Letters, Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

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We were quids in under Labour

COUNCILLOR Wright, just to let your know you are wrong about the heating allowance.

I, and many millions of pensioners, were getting £25 for years from the Labour Government. I don’t know where you got told we only got £8.85. It could be for the under 60s or disabled. By the way, you didn’t mention, before Christmas George Osborne slipped a White Paper stealing £100 off those over 80 and £50 off over 60s.

A Lib Dem member of Parliament, next morning, said it was Labour scaremongering, but the BBC kept repeating it. The Government took it off us to give to the rich millionaires, all sitting beside Cameron, grinning their head off.

Still, we are all in it together, as Cameron says.

Mrs Grace Cassidy, Fee Terrace, Ryhope, Sunderland

Vote on failure

Next month’s council elections are, by definition, about who runs the city. They will have no bearing upon national, or international, issues.

Currently Labour has a large majority on the council, with 56 out of a total of 75 councillors. With 14 councillors, your local Conservatives are the major opposition party.

Good government, locally as well as nationally, requires strong opposition.

What Sunderland needs on May 3 is more, not less, opposition councillors to better scrutinise and hold Labour to account.

Labour has been in power at the civic centre for 40 years. The next council elections will not be until 2014. Labour’s record has been dismal: the Vaux site derelict for 12 years; a declining city centre and a lack of investment along our sea front.

Until the recent council tax freeze made possible by grants from the Conservative-led Coalition Government, council tax rocketed.

May 3 is no time to reward failure.

Better city government will only come from support for opposition candidates.

It would be a shame to waste the opportunity.

Peter Wood, Deputy Leader, Conservative Council Group

Our wailing wall

DRIVING down to our doctor’s to pick up our prescriptions I turned to my wife and said: “Jean, I feel sick again”. She said: “Each time you come down here you say that. Why don’t you ask the doctor for something for your nausea?”

I told her the doctor can’t cure this nausea, only the council can by dismantling those ugly container boxes on the corner of Tatham Street and White House Road.

I’ve seen better looking site huts in opencast mines.

What I can’t understand is this: millions of pounds were spent on houses in the Salem Street area, Peel Street etc and an excellent job they made of it too, and then they built a miniature Berlin wall along Commercial Road (a continuation of this wall goes past St Aidan’s private estate and is much prettier).

I’ll tell you what, dear reader, the council would not get away with building unsightly things like this in Ashbrooke, Barnes or Seaburn. Has Hendon got a councillor?

Ron Bonallie, Lee Street, Fulwell

Desperate plan

I think that I have discovered why so many children are failing in English and spelling in the modern decade.

The fact is they do not read any more and would rather watch TV and DVDs.

I learnt to read by buying comics. They were a great source of inspiration and still are.

I started off with the old favourites of course; The Dandy and Beano, The Topper and The Beezer, steadily progressing to the Victor The Valiant and The Hotspur.

In those days, anyone who read stuff like that – and we all did – was hurled into another world with the likes of The Phantom, Morgyn the Mighty and Alf Tupper the Tough of the Track.

These stories gave us all a great imagination and we all wanted to become these stars that we read about every week.

I then moved on to the American Marvel comics which featured the likes of Batman, Superman and Spider-Man.

They had a great influence on me. So much so that I decided to purchase a Spider-Man outfit.

I only got to wear it once and managed to scale the roof of the now defunct Luxdon Laundry. However, I couldn’t find any villains and had to wait two hours until a bald-headed passer-by helped me down.

The point is that the sales of British comics have now dropped to such an alarming level that many have now ceased to exist and only the Dandy and Beano remain.

Is it any wonder that so many children cannot read write or spell even in this modern age?

I would advise them all to forget about new gadgets and go out and buy the Dandy and Beano, not only will they learn something they might help stop a national institution go bust.

Mick The Pen Brown