Letters, Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

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Shocking sight of drunken youths

HAVING been to the airshow on the Saturday, I started home and decided to take the riverside route. What an eye opener! There were hundreds of youths all along the riverside walk, staggering around, vomiting and lying about, totally out of it with booze.

I know there’s a drink problem among the young, but I never imagined it was so prolific. What was really sad was most of the young people were dressed smartly, clean and healthy and in the blossom of their youth. It was when they tried to speak or walk the true picture was clear.

What a waste of their young lives! They may look healthy at the moment but if they don’t stop drinking this won’t last long and may cause big problems later in life.

The trouble is, youth does not recognise the distant future. Believe me that future is not that distant and catches up very quickly.

Yes I was young once, and yes I wanted my fun, and yes a pain in the rectum for my parents at times, but thankfully booze, drugs and sex were much more difficult to come across.

Booze was only bought at an off-licence or pub. These would not dream of offloading alcohol to underage people and no parent would buy their children booze. Drugs were not available in the amount they are nowadays. You never heard of anyone overdosing.

Sex, of course, was on the agenda because natural humans are rampant in our youth, but there were a lot of restrictions back then. The fear of pregnancy and the stigma of a baby before marriage was a real put-off.

Now everything is easy to come across. Booze is on the shelf of every corner shop and supermarket. Perhaps the answer is to only license certain outlets like an off-licence and a better control could be put in place.

As far as drugs are concerned, maybe less harmful drugs like cannabis could be legalised and sold in certain shops.

As far as sex is concerned, young girls put everything on show and leave nothing to the imagination. A little respect would go a long way – a respect for themselves.

Colin S. Wasey, Wayman Street, Monkwearmouth

City store plans

RE the front page report on August 8 – “1,000 jobs could be scuppered by rival store”.

The story assumes that property developers Ashall require that all the residents of Sunderland north-west shall continue to be herded like sheep into the city’s commercial centre and corralled into Holmeside to make their plans viable. I am sure the owners of the Bridges will have something to say about that.

I think this is tantamount to enslavement of about 60,000 voters and a violation of central government’s planning guides, ie the distances that people have to travel should be reduced to a minimum.

Isn’t it strange when their MP, in support of Ashall and Company objections, is calling on Parliament to introduce “ a competition element” into planning legislation?

Has she been influenced by Sunderland Highways and planning committee to justify the council’s unwarranted delay of the Sainsbury plans for their supermarket at Riverside Road?

Its nice to see that the editor’s comment that four miles apart is enough for rival businesses to be viable.

Ron McQuillan

Council cutbacks

ON August 25, 2010, I received from the council, under the Freedom of Information Act, details that there were 391 cars leased to the council, at the cost of £908,176 plus National Insurance, and another £2,700 per year for 15 Blackberry phones.

When the council is cutting free swimming for under-16s and over-60s, when it has wasted thousands of pounds on concrete play parks, millions on the Vaux site and many more useless schemes, I think it is right to stop all the perks now.

We have some of the highest-paid officials in the country and what has Sunderland got to show for it after 13 years of a Labour government and 40 years of a Labour council? They should stop the Labour leaflet and let the Echo print what is going on. That will save a lot of money.

Any more cost-cutting should start in the civic centre first and not the manual workers like the painters, plumbers, binmen and street cleaners.

G.Liddle, Roker, Sunderland

Revive old pub

AS someone who would like to put some heart and soul back into Sunderland, can I suggest to the council and other agents that the newly re-acquired land in the town centre reserve a space for a new Brewery Tap pub?

I have friends from all over the North East who remember it and no one wanted to see it go. I’m sure people still have lots of memorabilia they could sell to the new owners. It might even have its own micro brewery.

Anthony Wood, Penshaw