Letters, Monday, February 7th, 2011

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Dog-mess disgrace at cemetery

I WOULD like to complain about irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs foul graves in Houghton Cemetery. Have they no respect for the dead?

I visited my parents’ grave a few days ago and could not move for dog dirt. I have seen dog owners let their dogs off the lead and just wander over the grass and graves.

What has happened to the cameras which were supposed to be installed in the cemetery?

We were also promised that the gates would be locked. The gates on Hetton Road are locked, but the gates on Old Durham Road are left open. They used to be locked in the past.

Another false promise by Sunderland Council.

The council do nothing to help. I would never vote for them again. As a taxpayer, this is just one of many issues we have with Sunderland Council. There have been many letters sent to the Echo about this matter – but nobody seems to do anything.The silence from the Labour MP for Washington and Houghton is deafening. That person would not get my vote again.

Hard times are ahead but do not expect help from Sunderland Council.

Houghton Cemetery is not the only place irresponsible dog owners let their dogs off the lead. Old Durham Road is another place. The pavements are another dropping place for dog dirt. There are bins provided along the road, which dog owners should use.

People are still using the field as a dogs’ toilet. These playing fields are for football and children play there. Dog dirt can cause blindness and many other diseases. Where are the dog wardens?

From now on if I walk along Old Durham Road and visit my parents’ grave I will take my camera with me and bombard Sunderland Council with photographs of the dog dirt that covers the place.

Irate taxpayer

Double standards

I FULLY agree with Wearsider (“Double Standards of Morality at Sky”, Letters, February 1) that the sacking of Andy Gray for being sexist by an organisation that peddles pornography and demeans women by featuring them as sex objects on the pages of its newspapers shows Murdoch’s empire as having double standards.

I’d go even further and say that News International leads the other national media companies in gross hypocrisy by condemning those who have a brush with the law, while these organisations themselves have been shown to be far from squeaky clean.

For example, they will vilify a stalker, and yet it is becoming apparent that these newspapers themselves are resorting to such invasive activities by hacking phones and, as has been reported in the past, raking through personal dustbins to find information for stories. And while executives will claim they know nothing, it is clear that those running such organisations are paid to have the buck stop with them.

Exposing those within the sex industry might be in the public interest (though I’m not interested), but you can hardly do that and comment upon it while the third page of your publication shows a woman with nothing but a G-string and encourages people to ogle at a pornographic image.

However, I would like to highlight one error within Wearsider’s letter. They state that Murdoch owns “The Sun, Sunday People and News of the World”. This is wrong, as the Sunday People (now called The People) is owned by Mirror Group. Murdoch’s newspapers in the UK are The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and the News of the World.

D. Alanson, Herrington

Flats eyesore

THE Echo 24 flats on the town bridge haven’t been up long and already they are looking run-down, with boarded-up windows.

What an eyesore, coming into Sunderland.

A. Burns, Thorney Close, Sunderland

Weather factor

LOTS of cheap shots have been fired at the Government over the statement (first made by an economic analyst) that the severe winter weather had impacted on the last quarter’s interim growth figures.

A closer look at the sectors involved shows that construction and non-food retail showed negative figures while production and manufacturing grew. A clear indication of the impact on sectors vulnerable to weather.

It is telling that Gordon Brown said in April 2010, and I quote: “We had a terrible month of weather which hindered the transport and communications business in the country. Obviously it has been a difficult few months. But that just shows how fragile the economy is”.

However, we now have Ed Balls, who stood shoulder to shoulder with Brown on wrecking the economy, accusing the Chancellor of “making up excuses about the weather” and blaming the Government’s economic policy for the dip.

In the real world we have the National Institute for Economic and Social Research which announced on February 1 that growth this year will be 1.5 per cent.

Labour hypocrites or chancers?

Bob Francis, Conservative councillor, Fulwell ward