Letters, Saturday, December 8

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Campaign helped dispel myths

 This year’s campaign focused on dispelling the myths around who is eligible to adopt and asked people not to rule themselves out, but to “rule yourself in”. The week encouraged people to come forward to become prospective adopters.

 As minister for adoption, I know that we can only deliver our adoption reforms for all the children waiting for a family if enough suitable people come forward.

 It’s clear, however, that still too many of those who are interested in adopting children find the process to be frustrating. So we’ve published scorecards which show how long adoption takes in different parts of the country in an effort to improve performance. We are also reforming the law to make adoption swifter.

 National Adoption Week may be over, but thousands of children are still waiting for a “forever” family.

 I urge anyone who is considering adoption to think about whether there might be room in their life for a child or a sibling group.

 There was in my own family and it has enriched all our lives.

 If you are deliberating over whether adoption is for you, please visit www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk which is available all year round with information and advice.

Edward Timpson,

Children and Families Minister

A Christmas wish

IF there was such thing as a Christmas wish then it would have to be that Mick The Pen would write something positive in the Echo.

 Almost on a weekly basis for years he has written about the most trivial and pointless things. For instance he saw a woman in a stained nightie with a scratch card. He asks why folk on mobility scooters wear a fleece and why do women go to the bingo in trainers. Yes, these people exist but it is in a minority.

 It’s the same in towns and cities all over the UK.

 I can only assume that The Pen does not venture out as much and his stories of cruising the ocean are just tall tales.

 He just spends his time in the Post Office queue ear-wigging gossip.

Mrs J Fairweather,

St Lukes Road

Fogotten heroes

HAVING read your article “Let’s not forget this war hero (November 19), I agree we should remember this hero and others.

 On Sunday, November 11 – Remembrance Sunday, I paid a visit to the cemetery.

 I was sad to see no poppies had been placed on some war graves, why not?

 Have these men been forgotten. If so, why? Can anyone shed some light?

Mrs D Leithes,

Wear View Estate

Generous support

MANY thanks to all who took part in the Remembrance Day service and parade.

 Thank you to the Reverend Robin Brooks for an excellent service, musicians Jimmy Kelly and Irene Worthy, ATC Cadets 211 Squadron, Inspector Carty from Northumberland Police, Councillor Steve Foster and Castletown Scouts and Cubs.

 Thank you also to all the collectors who helped with the Poppy Appeal, the shops, pubs, clubs, schools, factories, offices and Stadium of Light.

 A special thanks to the management and staff of our local Morrisons store where we collected £2,165.

 The generous people of Castletown and surrounding districts helped us raise £9,107.95.

June Nixon,

secretary Royal British legion Women’s Section,

Riverdale,

Castletown

Do it yourself

AS the saying goes if you want something doing, do it yourself.

 For a number of years there has been a sycamore tree in our back garden and it has deteriorated each year for quite a while.

 Over the past 18 months the bark has been continuously dropping off and one can see the tree is completely dead. So wanting to know the right procedure of how to go about either cutting the tree back, or whatever could be done with it, I decided to get in touch with one of the local councillors in Ryhope.

 As they have a surgery on the first Saturday of each month, I decided to visit on July 7.

 The councillor I saw took all the particulars and said he would inquire and have an answer as soon as possible. I waited so long for a reply that I decided to investigate procedures myself.

 I went along to a council-run garden centre and told the chap in charge of my problem.

 He gave me the phone number of the Area Response Officer Arbor, City Services, Sunderland City Council.

 The following day I phoned the officer’s number and was told he would call the next day to see what the problem was.

 True to his word, he arrived and confirmed that the tree was dead, and also took photos of it as proof. He then told me I would receive an authorised letter in the near future.

 On November 5 I received a letter from the officer stating I was free to treat the dead tree as I see fit.

 I appreciate the efficiency of the officer in the swift way he worked in such a short period of time.

 This councillor must realise elections do come around and then they’ll be out canvassing for people’s opinions.

 Don’t bother to knock at my door, as you know what the answer will be.

Mr T Cannon,

Ryhope Village