Letters, Monday, September 5th

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Problems are much closer to home

AFTER reading Councillor George Howe’s letter (Echo, August 24), I would like to point out that the problems behind the recent riots in London and Manchester are nearer home than the Euro zone. His letter just proves how out of touch the politicians and the privileged class are with the problem.

Because we have a cost of living that is out of control, it is becoming more difficult day by day to maintain a reasonable standard of living.

We have a Government made up of the privileged class introducing tuition fees which will put the prospect of a university education out of reach of the less-fortunate students.

When leaving school and going into full-time employment is a thing of the past, we have had the introduction of training programs for school leavers which serve no useful purpose at all, because there is no guarantee of work at the end of the programs.

It is becoming more difficult for the younger members of our society to become home owners.

These under-privileged areas are a breeding ground for criminals. In a recent visit to the riot areas, Prince Charles suggests that unless we address the core problems of these riots, then we will not have achieved anything at all.

Tony Blair as Prime Minister believed we could break down the class barrier, but unfortunately it is becoming wider every day.

While I wouldn’t agree that there was a small element of criminal involvement in the recent riots, I would totally agree with Missy Ewart’s letter (Echo, August 24) that using a fair and consistent sentencing policy and not the Draconian methods of the past when in 1900, miners demonstrating against the use of child labour in the mines and for a shorter working week, along with their families, were evicted from their homes by the rich and powerful mine owners.

In conclusion, may I just say I am not in the least worried about the comments of a half-witted TV presenter that has never done a hard day’s work in his life.

What does worry me a lot is how we break down this class barrier and provide equal opportunity for all our future generations before it is too late.

FW Sheils, Rydal Mount, Fulwell

Is it really a city?

HAVING lived in London for 25 years and moving back four months ago, I’m horrified that we call Sunderland a city, as it’s far from a city. Moreover, it is worse than ever before. It’s a ghost town to say the least.

The council big wigs need their heads banging together. It’s a disgrace to say the least.

Melvyn Robson, Antwerp Road, Farringdon

Hooray for Hendon

I AM writing in respect of the bad press Hendon has recently received by “disgruntled” members of the public and groups supposedly representing the people of Hendon.

As someone who has lived in Hendon for years, I have noticed that in recent months there has been a vast improvement in the area, especially the removal of fly-tipping from the back streets.

I have also noticed fewer boarded-up houses.

Surely this means more people are wanting to live in the area?

I would hope that my fellow neighbours also take the time to write to the Echo about how Hendon is improving as I’m sick of reading about how bad this area is that I am proud to call my home.

Samuel Wiseman, Canon Cockin Street, Hendon

Balance Bridget

Bridget Philipson has used her Echo column to perpetuate the scare stories over crime.

In doing so, she completely ignores the statement put out by the police and Police Authority which said front-line policing will not be affected by budget reductions.

She also ignores the reported 15 per cent reduction in crime in Sunderland.

Does Bridget know more about policing than Chief Constable Sue Sim?

We have had years of Chris Mullin and now Bridget has been let loose.

When will the Echo have a column to balance these anti-Tory lines?

I would be happy to oblige

Dominic McDonough, Sunderland

Accident thanks

I WOULD like to express my gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the people (and lorry driver), on Monday, August 15, who cared for me and assisted with my scooter accident on the A19 until the ambulance arrived.

I suffered multiple fractures to my body, very painful and at the time you people eased it by talking and assuring me I was to be okay.

I’m now out of hospital and on the mend. God bless.

Kevin Martin, North Farm Avenue, Grindon