Letters, Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

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Let the people decide on EU

THE huge budget of the European Parliament, currently standing at £1.5billion, is beset by abuses.

Audits acquired by a national newspaper indicate the extent of the corruption that has spread throughout the EU, as secret audits have found that there have been significant breaches of the rules by more than 7,000 unelected officials.

It is not just the money, although that in itself is mind boggling, it is the fact that the EU is stifling Britain with thousands of directives that are taking away our sovereign independence.

Take the European Convention of Human Rights. Criminals, terrorists and those who preach hate campaigns against the people of this country are protected by this infamous convention. Some senior British judges are using their interpretations of the Act to allow these enemies to remain here against the interests of the vast majority of the British people.

We now learn that the Prime Minister is going to ignore the overwhelming wish of the British people to hold a referendum to decide whether or not we remain in the rapidly crumbling structure that is the ill-conceived EU. David Cameron and William Hague have conveniently forgotten that they promised a British Bill of Rights and a referendum on the issue of Britain’s continuing membership of the EU.

We now hear a different story. The referendum is a side issue and the economy is of prime importance. This flies in face of the 100,000 people who have petitioned Parliament for their democratic right to be heard and to be given the opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions on whether we remain as a full partner in Europe or we resume being a trading partner as was envisaged at the outset.

The British people have had to put up with the wrangling, the corruption and the dictates of the EU for far too long. They demand that the Government honours its promises to let them decide Britain’s future, and not deliberately delay the decision that future generations will come to regret.

Councillors George Howe, Bob Francis and John Wiper, Fulwell Ward

Appeal thank-you

ON behalf of Dawson (2nd Seaham) Scout Troop and the Seaham Branch of the Royal British Legion, may I thank everyone who attended the charity concert in aid of the 2011 Poppy Appeal which was held in Christ Church, New Seaham.

Particular thanks go to the wonderful and talented musicians of Seaham Music Academy who performed such an excellent, varied and inspiring programme.

Thanks also go the stalwart members of the St John Ambulance Brigade for their attendance, and the Reverend Paul Harrison, the church warden Celia Hunt and the PCC of Christ Church for their hospitality and support.

All 15 raffle prizes, all generously donated, were claimed on the evening, and the grand sum of £337.01 was made towards Seaham’s contribution towards the 2011 Poppy Appeal.

Elizabeth Armes, Scouter and RBL Poppy Appeal Organiser (Seaham)

Home sweet home

FURTHER to my letter “Housing problem” (Letters, July 4) well, I got luckier than most people, and I am sure my letter helped, especially as a housing person wanted a copy of it.

It seems there are many various ways to get oneself up a housing list. I managed to get myself a small bungalow in Washington, near my sons, as I wanted. A week after getting the keys I was offered a house with a Housing Association I was registered with. I applied for 45 properties, viewing about five. I settled for the one I’ve got. I shall retire to this place by November 24.

Luck has held, in as much as I have three sons who decided to decorate for me, saving me much time, while I continue to work. I now realise I should have retired at 65 while I still had a lot of energy and strength. Angina and diabetes take a lot out of one.

Raising one’s family right can pay off. Probably more so if the wife stays put, but that’s life.

J. A. Stott, Wear View, Hunwick, Co Durham

Feast success

PRESIDENT Cliffe Gaines and members of the Rotary Club thank the people of Houghton for their continued magnificent support which produced another highly successful traditional ox-roasting at Houghton Feast and will provide further funds for our regular future community service events for senior citizens, young people, schools and other groups in the town and national and international worthy causes.

The starting queue was, as usual, extremely long and nearly 1,300 sandwiches were sold before we were cleaned out.

Thanks to the Mayor, Coun Norma Wright, for ceremonially cutting the first slice, given to the first young person in the queue.

Again we were indebted to our regular sponsors and suppliers – Pipers Quality Butchers, Edinburgh Bakery, Hetton Scaffolding Co, George Vardy Haulage, Alex Scullion Electricals, Whitefield Chemists and the invaluable help and expertise of the Gentoo gas crew and city administration staff and co-operation of the Showman’s Guild on the fairground and, not least, the voluntary hard work of our members throughout the weekend which all combine to maintain this unique historic event and long may it continue.

Looking forward to serving you all again on Monday October 8, 2012.

Ron Young, Ox-roasting Co-ordinator, Houghton Rotary Club