Letters, Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

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Don’t delay pier reopening again

HAVING witnessed through the fishing competition recently, the popularity of angling in the North East, also the previous Vaux competitions of the past, surely the council members in charge of repairing and maintenance of the Roker Pier must realise it’s important to thousands of people who follow the sport year-round. Also the people who enjoy a refreshing walk and sightseeing, the amount of people who stop and talk to the anglers from baits to rods, reels, hooks and the techniques is impressive.

There are dedicated anglers, old and young, who like myself have a love for wetting the line and enjoying the camaraderie within the sport, making friendships inevitable, and we help each other if we can through experience of gear, bait etc. It is very rare there is any trouble or animosity.

Not being very mobile myself now, I use my scooter to go fishing. There is no way I could get down to the seafront or anywhere without it, it’s my independence and there are a lot of others in the same situation. The pier is the only way we can fish – we can’t use the cliffs or beaches.

Fishing is a good way to get fresh air and out of the house and is very therapeutic so long as we are well wrapped up.

Now and then I’ve noticed you have closed the pier. Again you were inspected and given the green light by health and safety and there was no problems in the recent competition.

I know a new gate is to go up but for you to let us use the pier we would not be in the way of work. You promised the pier would be open so many times since June, the latest is end of November. Please keep this date and don’t let us down once again.

Colin S. Wasey, Zetland Square, Monkwearmouth

Surprising claims

COUN David Potts’ letter “New-bridge claims” (December 2) fair took my breath away. Sunderland Conservatives are regularly blamed for all manner of misfortune but never yet has the Vaux fiasco been laid at our door.

The need to develop the site has been a constant refrain on our part for many years and our representations played their part in ensuring that the Coalition not only followed the previous Labour Government in promising to fund its purchase but – unlike Labour – actually delivered that funding.

He goes on to assert that the 6,000 jobs that will be created by the new Wear Crossing project are “short term and unsustainable” because “artificially creating jobs in areas such as construction is never wise economics”. If he had taken the trouble to learn anything about the project he’d know that those 6,000 jobs are not construction jobs but jobs created as a result of the infrastructure benefits of having a new bridge. Six thousand construction jobs – it’s not a pyramid!

He rounds off with a call for the “Tory government” (sic) to give us a “promised referendum” on our payments to the EU. What referendum? When was such a thing promised? Let’s have one by all means, but let’s not invent non-existent promises to justify the demand.

He might at least recognise that the Coalition has guaranteed a referendum in the event of any future transfer of powers to the EU under its watch. Whether an EU as we currently know it will exist to transfer such powers to remains to be seen, however.

Coun Tony Morrissey, Conservative, Barnes

Spare a thought

WITH the festive season upon us, Action for Blind People is urging local people to spare a thought for residents with sight loss.

Some blind and partially sighted people find it difficult to get out and about on their own, particularly in crowded places, when it’s frosty and hazardous under foot, and when there’s less daylight and shorter days. They can’t see the obstacles and dangers ahead of them.

We are encouraging anyone who has a blind or partially sighted neighbour to help make sure everyone has a festive holiday season.

To show some extra Christmas spirit, you can: Contact visually impaired neighbours to make sure they’re okay; offer to help them get out and about; be their sighted guide – walking with them around shops; guide them around icy and slippery surfaces; offer to post their Christmas cards and presents.

For more information visit www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk

Elizabeth Percy, Head of North East Region Action for Blind People

Undoing justice

I CAN sympathise with Mr Johnson (Echo, November 25) regarding his son’s killers. Three men were legally tried and convicted in a British court and found guilty.

Now some smart lawyer will not only fill his pockets but go out of his way to prove one of them was less guilty than the other two. In fact he will be undoing justice.

Allan Pollitt, Mere Knolls Road, Sunderland