Letters, Thursday, October 27th, 2011

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Fears over loss of meals-on-wheels

AT last the demise of the meals at home service has been made public. How long have I been asking for a comment from our councillors on this matter?

This was a service that the dependent people of Sunderland relied on. Even through the last appalling winter not a single meal was missed. The kitchen staff and delivery drivers always made sure that their customers never went without a hot meal every day.

To read the excuses for stopping the service amazes me. For years the clients have been suggesting that the price should be increased. Some actually said it was embarrassing to pay a trivial amount for a hot meal to be delivered to their home seven days a week, 365 days a year. Also it was stated that the numbers had dwindled. This was true, but only because “the powers that be” would not allow new customers on to the books as clients were lost due to natural causes.

When someone makes their mind up, figures can be made to suit the cause.

Now this service has been passed on to private companies. How can the councillors think that a service can be provided by a private firm, giving the same standard, for the same price and still give company shareholders a profit? If the numbers have dwindled how come companies are fighting for the job?

Just like the Southern Cross company it will all come tumbling down. Then the vulnerable people will suffer when the council services have to pick up the pieces.

It also amazes me that this cut in service can be effectively achieved by redeploying staff.

Is this the reason that the civic centre is at bursting point? They must also have a surplus of vehicles.

Marshall Normington, Claxheugh Cottages, Sunderland

Puzzle solved

I USE public transport quite a bit, and sometimes while awaiting my connection I take a seat in the sheltered area, ie the place that has actually got doors unlike the rest of the interchange.

I sometimes come across a pile of those terrible free papers, but being at a loss I tend to pick one up to peruse while awaiting my bus.

As I tend to look at the cartoons – I mean the horoscopes – first, I therefore see the sudoku puzzle and I noticed that the difficult one is the only type finished and I was suitably impressed as I tend to struggle with the easy version.

However, I became suspicious of the pile of newspapers still sat nearby and I picked another copy up and went straight to the puzzle page whereupon I came across the same sudoku puzzle but with many mistakes. A quick glance through the other half dozen revealed that the chap or chappess had tried quite a few times to get the puzzle correct before winning through.

So, whoever you may be, I would advise you to get rid of the “evidence” before other people catch on to what you are doing.

Alan “The Quill” Vincent, Old Penshaw

Time to ban Mick

IN RESPONSE to Mick the Pen’s attack on pantomimes: I think it’s a great shame that they have been stopped and Mick the Pen is a right spoilsport so boo and hiss to him. I am quite sure that if he appeared in a panto it would be as Baron Hardup or as an Ugly Sister.

What a misery! For years now he has taken umbrage with Wearsiders. He never has anything positive to say. I do understand that many people enjoy his letters, well I am not one of them and I think it’s about time that the curtain was pulled down on his performances in the Echo. Like a few others, I would like to see him banned from print.

The Echo is a local newspaper not Private Eye magazine, but he is reducing the Letters Page to a joke with his controversial opinions.

Mrs J. Askew, Durham Road, Sunderland

Special thanks

WE would like to thank the customers and staff for all the hard work they have put into helping us raise money for Cancer Research and Ward E55 of Sunderland Royal Hospital.

We’ve raised an amazing £605 for Cancer Research and £1335 for Ward E55.

We look forward to your continued support tomorrow for our charity night.

Deb Jones and Mel Fenton, Chaplins, Stockton Road, Sunderland

Verdict so far

NEARLY a quarter of the season gone so here’s my report on Bruce’s close season signings: Larrsson – decent and getting better; Brown – inconsistent; Wickham – not good enough yet; O’Shea – very poor,; Westwood – no idea, never seen him; Gardener – poor, Ji – out of his depth; Vaughan – average; Bendtner – good enough for now.

Hopefully they will all improve.

John Surtees, Aitken Road, Birtley