Letters, Thursday, March 29th, 2012

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Letter full of spurious ‘facts’

IT’S been a while since Councillor Alan Wright gave us the benefit of his inside knowledge. However, he made up some ground with his latest missive (Letters, March 22).

Has this man no shame? He is critical of various writers who have “attacked the Government using broad statements that contain little or no substance”, and then goes on to heap praise on Cameron (the new Blair?) and all his rich mates for the sterling work they are doing on our behalf.

Just a couple of things Mr Wright: did Cameron or “Dangerous” George Osborne personally sanction the new car park at the Royal Hospital? Methinks not.

As for the new hospital at Ryhope, I believe that has been on the go for several years now, but of course the Tories will claim the credit. It’s what politicos do, isn’t it?

According to the councillor, £11.5billion is being invested in the NHS over the next four years, but no mention is made of the £20billion savings that must be made in that time. There has been a 20 per cent cut in the number of nurse training places in the last two years, but the councillor made no mention of that. Probably falls under “broad statements that contain little or no substance”.

I loved the bit in the letter about “letting us have more facts”. Facts from whom, pray? Not from any politician, surely. Not when Dangerous George (the man with a plan?) can say, straight faced, he is “simplifying” the tax system and then steal from pensioners. Only a politician would have the brass neck to do that.

Let’s have a fact or two about how we are all in this together – it could be interesting. But of course I am forgetting the good councillor doesn’t do interesting. He does spurious very well though.

Just a final point: I note that Mr Wright attempted to have some fun at the expense of various letter writers’ lack of good timing. How fine then it was to have Mr Wright’s letter published the day after one of the most turgid Budgets of recent years – so bad that even the Tory press struggled to put a positive spin on it.

Jack Vincent, Washington

Alcohol pricing

IT is a good policy to increase the price of alcohol. It will stop pubs from closing down as people will not drink at home and then go to the pub for last two or three drinks.

It will stop supermarkets from closing down small shops which cannot match their prices, which are sometimes cheaper than cost price at the supermarkets.

Hopefully it will stop young people from being able to get so much cheaper alcohol. Plus, the 24-hour drinking law was the worst thing to happen to this country. It closed down many fish and chip shops because of the late closing times.

I can understand people being disappointed at paying a realistic price for their alcohol, but at least they’ll have the pleasure of knowing they are helping to save small shops, instead of helping powerful supermarkets to close them by unfairly by selling alcohol at below cost price.

Marjorie Matthews, Aiskell Street, Sunderland

Invitation declined

I FEAR I will have to decline the offer (Letters, March 21) by the Labour candidate for St Michael’s ward to assist in his campaign. I am quite busy myself presently so he will need to get a fact-checker somewhere else.

I am, however, happy to let him know that if I was him I’d pin my colours to the mast and fight on my principles.

To that end, unlike him, I’d mention my party allegiance (as he neglects to in his missive) and stand on its record – as he refuses to.

Coun Tony Morrissey, Barnes (Conservative)

Ideas for our city

THE people of this fair city are fed up with broken promises by elected figures, cries of “we will help” to get the vote. Well, that’s all they are – empty promises.

Why not be up front as to what is going on? Don’t make promises you cannot keep.

Let’s face it, all people want is somebody to say: “Hey I’ll try to sort it out” instead of promising to do it.

So, I ask: will the city get any better? I hope so, but here are some ideas for the council:

One, sell Jacky Whites, redevelop Park Lane, incorporating Park Lane Market and the Farmers’ Market ... seeing as no other supermarket will take it on as we had to keep Tesco sweet.

Two, introduce easy parking in the city on weekends.

Three, turn Joplings into a hotel and keep the name Jopling Hotel.

Four, redevelop the leisure centre to get folks back into the city. Yes, we have the Aquatic Centre, but what about people who don’t want to travel that far?

Five, bring back the lights from Seaburn to the city centre. Like the airshow, it will attract people.

Kevin Stoker