Letters, Thursday, July 18, 2013

Have your say

Embarrassed over state of beaches

ON more than one occasion, Councillor John Kelly has stated that: “The council is considering how the management and operation of the seafront can be maintained and improved upon to benefit residents and visitors to the area. We are considering a number of improvements to the ways which we provide information and other services to residents and visitors.”

 Lately, the beaches, at Roker and the Cat and Dogs, have been strewn with litter which remains until the sea washes it away and the dog mess and litter bins have been full to overflowing.

 In the past, the beaches have been pristine with staff working all day to litter pick.

 I do not blame the men, or man on many occasions, who work very hard but, with such a greatly reduced staff and with no seasonal workers, they are fighting an impossible battle.

 The council is certainly not maintaining the previous high standards of cleanliness of the beaches and promenades, let alone improving upon them.  

 The lifeguards and traders have been removing litter from their immediate vicinity.

 Who wants to sit on the beach among cans, bottles, polystyrene containers and dirty nappies, or next to a dog bin which is overflowing, smelling to high heaven and only emptied three days a week?

 I walk along Roker seafront every day and am embarrassed when visitors comment on the state of the beaches and upset at its deterioration since last year.

 So much for beaches which have been have been given the Seaside Award for their high standards.

Margaret Alexander,


Switching to UKIP will let Labour win

THE by-election result in Cleadon and Boldon proves the often- made point that disillusioned Conservatives voting for UKIP will only let Labour win.

 Conservatives defecting to UKIP will condemn the UK to be sucked deeper into the European Union.

 Nationally, UKIP will not gain enough support for form a Government and enact its policies.  

 All that will be achieved by Conservatives switching votes is the return of a Labour Government led by EU fanatic Ed Miliband.

 Remember, Ed Miliband was a member of a Labour Government that waved through European Union budget increase after budget increase.

 A Labour Government that also surrendered a large proportion of the hard-won rebate on the UK’s contributions to the European Union and received nothing in return. It also introduced the Human Rights Act.

 Miliband was a senior member of the Labour Government that ratified the Lisbon Treaty despite a manifesto pledge to put it to a referendum first.

 Miliband cynically voted in Parliament for a cut in the EU budget then several days later criticised the Prime Minister, saying that if he blocked the EU’s budget increase, he would be out of step and would push the UK to the sidelines.

 Ed Miliband consistently refuses to rule out the UK joining the disastrous Euro currency.

 I argue that Conservatives switching to UKIP will result in the UK being more deeply immersed in the EU than under a Labour Government.

Keith O’Brien,

Middle Herrington.

Not a fan of high school proms ...

I SEE the annual school proms supplement is in the Echo this week – why is this hideous spectacle encouraged?

 It makes me feel sick to see our country embracing yet more tasteless American ‘culture’. Why are we so keen on emulating that awful, crass nation?

 Generation after generation of British children have managed to leave school just fine without this nonsense, so why do we need it now? It’s just another excuse to put more pressure on our already stressed children to consume and conform, and to make those who can’t afford to spend thousands on the best outfit or hire a limo feel even more inferior to the ‘popular’ pupils.

 In these tough financial times, it’s shameful that a school would put this needless added burden onto parents.

 And it would be bad enough if it was just for those leaving school for the final time, but apparently you need a prom when you leave primary school as well now!

 Then, I see that the latest thing is to have ‘graduations’ for children leaving nursery, complete with caps and gowns.

 Where will this lunacy end? A Mardi Gras-style parade if you make it through the day without wetting yourself?

 It’s no wonder we’ve raised a generation of self-centred, entitled brats, and it’s only going to get worse if we continue with this stupidity. Don’t say I didn’t warn you ...

Matthew Flynn,


Why pay TV licence to be scared witless?

THIS is what I would like to know – why do television programmes have to be so terrifying?

 I like drama but every time I start to watch one, I have to stop because they scare the living daylights out of me.  

 Luther, I haven’t even attempted to sit through. A friend told me what happened in the first episode of the new series and it made my skin crawl.

 I do watch The Returned every Sunday night but I am rapidly losing patience. I have to watch it from behind a cushion and every episode just leaves me with more and more stressful, unanswered questions.

 Because of my vivid imagination and a propensity for night terrors, it seems there is nothing for me to bridge the woeful chasm between Nightmare on Elm street and Corrie. Why do I pay my TV licence?

 To be terrified out of my mind, it seems. Time to give up and buy a jigsaw.

Christina Parks,


Hospital’s for the ill

IF A&E is so overworked, I say let the drunks’ families look after them and not the hospital.

 It’s for people who are ill.

Name supplied,


Were you helped by Frank Buttle Trust?

THIS year Buttle UK, formerly the Frank Buttle Trust, is 60 years old.

 Over this time we have become the largest grant-giving organisation in the country, directly supporting children and families living in poverty.

 So, on the occasion of this important anniversary, we want to hear from people we have benefited in Sunderland.

 Buttle UK was set up in 1953 using the legacy left by Frank Buttle, a philanthropist, who had a vision to help 1,000 children living in poverty every year.

 In the past six decades, Buttle UK has honoured this legacy and supported tens of thousands of children and young people across the UK.

 It has provided grants for beds and cookers for families living in extreme poverty as well as education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people.

 Given the numbers who have been helped we have, inevitably, lost touch with many of those that we have supported, particularly from the charity’s early years.

 If you are one of those ‘Buttle boys or girls’ who has been supported by the charity over the past 60 years, we would love to hear from you and find out how you are getting on. Please contact the charity on getinvolved@buttleuk.org.

Gerri McAndrew,

chief executive,

Buttle UK,