Letters, Monday, May 23rd, 2011

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Look back at first year of Coalition

THE Coalition Government’s first anniversary produced a good year for the millionaire and a bad one for the nation and its workers.

The bankers continue to award themselves massive bonuses with impunity, and Cameron fills the pockets of happy-faced company bosses by outsourcing large amounts of public sector work to them.

Meanwhile the Chancellor is spreading misery into ordinary households by cutting public spending too deep and too fast, in the name of his so-called economic policy which has left the UK economy to lag behind the likes of Germany, France and even the sick man of Europe, Greece.

Osborne’s incompetence means growth under him remains a mere illusion. Labour left an economy growing out of the recession at 1.8 per cent. Over the last six months the British economy has not grown at all and remains stagnant.

The signs for the immediate future are not too rosy. Experts say the data is going to worsen in the second and third quarters of the year, and into the next as the austerity measures hit home. Inflation is twice the supposed target. Even the Governor of the Bank of England has lowered the bank’s own interest rate for growth.

The Chancellor should be honest and admit his policies are not working. Does he not realise that by withdrawing billions of pounds of public spending and his unethical assault on the poor, it now seems to be less about saving the economy and more of a right-wing ideological attack on the working-class standard of living?

It’s obvious now that Cameron doesn’t want to heal Britain’s broken leg, he wants to amputate it.

W. Quinn, Duke Street, Sunderland

History fair

IT is a well-known fact that Durham County Council has staffing problems with cuts/savings in many departments, so for the first time for many years this month’s biggest history fair Yesterday Belongs To You, was held in the Locomotion Railway Museum at Shildon.

With plenty of space, some taken up by Sunderland history groups, an old London double-decker bus was used by Southwick Local History Group under the capable hands of their chairman.

On the whole there were fewer stands and fewer members of the public attending. It was possibly not as convenient as Durham County Hall by public transport.

It is hoped that Sunderland’s history fair in June 2012 will, providing circumstances permit, will be bigger and better all round. The city organiser, Alastair Yule, will be doing his utmost as a volunteer, a past expert.

Bill Craddock, Bowes Railway, Donwell Road, Washington

Missing the point

IN reply to Alex Scullion’s letter (May 14), “Let’s just fill in the quarry and forget about it”, I’m afraid he misses the whole point of our campaign to have it closed.

The use of the quarry as a toxic dump not only endangers the health and the living standards of those of us alive today, but also affects the future of our children, grandchildren and many generations after.

If you are only thinking of your own wellbeing, Alex, then fine, but personally, along with thousands of others, we are well aware that we don’t own this environment but are merely custodians and it is our duty to future generations to preserve and, if possible, enhance what we ourselves have inherited.

I would also like to point out that the claim that the “one spear” the Independents have (i.e. the quarry) has been blunted is totally untrue. On the contrary, it has been finely honed to sharpness by the many thousands of residents who voted for the Independents. The town of Houghton comprises two wards, Copt Hill and Houghton, and combined they had a majority of 268 votes.

To repeat Alex Scullion’s own words, “the electorate in Houghton saw sense in the recent election and did not succumb to the empty claims made by the Independents”. Yes, Alex, they most certainly did see sense and voted accordingly. Don’t ever again question the intelligence of our electorate. They are far more astute than you give them credit for.

Finally, as to the scare tactics to which you allude, the only people I find who are scared of the Independents are the councillors who are afraid of losing their seats. As a committed Independent I can promise you, the reader, and all of the electorate in Copt Hill and Houghton and elsewhere, if you so choose, nothing but the truth, an unstinting work ethic and the backing of the Independent group and their back-up team which I am proud to represent.

“Houghton at Heart”, J. R. Ritchie, Cellar Hill Close, Newbottle

Thanks for help

I WOULD like to thank the people involved who helped my mum and brought her home after her fall in Fulwell Road on May 17.

It is nice to know there are people who do care and to let you know she is okay.

Thank you again.

A. Neal, Fulwell, Sunderland