Letters, Thursday, April 12th, 2012

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It’s a great life for today’s old folk

THE recent adjustment in pensions has caused a furore. As I understand it the age-related allowance is being frozen until it catches up with the personal allowance – yes it’s all dutch to me too. We are assured no one will lose by this action so we must take it on trust. The top line will eventually reach £140 per week, so not too bad!

Let’s consider the pros for a moment. We pensioners are the “golden generation”, having grown up during and after World War Two. Most of us have iron constitutions thanks to good, plain diets and plenty of fresh air, and no TV or computer to keep us at home.

On leaving school we mostly could pick our jobs, so many were there, and after a short time we joined the company pension scheme. On marriage we bought houses for a pittance, later to make vast profits from selling our “homes and castles”.

Generally working for one or two employers in our career, we retired to generous tax-free lump sums and adequate incomes over and above our government old age pensions. I appreciate everyone was not so lucky, but the queues at our airports of older people forever going on holiday tell the tale.

After age 60 we pay no National Insurance or prescription fees, and we get free bus passes, plus a generous heating allowance every year. On top of all this we get discounts for travel, shopping, visiting places of entertainment and many other items. Now we get a further £5.30 gross per week pension and company pension increased.

Is there another country that treats its pensioners so well? I’ve been abroad a bit and have not seen any evidence.

So let’s have no more moaning from our older folk. Let’s enjoy what we have worked for in the time remaining for us. It’s a great life – go with the flow.

Allan Wilkinson

Hospital stay

I HAVE just spent five months, three weeks in Sunderland Royal Hospital after I’d had a big stroke.

I was placed in D41 Ward, Bay 3, bed B12. This ward was a rehabilitation ward. I had physio and help from all the staff, from domestics to the staff nurses.

I would like to thank them all again through the Letters Page. I thanked all the nursing staff when I left hospital on April 2.

I am at home now and getting help from the physio people in my home.

The people in the North East should be proud of this hospital and its nursing staff. A big thank-you to all.

Allan Cook, Doxford Avenue, Hetton

Road changes

WITH regards to my letter of March 1, I wrote that the council planned a chicane at the Hylton Road end of St Mark’s Road, Millfield.

“Chicane” was the expression used to describe it to me at the residents’ meeting and that is why I used it in my letter. I used the word when talking to Councillor Kay at the same residents’ meeting and he did not correct me at the time.

Anyway, I would like to correct the error by stating that the council plans a narrowing of the road, which will help residents cross from one side to the other. Hopefully, this will slow down traffic coming from the Hylton Road end enough and protect the vulnerable homes and residents.

One of the homes was hit after midnight by a speeding car a few years ago and two other homes have nearly been hit during the day in previous years. Two children were knocked over last year trying to cross St Mark’s Road.

Let’s hope they make the right decision as the lives of the residents at the homes between the council garage and the illegal mosque could well depend on it.

Philip Thompson, Sunderland

Unfair Budget

COUNCILLOR Alan Wright, your beloved party have really turned the screw on 90 per cent of this country.

Dick Osborne Turpin’s steel toecaps laid into the old and he ignored the country on fuel duty. The Tories did not reply if they would be better off thanks to the 50p tax rate reduced, and he bottled it on high earners’ child benefit.

Forty-eight per cent said the Budget was unfair.

According to the IFS, 37million pay income tax at 40 per cent. By 2014 this will have soared by five million. These are people who do not know how to manage on poor pay.

Osborne’s wine bill is probably more than an average person earns in a week. People do not believe this “all in it together” anymore, and the practice of blaming Labour is running a bit thin now.

2015 cannot come quickly enough, but as a Labour supporter I think we need to get “Red Ed” out and either Yvette Cooper or David Miliband to get us into power.

Kevin Stoker, Sunderland

Alzheimer’s Society

REGARDING the “Questions for Society to answer” letter in the LettersPage about the Alzheimer’s Society, I can answer the question about where Sunderland branch’s minibuses are – these are now being used in South Tyneside.

But someone from the Alzheimer’s Society will have to explain why minibuses that were originally bought by the people of Sunderland, and intended to be used solely for the benefit of sufferers from dementia and carers in Sunderland, are now being used to benefit the people of South Tyneside instead.

I can also confirm that the AS is failing to provide copies of Sunderland branch’s final annual accounts, as I requested these months ago and have not even had a reply.

As someone who managed the Sunderland branch’s charity shop, which raised over £50,000 for Sunderland branch, I would have thought that I and all the other shop volunteers have a right to know how (and where) Sunderland branch’s cash reserves have been spent. It is puzzling why the Society is failing to provide these accounts.

Yours readers should also know that since the Society disbanded branches and local committees in 2010, it has been closing or reducing services throughout the country and not just in Sunderland.

As Linda Colling says, there needs to be an independent review of this organisation.

B. Smith, Sunderland

Search Party

I AM looking for my Aunty Violet who lives in Sunderland. She lived at Town End Farm all her married life (Violet Brandt).

I am a niece from Australia. I’m also looking for her children (my cousins).

It would be good hearing from you.

Julie Sharp, Email: sharp1231@excite.com

WOULD the man who phoned me regarding Julia Addison and 176 Canon Cockin Street please get in touch again? I have changed my address and phone number.

Also, would Ian, who has been helping me with Books fashions, also get in touch?

I would also like to trace a Donald Robson, or anyone who knew him. He was married to an Alice Tones and he used to live at 14 Enid Avenue, Fulwell, Sunderland.

If anyone has any information could they please contact me on the number below.

Anthony Atkin, Tel. 0191-649 8471

I AM trying to trace Liam Newton and Keiron Flynn. They are not connected.

Could they or anyone who knows them, contact me by text?

I sadly lost contact with them.

Thanks.

Craig Brown, Tel. 07528 769320