportunity to help Arthritis Care

ARTHRITIS Care is committed to providing the best service possible for people living with the effects of Arthritis in all its shapes and forms, their families and carers.

 We have received funding for a new scheme to help people in the way they have asked for. At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, we have set up what appears to be an information table twice a month. It is much more than that.

 Trained volunteers are available to offer help and support to all who ask. They can offer advice, some basic self management tips and can also refer people to other organisations and charities who might best help them. It has been a huge success.

 Now, we have received funding to spread the scheme. We plan to have the same at Sunderland Royal Hospital, with the co-operation of the Rheumatology Department.

 Members of Sunderland branch are preparing to be involved but we need more people. If you are interested in being trained to help out, please contact Marilyn on 0191 420 3875 (email marilyny@arthritiscare.org.uk), Susan on 01772 286 234 (email susann@arthritiscare.org. uk) or Doreen 0191 5201557.

 You can also visit Sunderland branch, which meets on the first Wednesday of the month at the Education Centre of the hospital at 6pm.

 Volunteers will be fully trained and supervised and travel expenses will be paid. It is proposed that the training will take place in Gateshead, the first day to be October 22. Lunch will be provided and again, travel expenses will be paid.

Doreen Chard-Crosby,

chairperson, Sunderland Arthritis Care.

Many thanks for your continued generosity

YET again, for the eighth consecutive month, you have donated well over £3k to the Grace House clown. The actual figure was £3,552. Just amazing!

 In September the clown did collections from Spennymoor in the south to North Shields in the north.

 The long journey down to Asda, Spennymoor was rewarded with a collection of just under £350 on Friday 6, followed by £312 at Asda, Pennywell the next day. The three visits to Pennywell this year have raised a fantastic £1,000.

 Saturday 14, saw the clown at Morrison’s, South Shields, where a heart-warming £435 was given.

 On Thursday 19, £555 was collected at Asda, Metrocentre followed by £551 at Asda, Benton on Friday 20, then £290 at Matalan on Saturday 21. Just under £1,400 in three consecutive days shows just how generous you are.

 Thursday 26 and Friday 27 raised £687 at Tesco, Chester-le-Street, then £170 at the small Sainbury’s at Gilesgate.

 At the end of September the running totals stood at £31,944 so far in 2013, and £78,469 since October 2009. I simply don’t know how to express my gratitude.

 Everything is full steam ahead to get the hospice open. If anyone can help in any way, financially or practically, please ring me on 581 6913 or Grace House on 525 2885.

 For the second year running, Town Centre Citroën has donated a car to raffle, the draw being made at Christmas. If anyone could sell tickets to friends, family or workmates, ring Grace House. Tickets are £1 and someone has to win!

 Thank you for everything and God bless you all.

Jeff Coxon,