Letters, Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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Have your say

Make voice heard over city plans

WHILE most people in Sunderland have been enjoying the warm weather, Sunderland Council has been quietly developing a plan that will shape our city for the next 20 years.

 The council has chosen the month of August, when many people are away or have extra childcare commitments, to hold the consultation events on the city’s new Local Plan.

 In a city that’s seen more than its fair share of glossy ‘masterplans’ and artists’ impressions in recent years, this might sound like more of the same. Actually this one is an important document that effectively sets the rules around planning applications for the next 20 years. So it could affect every one of us.

 To give an example, there are two suggested approaches to the location of student housing. One of these would see it concentrated on campus and the city centre; the other would effectively mean ‘anything goes’. Which of these options gets the nod is a highly topical issue.

 We’ve recently seen the Jubilee Care Home in Thornholme and the old Swan Street Centre given permission for conversion to student flats against objections from residents and the university itself.

 So don’t let the council get away with pushing this important plan through without debate.

 Although the consultation events have now finished, you can still go online at www.sunderland.gov.uk/development-plan and have your say.

Brian Robson

Millfield and Thornholme

Liberal Democrats

What a difference

I READ in the Echo the story about the lady looking at a seagull and feeding it and that her neighbours didn’t mind.

 In the heart of the winter, we all saw on the television the sheep and birds dying because they have nothing to eat.

 The story just goes to prove the difference in neighbours. I put some food out for them and what happened, I got reported to the council.

 Any seagull than lands on my neighbour’s grass and I will report them. I know one of the birds has got a broken kneecap.

 Action will be taken.

E Coltman,

Seaham

Leave voting age

LABOUR allowed unlimited immigration to import future Labour voters.

 Now they want voting at 16, knowing that the left-wing union-tied teachers will brainwash pupils to vote Labour.

 Generally, young people, especially under the age 18, are uninterested in the way the country is run. They cannot drive, drink alcohol or buy cigarettes and also are too immature to make political decisions.

 The latest is that union leader, Len McCluskey, has made a video for kids on how to organise protests.

 What next? I would say that voting at 18, as at present, is correct.

Marjorie Matthews

Money ill spent

COUNCILLOR Speding’s intemperate response to Coun Oliver’s justified comment on the cost of the new city council website is par for the course (Echo, August 19).

 Coun Speding states: “Clearly Coun Oliver knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

 It is a great pity Coun Speding and his Labour colleagues, running the council, did not know the price of the original iconic bridge before they embarked on the costly, doomed project, or the value of the vacuous Roker ‘Pods’ or the Sunderland taxpayers’ money given to a fair in Yorkshire.

Keith O’Brien,

Middle Herrington

Endless critics

USUALLY it is a political opponent who voices concerns about a party leader.

 In my case that would be with reference to Ed Miliband.

 But for now there seems little point, as the hapless Miliband is receiving enough advice as to where he is going wrong and, almost daily criticism as to his lack of policies and leadership from within his own Labour ranks.

 The list of his critics is endless; those from the right of the party, from the left, from the Brownites, from the Blairites, from Old Labour, New Labour and, who knows, maybe even from One Nation Labour.

 When he became leader of the Labour Party, Miliband told his Shadow Ministers to go away with a blank sheet of paper and come back to him with fresh ideas.

 The trouble is, he did not tell them which year.

Michael Dixon

Sunderland

Poor comparison

TYPICAL Tory tactics. Robert Oliver dredges up the worst case of abuse of the benefits system and uses it to justify his party’s brutal attack on all benefit claimants, worthy or otherwise.

 Mr Oliver regurgitates the story of the feckless Keith MacDonald, who has ‘spawned’ 11 children by 10 different women.

 A story with which everyone in the country is familiar – a story which is manna from Heaven to the Tories.

 While no one has any sympathy for MacDonald or his foolish women, what of the children?

 They did not ask to be spawned and if they could have had any choice in the matter, I’m sure they would much prefered to have been spawned by Mr and Mrs Cameron or Osborne where they would have been born into a life of wealth and privilege – wet nurse, nanny, prep school, boarding school, Eton, Cambridge and if, after completing their formal education, they are found to be totally useless, then they could always be found a job as a Tory MP, marginally worse than being a benefits scrounger, I know, but the pay is better.

E Royal

Leave well alone

ONCE again Britain is being sucked into a situation it has no cause to be in.

 The recent deaths in Syria, no matter how they were caused, are a sad reflection of how unstable the Middle East region is.

 It’s for those countries to rectify and those countries alone.

 If Cameron’s ego, like Tony Blair’s, is allowed to get in the way of common sense, then Britain will be in even greater danger from homegrown terrorists, and it will be us, the ordinary people who’ll be at risk, not these idiots we call politicians.

M Brown