Letters, Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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How do they know borrowing is up?

I READ a report in the Echo recently which told us how wonderful the new library reorganisation was, quoting statistics that said borrowing was “up”.

 This was a much-praised measure of its success.

 Since my local library closed, my nearest library “community venue” is a trolley at the back of a Silksworth supermarket, so I was very interested in the article.

 Perhaps someone could explain to me how you get statistics on the number of books people borrow from a supermarket trolley, and indeed, the number of borrowers?

 When last I was in this supermarket, you didn’t have to sign out the sad, unsupervised selection of books it carried. So do they get their figures from the number of books they put out?

 Also, since some people’s fingers are stickier than others, how do you know a book has been “borrowed” as opposed to “pinched”?

 Is it then classified as an “indefinite loan” or do you call it “stolen”? I’d love to see if those statistics are up too?

 Well, at least fines for the late return of books are a thing of the past. New books could have been bought with the money raised, but then that would be convenient for Sunderland’s readers, and that doesn’t appear to be the point of this reorganisation at all.

Margaret Crosby,

East Herrington

This is no solution

I READ with interest the story in the Echo (November 22) regarding the tragic death of Mrs Dolores Hubbert at East Rainton on the A690 and the consideration of closing the central reservation by Sunderland City Council.

 The council has also proposed this so-called solution at the Stoneygate junction.

 Of course, this is a quick fix and a cheap one, rather than the more expensive solution we deserve.

 Both Councillor Derrick Smith and myself have requested that the speed limit is reduced to 50mph for this relatively short section of road, after all, it is 50mph from the A1 (M) to the Sunderland boundary, then increases to 70mph for just over one mile as the road comes into Houghton and then again reduces to 50mph.

 Many motorists consider this to be a trap for the speed camera van, which seems to sit on a daily basis just round the curve as the road goes up Houghton Cut. The simple solution is to reduce the entire length of the A690 from the A1 (M) to A19.

 Regarding the closure of the two main junctions mentioned here is just not acceptable. Traffic lights at Stoneygate are a minimum requirement and better vision at East Rainton must be the way forward.

 Closing these junctions will have a major impact on how the emergency services access East Rainton and Newbottle and time and distance are likely to cost lives.

Councillor Colin Wakefield

Audience led way

ANYONE who thinks the BBC is left-wing should listen to the way Anne McElvoy chairs programmes on Radio 4.

 Radio 4 even sent Miss McElvoy to Gateshead to front Start The Week (November 3).

 The chairwoman did not seem to recognise that the North East is one of the poorest parts of our country. The audience showed her by their applause where their sympathies lay between rich and poor.

Pat Taylor