Letters, Monday January 28, 2013

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City is failing its service personnel

A FEW weeks ago I read about the work being done for servicemen, veterans and their families by the local armed forces network.

 I decided to see what else was being done in the region by councils and others to find what I can only describe as a disgrace here in Sunderland.

 Councils were asked to sign a localised version of the National Armed Forces Covenant along with other key organisations committing themselves and the city to supporting the welfare of the armed forces community and its veterans.

 Sunderland Council is doing nothing, despite the Leader of the Council, Paul Watson, taking the title of Armed Forces Champion.

 There is nothing being done or planned for the armed forces community even though the council has a moral and legal responsibility to its service personnel and their families.

 Servicemen and women have been ignored by successive governments and now we have our council doing the same. The council signed the covenant along with the NHS, housing companies, The Echo, The Local Partnership, SAFC and the Chamber of Commerce to say that they would support service personnel, veterans and their families.

 They should hang their head in shame. It is yet another example of paying lip service to something in the city and taking no action.

 Other councils in the North East have provided travel concessions, opened veterans centres in their properties, given access to leisure facilities, and even a remembrance garden.

 Not in Sunderland – they are too busy wasting taxpayers’ money on staff psychologists, bottled water, paying union officials and car lease schemes.

John Malloy

Ex-REME

Wrong time

ONCE again it appears that Mrs G Cassidy in her letter of January 19 is determined to have another go at me and my defence of Wearmouth Colliery, a place of work which gave many men in the Sunderland area, and many outlying areas, a job for years.

 If Mr Cassidy left the pit in 1975 she must have known the time I was discussing had nothing to do with her or her husband as the strike, which I was discussing, happened 20 years after her husband had left due to ill-health.

 So why blame Margaret Thatcher for closing down the mines. My husband was also a hard working man until the mine closed in the 1990s and I have the right to defend him and his workmates.

 She is like a dog with a bone, as it appears she has to have the last word.

 By the way, I never said her husband wasn’t hard-working, as to work in the mines you had to work hard. I still cannot understand what her gripe is about.

M Metcalf,

East Herrington

Revamp is all talk

I HAVE written a number of letters over the years, as have many other readers, about the lack of progress by the council to improve the so-called twin resorts of Seaburn and Roker.

 I know there have been some slight improvements, such a wooden litter bins and fancy paving, but not much else!

 I have just been looking back through my copies of Retro which I have been collecting and I came across a headline in the 1980 Retro about Seaburn.

 Sunderland’s seafront was earmarked for a £500,000 facelift, including plans to renovate Seaburn Hall, redesign the funfair, provide a putting green and caravan park and put Seaburn back on the map.

 Evidently most of these great ideas were scuppered by the council being unable to provide the funds or opposed to the ideas.

 More than 30 years later what have we got? There is no funfair, putting green, caravan site, dance hall, boating lake, miniature railway, huts, shops selling candy floss, toffee apples, buckets and spades, postcards etc – need I go on.

J Watt,

Sunderland

I feel conned

I AGREE with reader Mick Smith about the amount of television ads for charities, lions, donkeys, dogs etc, but what caps it all is two young girls who came to my door collecting for Cancer Research.

 I offered them cash but they said no we are not allowed to take cash. I stood back in amazement, so, I said, what do you want. To my amazement they asked for my bank details.

 After they had gone I stood there wondering who had left the gates open at Ryhope.

Les Morrell,

Plains Farm

Out for himself

FANTASTIC speech on Europe by David Cameron, but he should have condensed it to five minutes by being honest.

 He could of started by stating he hasn’t a clue whether it’s right or wrong to stay in Europe.

 He then could have tried a bit more honesty by declaring: “It’s in my interest to be re-elected so I need all those UKIP supporters on my side, even though UKIP has some appalling alliances.”

 What’s important at this moment in time is not Britain, not Europe but me, David Cameron.

Ged Taylor,

Barnes