Letters, Thursday, August 7, 2014

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The council has got it just right

IT’S not often I find myself in agreement with the council as many things over the past 50 years seem to have resulted in a waste of money, but the trees on St Mary’s Way are not one of them.

 It may sound like a lot of money to spend on trees but if the objectors stop to think, if less mature trees had been put in that location how many would have survived.?How much would it then cost to put right?

 I drove down St Mary’s Way the other day and commented on how nice it looked and could imagine how it would look in years to come, driving down a lovely tree-lined avenue.

 What a good impression it will make on visitors.

 I think the powers that be have got it right with the trees.

  I am looking forward to seeing the whole area completed, including the public square.

Jean Bramham,

Town End Farm

Great development

I CANNOT remember when the local Tory opposition had a good word for the effort made by the council to improve the city.

 It was no surprise, therefore, when councillor Peter Wood made what appears to be a politically-motivated, nit-picking exercise, on the price of the trees.

 Councillor Woods’ Tory party is often referred to as “knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing”.

 This comment went through my mind when the councillor said: “They are expensive trees – £180,000 is a substantial sum”.

 Yes, on substantial. However, they are only expensive if you don’t get value for money.

 The only measure of value in this case is the life expectancy of the trees.

 The planting preparation and their maturity means these trees should last for centuries, according to Councillor Speding.

 Lets just take the 58 trees and divide those 68 by the total of days in a century.

 Whoops! It seems the council has got really good value for the tax payers’ money by purchasing the trees on the cheap. Instead of brick bats, the council should receive compliments for a really first-class development which will ensure, that for generations to come, the population of Sunderland will stroll down the St Mary Boulevard with its horticultural beauty delighting their senses.

W Quinn

Aspiring to better

I WAS interested to read in the argument surrounding the trees in the city centre (July 31).

 It seems the council cannot win and is condemned whatever it does. The new square is an ongoing project and will benefit from being done properly.

 When works like this are carried out there will be expenses and the £180,000 cost of these trees, which are beautiful, is not ridiculous in the context of an £11.8million budget.

 In these times of austerity, value for money is paramount but this does not mean we have to settle for a less than satisfactory result.

 We must, if we wish to be taken seriously as a city, have our showpieces, and this will be one of those.

 It is a statement that we do aspire to the better things in life.

 I think in this case the trees will add something special to our city centre which cannot be measured in terms of strictly cash, albeit a very small amount of cash for a feature which will last for the foreseeable future.

Margaret Beck,

Fulwell Labour Group

Not good value

WE cannot afford to build a new leisure centre. We cannot afford to bring back the illuminations. We cannot afford to fix the roads or cut the grass in Backhouse Park, but we can buy new trees for the new square.

 The council should have used this money on Park Lane bus and Metro station.

 And why weren’t the cinema, bowling alley and restaurants built in Holmeside?

 The council has certainly had the time and money to do something good for the city.

 Look at what Seaham has achieved. What a transformation. It’s now got good housing, new shops, bars and restaurants and everyone worked together to buy Tommy, the 1101 artwork.

 What does our seafront have? For all the millions spent there, it still has little to attract anyone there – no fair, no lesuire facilities nothing.

 But the most amazing fact of all is closing a fire station to save money and then spending £180k importing a few trees.

D Swann

Seats are needed

SO the city council has spent £180,000 on trees for the controversial boulevard.

 I wonder if the council is going to put any seats or bins on the boulevard.

 If it is, perhaps it might be able to negotiate a few extra with the supplier and put them in Hetton Lyons Country Park, which has hardly any of either!

Kay Rowham,

Easington Lane

Absolute disgrace

SO it is true then, money does grow on trees, or so Sunderland Council seems to think.

 One hundred and eighty thousand pounds spent on importing 58 trees from Holland.

 What rare, exotic trees are they I hear you ask?

 Well, actually, they are cherry, maple and lime trees, which I believe are easily grown and ready available here in England.

 For a Labour-run council, which is forever criticizing the Tory Party over its savage cuts in Government, it is absolutely disgraceful to spend tax payers’ money in this way. The council ought to be ashamed of itself.

M Mcardle,

Houghton

Far too expensive

WHILE I think the trees look attractive, I strongly disagree with the cost of them.

 Especially given that the fire station is threatened with closure, libraries have closed and the leisure centre has been demolished.

 In my opinion, the money would have been better spent keeping the former two open and building a new leisure centre.

Mary Mitchell,

Southwick

Unbelievable sum

CAN you believe it, £180,000 spent on trees from Holland, which have been planted at the boulevard in St Mary’s Way at a cost of £11.8million.

 I bet it is not as good as our boulevard between Edward Street and Fairy Street in Hetton.

 Our trees must have come from Hetton Bogs at the cost of nothing.

Allan Bruce,

Hetton

Change road signs

IT appears that when the council decided to get rid of the leisure centre it forgot about the road signs.

 Someone needs to block leisure centre out or provide new road signs.

 I would hate for any unsuspecting visitors or students to follow the signs, just to find that the city no longer has a leisure centre.

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