Letters, Thursday, May 24th, 2012

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Flooding control would boost city

MY critic R. Tomlinson (Letters, May 11) persists in the claim it will be profitable to bring the City of Adelaide here. If that is the case, why don’t they buy and restore it at their own private cost and risk and so make themselves rich with those vast profits? If they do that Sunderland will still get the benefit of all those millions of tourists they claim will flock to to see it.

R. Tomlinson also states if God and Mother Nature decide to flood half of Sunderland there is nothing man can do about it, but, left to God and Nature, no people would be living in Sunderland, Siberia or anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, for people can only live in the North because man can manufacture clothes and buildings.

R. Tomlinson implies that science is wrong in saying that sea levels will rise in the future. Well, science means truth and one thing that is certain is the fact that all things change. So it is at least 50 per cent certain sea levels will rise or fall, which means, if Sunderland is wise, it will take preventative measures against flooding.

God may have made the world but the Dutch claim to have made Holland by investment in flood control and that investment has made Holland one of the most prosperous states in the world.

My simple proposal that Sunderland should have a river promenade and the pier should be wider and higher is primarily for flood control but they can also regenerate Sunderland by making the river a recreational and residential place.

The price of houses should include the cost of the promenade, and building the pier up to several storeys can be paid for by allowing the builder 90 per cent of what he makes from the sale of shopping malls, restaurants, a casino, housing and any other commercial use. Building the pier up to the same level as the road will give wheelchair users and older people easier access than they have now as they have to struggle with an uphill climb away from the pier.

Last week I visited both St Peter’s Church and Hexham Abbey where I think I heard in both places that, in part at least, both buildings were built in stone taken from the Roman Wall. Does that mean if those who now control the wall decide, like the Adelaide supporters, they want to restore the wall they will be able to dismantle both St Peter’s and Hexham Abbey to get those pillaged stones back?

That is an example of nobody being able to have it all, I think.

J. Young, Alexander Terrace, Sunderland

‘Recycled’ cyclists

YA knar Missus! Can you remember that night of the winds when the roof at the Crowtree Leisure Centre was lifted?

I remember it well because in a moment of daftness I had written to the Hecho that I would like to do the C2C bike ride and would anybody come and give me a hand.

Some 40 would-be cyclists came to the Crowtree Leisure Centre together with experts from Sustrans and Healthy Broadcaster from Radio Newcastle, Harris (His da diz the fishing programme).

So was formed the “Recycled over 50s”. Only 10 of us could agree a convenient time to go. Sure one gets a sore aspidesdra but the laughs were tremendous and money was raised for charity. I can really recommend it.

Little Billy Craggs the Clown

Class betrayed

SINCE I was 18, I have been fighting for the rights and the lives

of workers – the 95 per cent plus of the population that comprise the working class, as opposed to the tiny minority of the world’s

population who are no better than human parasites, the capitalists.

Now, for the first time in my life, I find myself thinking ill of my fellow members of the working class. I speak specifically, but not exclusively, of workers who find their employ in the DSS.

I have become aware of incidences where these workers have, for no good reason, cancelled the claims of their fellow members of the working-class to entitlement to the pathetically misnamed “benefit”, Jobseeker’s Allowance.

I hope, with every fibre of my being, that the Government’s civil service cuts fall on these same people and they undergo the stress and penury they have inflicted on their fellow workers.

Talk about doing your master’s bidding Shame on you. Shame, I say.

Steve Colborn, Ivy Avenue, Deneside, Seaham

Hard act to follow

ON behalf of Barnes, Pallion and Millfield Residents’ Association, I would like to thank ex-councillor Paul Dixon for all his support and advice over recent years.

He has been a fine ambassador for the people of Millfield. He has set a high standard of tireless work on behalf of the community in which both lived and served. Paul will be a hard act to follow. We can only hope his successor will prove to serve as well.

Paul has stated that he will continue to support us as a resident for which we are very grateful.

Thank you.

Susan Adamson, Barnes, Pallion and Millfield Residents’ Association

Free speech

SCOTT Andrews (Letters, May 16) persists in rabbiting on about the comments made by Councillor Florence Anderson regarding Thatcher the milk snatcher.

He advised people to contact their local Labour councillor (good to see there’s plenty of them now, Mr Andrews) about her and see what they had to say.

Scott should realise that his Thatcher saga is insignificant to ordinary people at this point in time. Their priority is trying to survive under the Draconian Tory cuts. Similar cuts like these, Scott, were inflicted by Thatcher in the 80s and made her the most hated woman on Wearside.

Many people spoke of their wish for a quick demise of Thatcher who ruined their lives by closing down local industry, including mines and shipyards. She left our bankrupt communities to fend for themselves and reduced the region’s economy below that of some third world countries. That meant the EU was obliged to provide the North East with grant aid.

While Thatcher was stealing the milk from our children’s lips, she was making sure her son would want for nothing. In a draft admission Thatcher agreed to a conflict of interest over a construction deal she agreed in Oman. She knew her son was in the pay of the construction firm Cementation but kept his financial interest secret.

The the Sultan of Oman offered “in confidence” to hand the £216million contract to Cementation without any competitive bidding. Thatcher kept this from the rest of her official party, and her son Mark trousered millions. This only came to light because of the Freedom of Information Act.

Coun Anderson was using her freedom of speech quite lawfully. Before Scott put pen to paper on this issue he should consider the words of a wise man when he said: “I might not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.”

W. Quinn, Duke Street, Sunderland

Election thanks

I AM writing to thank the voters of Doxford ward who voted for me in the local government elections.

The election victory gives me a huge sense of pride but also a huge sense of responsibility, and I intend to do all I can to represent the people of Doxford in the best way possible by seeking new ways to contact residents and so focus my attention on the issues that can provide the greatest benefit to the community.

My next ward surgery will be held on Thursday, May 31, from 6pm to 7 pm in Doxford Community Centre.

Coun Christine Marshall

Awful programme

DOES anyone agree that the most annoying programme on television is Escape To The Country?

We are living in an age of austerity. The country is suffering from a financial crisis. There is no growth in the economy. Youth unemployment is too high. Pay, pensions, benefits are under threat. Many people have to go begging to food banks. And to top all this, there is a housing crisis – a shortage of new homes, unaffordable rents, the homeless sleeping in shop doorways.

Yet, every afternoon the BBC shows this incredible programme where we see two people with £500,000 to spare, being shown round beautiful country houses and turning their noses up at them. No conservatory? Only three en-suite bedrooms? No good for us. Neighbours down the road? No, we don’t want other people sharing our living space. Only one field to exercise our daughter’s pony? That won’t do.

They remind me of the Brummie character played by Harry Enfield, who is always flaunting his wealth: “I am considerably richer than you.” I wish they’d all Escape Down Under.

What an awful programme to put on at a difficult time like his! My analyst tells me my resentment stems from pure jealousy. She says the programme only reflects the fantasy world we live in where we all have a dream home.

Henry Whipple, Coach Road Estate, Washington

Help needed

ON behalf of Guide Dogs for the Blind in the North East I am appealing for two volunteers to organise our volunteer drivers and fund-raising equipment.

The volunteer driver co-ordinator is an essential role to make sure our drivers are at the right place, at the right time, in the most efficient way. Similarly, the equipment co-ordinator will ensure that our fund-raisers have the resources to maximise income and help us to provide independence and mobility for more people who have visual impairment.

If anyone could spare a couple of hours a fortnight or would like more information contact newcastle@guidedogs.org.uk or phone 08453 727423.

Claire Devine,

Volunteer Development Co-ordinator, North East & Cumbria, The Guide Dogs for the Blind

Search Party

MY name is Les George. I’m trying to trace Alan Robson who used to live at 5 Woodstock Avenue, Grangetown, Sunderland.

We met on holiday at Willersley Castle, Derbyshire, in 1967 and his family subsequently kindly invited me to their house for a weekend, but we have lost touch.

When he knew me I lived in Hull. My present address is 26 Pearmain Avenue, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 4SF.

If you’re out there, Alan, I’d love to hear from you again. My email address is les-george@o2.co.uk (The digit in front of the 2 is a letter o, not a zero.)

Les George

I AM seeking information on my late grandfather, Ralph Coxon, who was born around 1892 in Sunderland.

At the age of nine he lived with his mother Sarah and his stepfather William Pollard and stepbrother at 164 George Street, Jarrow.

In 1914 he married Eleanor Jane Elizabeth Johnson, then in December 1915 my mother, Catherine Margaret, was born at 6 Ward Street, Sunderland.

I would like to find out about my grandfather’s whereabouts and life from 1915 onwards. Have we kin that we don’t know about?

If anyone can help, please contact us. Thank you

Email: catherine_wee@msn.com