Letters, Saturday, October 6th, 2012

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Public services should buy British

WITH reference to the article regarding the ambulance service being jubilant about acquiring new Mercedes vehicles, I am dismayed how it now seems the norm in this country to buy from abroad rather than this country. I’m sure if every effort was made, adequate ambulances could have been purchased from a British company, thus creating jobs and safeguarding skills.

It seems prestige is now part of the buying criteria for those in our public services, as we also see essential services and some of our top politicians using German vehicles against those produced in this country.

I wonder if those in charge ever question why we have high unemployment, poorly paid unskilled jobs and thousands of young school leavers who will join the current multitude on Job Seeker’s allowance with the prospect of spending their time confined to a bedroom to play computer games etc.

The main hope for this country is to mimic Germany etc, and start manufacturing our own needs and provide skilled jobs with good wages. A way forward would be for those in well-paid jobs in our services to start resourcing our needs at home instead of abroad and creating employment and wealth for our competitors.

I have a relative who lives in Germany and her German husband is astounded at the way the UK exports jobs. He offers this an example: British police forces mostly use a mixture of Vovlo, BMW, Merceds and Skoda vehicles for their motorway fleets. In Germany this is not allowed. Whenever possible all levels of government spending offers preference to German manufacturers, keeping any jobs within the country, which in turn generates income.

Bill Burdon, Rosedale Avenue, South Bents, Sunderland

Such generosity

YET again it is time to express my deepest gratitude to you all for donating about £2,400 to Grace House via that clown who collects for them. That is amazing in only four weeks, from September 1-29.

This began with nearly £311 at Matalan in Pallion, followed by £410 at Sainsbury’s in The Galleries on Friday the 7th, then £210 at Asda, Ryhope, the following day. On Saturday the 15th you gave £406 at Sainsbury’s, Gilesgate, followed by about £300 at Sainsbury’s, Fulwell, on Friday the 21st. At Morrison’s, South Shields, you gave £306 on Saturday the 22nd, and finally, on Saturday the 29nd, a really heart-warming £473 was donated at Tesco’s in Newton Aycliffe. A lady at Newton Aycliffe classes herself as a clown spotter, as she reckons she has met me in at least six venues.

On Thursday, September 13, I was privileged and humbled to receive the People’s Choice award at the Newcastle Building Society’s Cornerstone of the Community awards. I accepted the award on behalf of all the volunteers the Grace House, but mainly on behalf of all you kind members of the public. Along with the award I was presented with a cheque for £200, which I gave to Grace House on behalf of you all. Thank you for your continuing support. I still have 22 collections in 2012, so if you see me please say hello – and be generous!

Jeff Coxon, Lawnside, Seaham

Taming the flood

THE changing world climate problems we have with serious flooding no doubt is worsened as each year goes by. Billions paid out for insurance, thousands of hearts broken.

Having spent some of my army years in tropical climate countries, I noted they combat torrential rainfall in a far different yet adequate way. They had huge channels which they called monsoon drains. However, what really fascinated and gave inspiration was the story of the legend of the Yellow River in China. The Yellow River used to overflow, killing thousands of people every year. China hired its top engineer to solve the problem, who was duly executed because his dams and walls failed.

His son took over this huge responsibility, taking a completely different approach which was to divert the river in several places by employing thousands of people to excavate huge channels. The heart-warming part of this story is: he used tribes which had been at war with one another. All became united and peace was achieved as the Yellow River was tamed by working together.

Sorry, I just cannot remember the name of this great genius and his great father, but nevertheless a true story.

China to this day is united and still runs the river on its journey to the sea.

Jimmy Chambers, Durham Avenue, Donwell, Washington

Charity’s thanks

JANICE and Dorothy would like to thank everyone who supported (in any way) the Macmillan Biggest Coffee morning at Old Penshaw Village Hall on September 26. With their help we raised £540, which is a tremendous amount for the charity.

Janice Howes, Westcott Terrace, Old Penshaw