Letters, Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

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Building better future for area

I’D like to say a massive thanks to the following for making our Hendon Together Family Fun day such a success:

Hendon residents, the Mayor and Mayoress, Tees Valley Housing, Gentoo, Home Group, Sunderland City Council, Foundation of Light, Asda, Hendon Young People’s Project, Sans Street Youth & Community Centre, Young Asian Voices, the East Policing Team, Tyne and Wear Fire Service, Groundwork, “B Active ‘n’ B Fit” and, last but certainly not least, Sun FM.

More than 700 people joined in the fun and showed that the Hendon community has a strong sense of family, knows how to have fun and can come together to get things done. Thanks also to the Echo for helping positive image of Hendon and changing views.

Back on the Map’s new goals are to build a stronger community, a better place and an influencing role for residents, and the event on Wednesday just shows local people understand and are willing to get behind that.

We’ve been working with residents, the council and lots of agencies to set up neighbourhood agreements and resident action groups to help local people shape their neighbourhoods and have an influencing role in their area.

We organised the event to launch the agreements for Middle Hendon and the East End and were thrilled that so many people have signed up, agreeing to get involved.

Most of the organisations gave their time and resources free and it was fantastic to see local families enjoy the day and have fun with the police, fire officers etc.

We are helping two of our resident action groups to make some improvements and really want to get the space on Harrogate, Amberley and Salem Street used as a community space. If you’d like to know more about the neighbourhood agreements or can get involved please pop into the Back on the Map hub in Villlette Road or give us a ring on 568 9310.

Jen McKevitt and Back on the Map Trustees

Superstar city

WHAT a fabulous achievement by Superstar Ben Forster to win the search for the singer to play the lead part in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

What a worthy winner and how humble our truly nice lad Ben is.

Ben has put Sunderland truly on Great Britain’s map. It could not have come true without all the people from our area voting for him.

So we can congratulate all these people too.

That’s why Sunderland is great. That’s why Sunderland is our Wonderland.

Well done, Ben, Superstar of Sunderland, and well done everyone who phoned ITV to confirm Ben was best.

Jimmy Chambers, Durham Avenue, Washington

Thanks for help

I AM writing to give my grateful thanks to all of the people who came to my assistance when I fell outside New Look at The Galleries retail park on Monday, July 23.

There was a man who initially took his shirt off to stem the flow of blood, a few women, but especially the dark-haired girl who was running all over to get me help quickly, and her mother. They were stars.

Another person pulled up in a car and gave a car blanket to cover me and drove off right away, We gave that in. It should go to the Galleries lost and found. Also thanks to paramedics and security guard.

Thank you.

Mrs Youern, Redwing Close, Ayton,

Washington

It’s not working

IT should be common knowledge that we have a Coalition Government which is Tory led after a national democratic election vote turnout of 30 per cent at the last election.

In spite of the fight for freedom in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere 60-odd per cent couldn’t be bothered to vote, but now, half way into the Government’s term of office, we now know that austerity is not working.

There is an alternative. The government has pledged to cut 75,000 public sector jobs by 2017 and cut spending by £80billion. So be prepared that pay and pensions are under threat, as are the local services we use.

How can £30billion of welfare and tax credit cuts be necessary when there is £30billion to give back to business in tax breaks? If university fees have to be trebled why is student replacement essential? Why are there huge spends of £1.2billion on benefit fraud while £120billion of tax is avoided, evaded or uncollected?

At least three tests for economic recovery are: is unemployment falling? Are people’s living standards rising? Is inequality reducing? There are 1.8million families on local authority housing waiting lists – another example.

Bill Craddock, Donvale Road, Washington