Letters, Thursday, December 1st, 2011

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Waste transfer station plan

IN answer to Coun Alan Wright’s letter “Debate over waste transfer station” (Letters, November 26),

as one of the 69 objectors, first of all let’s get this bit right from the start: As objectors we were not given the right to have a debate because we had only one day’s notice, not the three days required to speak. So we have to have this debate via the Echo.

I speak from the Long Streets Action Group joint objection (also had to be carried out individually as they don’t accept a group objection). I could probably fill this page in debating some of these issues, but I doubt the Echo would let us.

Coun Wright wrote: “We accepted advice that there were no grounds to turn down the application”. Firstly, why take this advice? I/we would have expected all the supplied documentation would have been studied before the actual meeting to which you are elected to make decisions. This could have actually led to some vital questions being made at the meeting.

This suggests to me that the members had not looked at/studied the planning application (we have and did) or the objectors’ statements with their advice given free. These, our facts, were supplied to Sita before the actual application was submitted to the council pointing, out some of the worries you admit too.

This objection was then transferred to council as the full application was now made. When the application is filed all the correspondence is available for all to see. It seems that the members just rely on the 32-page summary of the application. Our objection actually gave you a plan B of an alternative site (South Docks). This could have changed the vote if an alternative plan was given.

Coun Wright asked: “Was this site picked because it was already in council ownership?” We had already pointed out the railway lines and even if the operation was operated from the South Docks (also in council ownership) even transfer by sea to Teesside could have been considered. Even less traffic through Hendon.

Eddy Moore, LSAG

Parade apology

RE the Remembrance Day parade at Seaham on November 13, may I, on behalf of the Seaham Branch Royal British Legion, say how sorry we are for the way that parade turned out.

At 10.30am I was asked to go down to the Cenotaph as the generator was not working. When I got to the Terrace Green I was told that the PA system was not there. This was unusual as the company we use have never let us down. Sgt Jim Peel of Seaham Police tried his best to get a replacement but was not successful. We have since learned that the gentleman bringing the PA system was involved in a road traffic accident on his way to Seaham.

 On a happier note, may I take this opportunity to thank all who took part in the parade and the wonderful turnout of the general public, the best I have seen for a long time, not only from Seaham, we had visitors from Washington, Peterlee, Murton and even Sunderland.

One comment was that it was disrespectful of the fallen. We feel this was not the case. It was a good service by the clergy and the youngsters from the cadets. The only thing was it was not heard by the public at large.

I would like to assure one and all that the branch will endeavour to correct the mistakes that occurred on the Remembrance Parade and would like to add that all future events will be held with dignity and esteem to all individuals present, respecting their current position held in the community.

Derek Blond, Secretary, Seaham Branch, Royal British Legion

Just not funny

THE Echo has an excellent record in campaigning against domestic violence and highlighting the work of Wearside Women In Need

I was disappointed that on November 25 you published a Horace and Doris cartoon where Doris is taking a baseball bat in her hand to use on her husband.

Come on, you can’t have it both ways. If domestic violence is such a serious matter, you can’t depict wives as battle-axes with frying pans or baseball bats in their hands. It’s not a subject for humour.

J. Ridler, Hylton Road, Sunderland

Appeal thanks

LILY and myself would like to thank our families and friends for the kind donations we received (although there is a recession), for the Samaritans Shoe Box Appeal. This year we managed to donate 120 boxes.

These boxes go to countries a lot poorer than we are in England. I’m sure that children that receive them will be overjoyed and have a smile on their faces as a Shoe Box could be the entire Christmas gift for them.

Thanks to the Echo for promoting this appeal.

Vera Robson and Lily Wilkinson, Elstob Farm, Sunderland

Letter shock

MY wife received notification from the Inland Revenue at Newcastle with a demand for almost £400 in underpaid tax. As she is in receipt of only her Government pension plus a small superannuation pension plus Attendance Allowance (non taxable), she was not only mystified but very upset at where she would find this money.

I made three attempts that day to contact the Inland Revenue, but after being put on hold by a machine for 30 minutes each time I gave up. I tried again the following day, determined to hold for as long as it took, and eventually got to speak to a human voice.

After a number of security checks we were eventually told that no money was due or owed. Apparently, the office that deals with my wife’s superannuation, Tyne and Wear County Superannuation Fund, had duplicated their information to the Revenue, resulting in demands for money being sent out.

I know of two other instances where this has happened and I was informed that the Revenue Department knew of this but because of the numbers involved did not send out cancellation notices but left it for people to telephone, thus saving them money and having to admit making a mistake.

My wife is in very poor health and having suffered two strokes is of a very nervous disposition. This letter from the Revenue department caused great distress and anxiety and they were prepared to let an old person suffer rather than double-check their figures.

Again no apology from them.

WB, Houghton

WE decided to have a look at the memorial wall next to the Cenotaph. I was really surprised and impressed. It is a history lesson from the Second World War to the present day.

The families who thought and planned this and raised money must be special people. It also shows the kindness of the North East people. I am sure the wall will be visited by people near and far.

Well done, everyone.

A. Patterson, Selkirk Square, Sunderland

COULD the local buses put the bus pass machine up to date? My concessionary pass has not worked for the past 10 months on North East transport and I have had hassle from various drivers.

I have checked out my pass, it is perfect (by Nexus in Park Lane). Please spare me more embarrassment and up date your machines to take these passes. They are Countryside Senior Passes.

Mrs Cook, St Annes, Lancashire

WERE you at the Pullman Lodge on November 19, at my granddaughter Linzi’s wedding? Someone lost a watch and we found it. If you can describe it then it’s yours. Call me on 0191 569 7452.

V. Eastick, Ford Estate, Sunderland

TO the young man in the white van who stopped and gave me a lift after my car broke down (Friday, November 18) on the slip-road leaving the A19 for Murton, give yourself a pat on the back, mate. It’s nice to know there are still some good decent people about.

B. Docherty, Gladstone Street, Roker, Sunderland