Letters, Tuesday, June 26th

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Proud of my roots - and fighting for city

MR McQuillan’s eloquent lexicon regarding my lack of scrutiny, (Letters, June 20) is baseless, inaccurate and, in part, rather offensive.

The NECC I have been associated with for 10 years has become a powerful voice both in support and opposition to council plans. My constant requests for a review of our city road system, particularly bus lanes, is well publicised.

The NECC promoted the campaign for the open public debate on the strategic transport corridor. Hence the selected option was via democracy not power of business. Our support for the iconic bridge was at the expense of an upgraded Silver Link roundabout. This government money will provide a much needed bridge, significantly increase the city economy and benefit everyone, short, near and long term.

I wholeheartedly reject any suggestion I have forgotten my Johnson Street roots. On the contrary, my allegiance to the cause has restricted my career progression on several occasions. My strong affection with this area includes Farringdon Row and the Vaux site. So much so that yet again I spent two days recently with a representatives from a leading UK development company.

As usual, this unpaid, unrewarded mission in life has my family and clients bemused. The objective was to showcase opportunities, facilitate meetings with key city stakeholders and hope and pray something will happen.

Let no one be confused, I would like nothing better than to see our city be deserving of our citizens.

Dr Mick Thurlbeck

Flying circus

THE story featured in the Echo on June 5 about Sunderland College achieving an income of £1.9million as a result of bringing in students from abroad at a cost of £140,000 in air fares deserves more scrutiny.

At first sight it looks like a good return, but surely savings could have been made on the actual fares. Did they go business class with Virgin with all the trimmings? What’s wrong with Easy Jet?

Who exactly are these people? Are they genuine servants of the college or rather expensive joy riders?

And is there such a need to bring back these eager foreign learners and subject them to our popular North East gales while force feeding them our local delicacy, the pasty?

You may think I have just swallowed a bitter pill, or is it just plain sarcasm when I tell you that back in 2010, after 16 glorious years as an employee at the college, I was one of their many victims made redundant by so-called funding cuts, and many more have followed since. Lecturers are next in line as part of the college budget savings.

The problem is, as I saw at first hand, that the college embarked on one paddy safari scheme after another.

It is my understanding that the present principal is leaving the frozen North and going down South. At least it will be a cheap one-way fare and plenty of volunteers to carry her bags to the departure lounge!

Alf March, Danville Road, Fulwell, Sunderland

Meeting is wrong

I AM totally against our Queen shaking hands with a former terrorist like Martin McGuinness. Does this goverment have a short memory? This man and his mate Gerry Adams were behind IRA actions against the British Army in Northen Ireland.

How can this goverment forget the Guilford bombings, let alone the bombing of their own Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher?

What about all the killings of British Army solders in North Ireland?

Even Gerry Adams says, and I quote: “This will understandably cause difficulties for some Republicans?”

What about the difficulties of the wives and children of British Army personnel who were murdered by the IRA?

Sinn Fein have always said they want a united Ireland. This will never happen because 65 per cent of Northen Ireland are Protestant and they want to stay as part of the UK.

I lost three mates in Northen Ireland, killed by the IRA when we were only there to keep the peace.

My mates will be turning in their grave at this meeting between the Queen and McGuinness.

Scott Andrews, Ryhope

Council projects

HAVE you heard the one about the council which spent a couple of million pounds on its seafront?

If rumours are to be believed, council officials are considering closing the Resorts Office, whose experienced staff, among other functions, maintain this very seafront.

Let me give you a few clues – fountain, Ambit, Vaux site, Diamond Hall playground, pier gates ...

Margaret Alexander, Fairlands West, Sunderland