Letters, Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Have your say

City’s cover will be compromised

I AM writing in response to the letter by George Howe regarding the restructuring of Northumbria police.

 Although not a natural ally of Mr Howe, I find his comments regarding the loss of the stations at Gill Bridge and Farringdon Hall, and how the status of Sunderland is valued within the county of Tyne and Wear and Northumbria police, pertinent.

 I am a former police officer, having served seven years in London and County Durham.

 Although the details have not been finalised, I fail to see how the safety of the people of Sunderland, particularly south of the Wear, will not be affected.

 The two river crossings can be quite congested and the larger part of the city’s population lives south of the Wear. Most of the public houses, nightlife and Sunderland Royal Hospital are also south of the Wear.  

 Deciding which stations to keep seems to be based on keeping newer premises, which presumably have lower running costs.

 A lack of a police station in the city centre would also lessen the chances of the new court complex coming to fruition.

 The new structure of Northumbria police involves three new command areas. These would be centrally based in Newcastle, north command some eight miles away in Wallsend and less than seven miles away from north command is south command, based in South Shields.

 Northumbria Police covers 2,000 square miles and seems to focus mainly on Tyneside. So why not rename itself Tyneside Police Service?

 I will be contacting Vera Baird, the police commissioner, and suggest others do the same.

 Anyone for County Durham?

Steven Hall

Changing for better

I READ the recent letter from Mr Laws regarding the NHS with some confusion.

 Coming from an ‘NHS family’ – my father has worked in the service for more than 30 years and my mother for many years – I can see first-hand the positive changes being made.

 The NHS has never been better funded – last year saw an increase of £2.5billion. Since 2010, the service has got rid of more than 6,000 managers and reinvested that money into frontline services with an extra 1,200 doctors being recruited. Under the last government, we saw billions thrown at the NHS but this money was swallowed up by managers and other backroom staff.

 Labour continue to shout words like “privatisation” but the NHS is not, and will never be, privatised.

 The changes being made by this Government are encouraging private companies to help the NHS by providing services at a cheaper price and higher standard. This system is working with patient satisfaction ratings up along with standards.

 We should never forget the fantastic work that staff do. That is why this Government is putting them in charge of the NHS.

 Doctors, not faceless politicians, now decide how to spend the NHS budget, but money is not the only problem.

 A reform of the system and a return to the basics of good quality care is the way forward.

 This Government sees that and this Government is doing it.

Dominic McDonough,

Doxford Council candidate