Letters, Saturday, July 27, 2013

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Residents’ requests are being ignored

FOR years the residents of Hetton have expressed their concerns to Sunderland City Council via Hetton Town Council, in person and in writing, regarding the surface and foul water drainage problems at the Grove (residents have sewage and sanitary waste flooding their homes and gardens in wet weather).

 Also their opposition to new homes development in general, and with particular reference to the proposed North Road and land at, and to the East of, the former Broomhill Estate developments until this drainage issue is resolved.

 A desire to see derelict/empty properties demolished/regenerated and brown field sites developed as a priority ahead of any green field development has also been expressed.

 At the State of the Area Event on April 18 this year at the Bethany Centre, to the apparent surprise of the panel, a large proportion of the comments raised related to these concerns, despite many of them being on the Planning and Highways Committee.

 The action points from that State of the Area Event were presented at the June Coalfields Area Committee Meeting and stated planning documents were being developed, residents would be consulted and have the opportunity to give their views and that the Area Committee structures would be promoting this consultation process in June.

 This consultation will not take place now until the autumn, yet Sunderland City Council is attempting to railroad the approval of the North Road Development of nearly 200 homes through the Planning and Highways Committee at the Civic Centre without any regard to this consultation.

 Nick Boles,Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning, said in Parliament a couple of weeks ago, the National Planning Policy Framework says there must be a local conversation between all parties and that there needs to be an intense housing need and if there is not one, there is no responsibility for the Local Authority to grant planning permission.

 Where is this conversation? Where is this intense housing need? Why is Sunderland Council desperate to push this application through before the consultation?

 Where is democracy for Hetton residents?

Kay Rowham

Support for MP’s diabetes campaign

I AM writing to support MP Sharon Hodgson’s campaign regarding the support given to diabetic children in schools. 

 I would like to tell you about my life in school as I have recently been diagnosed with diabetes.

 I am 12, and was diagnosed with type one diabetes on January 11 this year. I have been attending St Anthony’s Catholic Girls’ Academy for one year now and the school has fully supported me throughout my diagnosis. 

 I have been on many extra -curricular trips this year and recently, when I visited Durham Cathedral, I was supported like everyone else.

 I was lucky enough to be part of a team that reached the finals of an engineering competition. 

 The teacher kindly ensured that I was provided with a private room so that I could self-administer my insulin injections.

 I am provided in school with a quiet place called, The Cottage.  This support cottage is a private location in school that I can go to to do my daily injections.

 The school and staff understand when I need to go for my clinical check-ups and they have no problem allowing me time out of school to attend these.

 When I was diagnosed, the school did everything to help me – I even started doing half days until I was able to get back into a normal school routine.  

 Becoming diabetic was a big change to my life, but I have been fully supported by the school, my family and friends. 

 My best friend is also diabetic and we met through a diabetes support clinic.

 I respect that some schools may not always offer the same degree of support as my school but I am proud to say I attend St Anthony’s.  

 I am supporting this campaign and wish that all pupils could have the same support and help that I have received.

Eryn Ogden