Letters, Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

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Councillors should tour city centre

I AM returning to a well-worn topic that I and several others have written about. I include in that your columnists Mick Thurlbeck and Linda Colling.

I agree with Mick Thurlbeck in that there should be a walk-through tour of the city(?) by councillors, not just Holmeside but the fragrantly named Park Lane Village, mostly forgotten but hanging on (just), Holmeside(of course), High Street West, Fawcett Street, John Street, the desert that is the £50million White Elephant – Sunniside.

Sunderland cannot just rely on the Eldorado that is the Bridges.The cost of starting a business, the internet, job losses etc are all factors in the disappearance of not just High Street names but a large amount of the cornerstone of retailing which is independent businesses.

The largest cost for any business is the rent for any property. In Holmeside a shop will cost anything from £20,000 to £50,000 per year, then there are business rates, gas and electricity, wages, fixtures and fittings and stock as well as a myriad of other costs.

This all adds up to a large sum of money and a large investment without any guarantee that there is sufficient business out there to make a living.

I was involved in meetings last year with the now defunct city centre business manager, along with several other traders from the Park Lane area. One person had been involved in meetings for over 20 years and had stated from the outset that they had all been “all talk-no action”. We were promised that the council were listening.One year on and guess what – no action.

It seems the council say they hear the concerns of traders and yet are as useful as a bump on a log while drawing wages and watching a once proud town sink without trace.

Will the councillors, who have been elected by the people of Sunderland, rise to the invitation of a walk around the city with Mick Thurlbeck, Linda Colling and several traders from local business – or even reply to the many concerns raised?

I await their reply, but I am not holding my breath.

Bryan Foster, Ryhope

Right ‘at home’

YA knar Missus! Not a lot of people knar that the Mayoress has an “At Home Day”, like. This is really when the people of Sunderland can meet the First Lady and have a cuppa tea and a scone wi best butter and a bit of canny natter, like.

Missus, this get-together is open to all of the citizens of Sunderland. Not only that, the Mayor is there so you can meet Sunderland’s First Citizen and get your photie taken with them.

Behind every good man, there is a woman, like Caesar’s wife. However, our Mayor is a woman and the Mayoress is her sister. So you’ve got two for the price of one.

You mightn’t know it, but every man has a mother. It is written in the good book that Eve, the first woman, is the mother of all Mankind. So Eve is the mam to everybody, like.

Most of the people who go to the Mayoress’s “At Home” are women. They are mams or nanas who want to share the joy of their daughter becoming Sunderland’s First Lady and rightly so. Mind you, missus, on this occasion, men are pretty few in attendance.

The Da woz a Labour councillor, Billy Craggs, even though he was a skinny little fella. My Mam, who woz a bit like Annie Walker, wanted to go to the Mayoress’s “At Home” but the Da, like many other male chauvinist councillors, waaldn’t gan. So me Mam took me. Tea and cake for a growin’ lad at 15, big and daft.

Norma Wright and her sister Valerie Sibley have become mothers to a big family, the citizens of Sunderland.

I wish them all of the joy and happiness of family life in their term of office.

Little Billy Craggs, the Clown, Front Street, Cockfield

Front-page news

AS an avid reader of the Echo I wonder if other readers, like myself, would prefer a change of front-page headlines.

Family tragedies have our respect and sympathy, but the scumbags who are hell bent on causing destruction and grievous injury would be best on another page.

National media give us an ample share of “doom and gloom”, therefore is it too much to ask that our own local Echo could more often give the front page over to happy events to bring on a smile for a change rather than a frown – or is that something of a bygone era like many others we now miss?

S. J. Earney, Chapelgarth, Sunderland

Thanks for help

ON Saturday, June 25, while watching the Forces Day parade at Seaburn, I collapsed.

I would like thank my friend Kath Tutty and the couple who came to my aid, also the lady from the nearby care home. They all stayed with me until Kath and I got transport home.

Ella Murray, Grindon