Letters, Monday, August 1st, 2011

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A dog’s life with uncaring owners

WHY do some people own dogs at all?I live in Southwick, and in my local area alone we have to put up with dogs shoved outside, whining, yelping and barking, from 7am. One dog in particular is shoved out all day, being brought back in the house at 11pm.

We have two dogs doors from us that whenever they’re out in the garden are snarling and attacking each other.

We have careless dog owners who open their front door, throw the poor dog out and let it wander the streets, unaware if it is fouling in people’s gardens, scaring young children, badgering anyone who passes it, and lunging at other dogs.

I have also seen a lout regularly walk his dog, with no lead in sight. His dog is a total nuisance and under no control at all. It lunges at passing cyclists, pram wheels and other people.

I even saw it dash across the road and bite some poor, terrified chihuahua at the bus stop with its owners, without so much as a sorry from its owner or any attempt to get the dog under control.

If I see it again attack anyone I will have no qualms in following it (and its irresponsible owner) home and reporting its attacks to the police.

 Why do these careless idiots own dogs in the first place? If you can’t be bothered to care for your dog, to love it and look after its health and well-being, you don’t deserve one at all.

My little dog and I go on three daily walks. I always carry poop bags and always keep my dog on a lead. I regularly worm him and treat him for fleas. He has his vaccinations, is microchipped, neutered, and is well loved – a minimum for giving a dog a loving, caring, responsible home.

D. Gibbs, Southwick

Time for Plan B

IN response to Councillor Oliver’s letter accusing me of scaremongering over the flagging economy, the figures speak for themselves.

Over the past nine months economic growth has slowed down to just 0.2 per cent, compared to the nine months before that in which it was more than two per cent. Because the economy is not growing, government borrowing is – we have borrowed £46billion more than forecast because of this Tory-led Government’s failure to stimulate growth.

When you consider that funding for regional development has been decimated and the income of ordinary families attacked, it is hardly surprising that this is the case.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been reduced to blaming the wrong kind of snow or royal weddings for the failure of his policies to deliver economic growth. His excuses would be comical were it not the fact that having a Chancellor so clearly out of his depth is having a detrimental impact on the vitality of our city and the lives of my constituents.

Rather than blindly parroting party lines, Coun Oliver should be making representations to his colleagues in Downing Street to come up with a Plan B to help cities like Sunderland, because it is clear to everybody that Plan A is hurting, but not working.

Sharon Hodgson MP

Steady driver

PEOPLE are always making fun of my slow and cautious driving, even my grandsons. But I would like to comment on a minority group of would-be-heroes.

I was driving in Albany on my way to get petrol when in front of me rode a learner driver motorcyclist who executed three wheelies even though an aged gentleman was crossing the road at the time.

What’s happened to people, I kept wondering. Don’t they value their lives any more? When I got back home I switched on the television to hear a bereaved mother campaigning for greater caution and safer driving as she had lost her child, which was run over. A bigger shock was to follow when she quoted statistics of fatalities.

Then I read the Echo article about a man who, without licence or insurance, drove at breakneck speed the wrong way down a road and rammed a police car and only received a five-year driving ban. Why not for life? Leopards don’t change their spots!

So, grandchildren, don’t laugh at me when I drive slowly to school. Driving carefully saves fuel, tyres and brakes but most of all could save the most precious think in all the earth – lives.

Jimmy Chambers, Rickleton Village Centre, Washington

Loss of Adelaide

OUR so-called (“We stand for the people of Sunderland”) councillors should hide and hang their heads in shame. The queen of the sea, Adelaide, is going “down under”.

How can those cretins in the civic centre sleep at night, knowing they have allowed one of the city’s greatest treasures to be hijacked under their very noses?

Brian Johnson, Red House, Sunderland