Letters, Thursday, July 28th, 2011

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Tories are liability over seafront

I READ with interest the latest pearls of wisdom from my local Conservative councillor (“Spotlight falls on the seafronts”, Letters, July 19). Once again he pours scorn on our seafront while singing the praises of our neighbours in South Tyneside.

Listening to him, you would think that South Tyneside was a Conservative-led council, but no, they are Labour, with only one elected Conservative representative at Cleadon and East Boldon.

If we look closer at the three wards situated along his beloved seafront area from the River Tyne, south to Whitburn we have: Beacon and Bents – two Labour councillors and one other; Horsley Hill – two Labour councillors and one other; and finally Whitburn and Marsden – three Labour councillors. Do you get my drift, councillor? I note that the good people of St Peter’s have already seen the light by electing two Labour councillors, Steve Bonallie in 2010 and Barry Curran in 2011.

I now believe the Conservatives in Fulwell have become a liability as far as the seafront regeneration is concerned. They appear to look for excuses after excuses for their failure to help move the seafront development forward and just criticise out of habit anything that is done or proposed.

We now need a different and more positive approach from you that could hopefully bring people to the area while retaining the charm and beauty of our seafront. I’m sure we all don’t want to see Seaburn/Roker turned into a mini Blackpool, with all the problems that could bring. I don’t expect it to be a replica of South Shields – the lay of the land is completely different, we don’t have the available space required and why would you want to try and replicate something so close by, instead of creating something that is unique in its own right?

We all know the global financial crisis has hit businesses, banks and the wider economy hard. We all know that this Government has also slashed funding to local councils and removed millions from our council’s budget. So come on, get off your collective Conservative high horse, work with our Labour-led council, then, like those seafront-based councillors up the road, you may actually help achieve something positive that can be enjoyed by both the people who actually live here, who use the seafront on a daily basis, as well as those from other parts of the city who come to visit.

Bob Price, Rydal Mount, Fulwell, Sunderland

Badger cull

I COULD only admire the well-constructed poem by Edward Ryles expressing unqualified sympathy for the creature of his childhood dreams.

Sympathy for the badger that 40 miles south of here has desecrated the graves of my paternal grandparents whose gravestone lies facedown alongside another, also dislodged, that was raised in loving memory of three children under 10 years of age who too lie in badger-shattered graves.

Were a child to touch this powerful beast, a hand would be lost. I bear the scar of a TB gland that disfigured so many of my age. I have seen many dairy farmers close to tears as beautiful animals with their loving eyes were destroyed.

Yes, with good reason I support a limited badger killing in a restricted area so that the matter can be finalised.

Only two weeks ago I took a Sunderland friend to view the extensive damage to village graves resulting from this badger sett.

Ken Spencer

Club on the up

I WAS amazed to read the letter from Mick The Pen Brown telling SAFC fans not to get carried away. He has seen it all before, he writes. Just when did Mick or any other fans see such a buzz as the club signing nine players in the close season? Not in my lifetime, that’s for sure.

He then goes on to say that we should not expect too much and that the fans are fickle. Of course they are – they have been starved of success for years. One trophy in almost 40 years is pathetic for a club of our stature. Failure has made them fickle.

As for comparing the Stadium of Light to Roker Park, there is no comparison. When the old ground closed it was in a bad way with only a 22,000 capacity. How can you put that on the same level as Stadium of Light with 58,000 fans?

Then he wants to bring back the terraces like the good old Fulwell End. This will never happen. We have moved on and so should Mick The Pen. He is living in the past as usual.

John Leadbitter, Riverbank Road, Sunderland

Clueless leaders

I AM not ashamed to admit that I don’t know very much – because I am in good company.

When there is trouble and the top people are called to account, the truth comes out: they did not have a clue what was going on.

John Watson, Granville Street, Sunderland

Faith restored

MY daughter-in-law, along with my granddaughter, took me to a summer fete in Ryhope. When we left the fete two hours later, my daughter-in-law put her purse on the top of her car, while fastening her baby daughter into her car seat.

Forgetting about her purse, we pulled away. When we got home she realised her purse was not in the car. She was devastated. Her cards, driving licence and money were in her purse. The purse itself was of great sentimental value.

She thought this was an end to the story and she had seen the last of her belongings. But oh no. A very honest gentleman, Mr R. Hutchinson, from Thorney Close, found her purse in the town (It must have stayed on the car all the way from Ryhope before falling off). This gentleman rang the bank to inform them that he had found the purse with the bank cards etc. Not only were her cards inside but also her money.

It just proves there are still honest and decent people out there. It really does restore your faith in human nature. Grateful thanks to a true gent.

Ann Lillie, Seaburn

Friendly gesture?

SUNDERLAND’S first home game is with Newcastle. In many ways and for many fans this is a very early climax of the football season. Let’s hope it turns out to be a fine example of skill and sportsmanship.

The two teams come on to the pitch together, which ensures that they are greeted with cheers. May I suggest that for this game the two teams intermingle for the kick-around, and look as though they are treating one another as friendly human beings.

I suggest this mainly for the benefit of the lunatic fringes of both sets of supporters. These mentally challenged oafs need constant reminders of how reasonable people behave.

B. McGill, South Bents

What a nerve!

MP Sharon Hodgson certainly has lots of nerve. In an Echo article she calls for the Government to take action to stop the amount of empty shops in Sunderland growing (July 26).

Mrs Hodgson said “The Government can’t carry on burying their head in the sand” and “The Government needs to take action now to arrest the potential terminal decline in our local High Streets”.

The terminal decline in Sunderland city centre is not something that has occurred over the last 14 months. Where was Mrs Hodgson during the 13 years of decline during the last Government’s reign? Why is Mrs Hodgson not pillorying the Labour city council who have done nothing to stop 40 years of decline and dereliction under their control of the city?

Hint of hypocrisy maybe?

Coun Alan Wright, Conservative, St Chad’s Ward

Fallen heroes

THE British flag does not fly because the wind moves past it. The British flag flies from the last breath of each military member who has died protecting it.

British soldiers don’t fight because they hate what is in front of them. They fight because they love what is behind them.

In memory of our fallen heroes.

D. Breeds, Ex-soldier, Pauline Avenue, Sunderland