Letters, Wednesday, January 26th, 2010

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Take responsibility for your pet

AS a resident of Whitburn, I am sick of having to pick up cat mess from my garden, only to be told by cat owners that it is “in their nature”.

All animals have a nature, which we as pet owners must control. This has been done in Australia and California, where legislation dictates that your animal must not become a nuisance to your neighbours. Some British cat owners have trained their cats to either remain in the home, or within their property, so the excuse for the rest is sheer laziness.

Before any of them mention cat deterrents, believe me, they have all been tried, some of which are incredibly expensive – and why should I pay to keep your cat from being a pest?

Not only are the cat owners shirking their responsibility, ignoring the need for parents to provide a safe haven for their children, the dog owners are at it too. For years I’ve had dogs, taking with me nappy sacks, which are cheap (300 for 99p) can be doubled up and make good poop bags, plus they are scented.

This bag can be placed in a carrier, to be disposed of at home in your outdoor bin (not someone else’s, as I’m told this is popular too). The streets are littered with dog muck, left by owners who do not care about anyone else, too lazy to pick up, or worse, bagged dog mess, dropped on to the pavement, just waiting to be burst open by a small child. My son fell in dog mess right outside the primary school of all places.

Whitburn pet owners should be ashamed of themselves and start taking responsibility for their pets. It’s not up to everyone you inconvenience to look after your animal.

Angela Hunter, Fed-up Whitburn resident

No need for EMA

I AM worried about the tone the argument has taken over EMA for young people. It seems to be saying that without it poor people wont go and do higher education.

As someone whose parents never earned much more than lower-end wages, myself my sisters and brother all went on to higher education, as did many of my friends, all without the help of EMA.

The only benefit that our parents saw was an extension of family allowance while we were still in education, and we had access to the teen travel bus pass from Nexus. Thirty pounds a week is nice for doing courses that are also paid for by the tax payer, but EMA is a relatively new thing, not some entrenched ancient right. The money has to be found from somewhere.

The idea of further education, like an apprenticeship, is that you earn much more in later life and have better job and salary prospects than somebody who didn’t do further education. Sacrifice now, pay off later so you appreciate what you are working towards. If you cant see this bigger picture without a cash inducement, will you ever see it?

Shaun Cudworth

Job creation

I WAS very pleased to see the Government’s announcement about the introduction of the New Enterprise Allowance. This initiative is a significant part of what is needed as we seek to get our economy back on track.

The Coalition is, rightly in my view, taking the tough decisions necessary to sort out the financial mess the UK was left in and to restore confidence. But that is only half the job. Driving job creation is equally as important.

The New Enterprise Allowance will help to create up to 40,000 new businesses by 2013. It will help unemployed people in Sunderland who want to start their own business. It will be available to people who have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than six months and will provide access to business mentoring and offer financial support of up to around £2,000, including a weekly allowance for up to 26 weeks and access to a start up loan. In order to become eligible to receive the financial support, applicants will have to demonstrate that their business idea is viable.

The Government was right to reject Labour’s planned jobs tax, which would have seen National Insurance go up and directly harm businesses in the North East. It is also right that we do all we can to support growth and job creation and that is exactly what the New Enterprise Allowance is designed to do.

Martin Callanan, Conservative MEP

Party thank-you

WE would like to share our thoughts and thanks to all the staff of the Queen Vic in Roker for a wonderful Christmas Day.

The food was tremendous and everyone was so pleasant and happy. Nothing at all was too much bother. The staff are a credit to their workplace.

We shared the day with our family and were treated like “royalty” by the staff. Looking forward to Christmas Day 2011 – same place and, hopefully, the same staff. Many thanks for making Christmas Day so special.

Mr and Mrs J. Warwick

Cousin search

I AM trying to contact my cousin, Ann Morris (don’t know her married name). I believe she came up to Scotland four or five years ago looking for family. I am now in Sunderland. If Ann would like to make contact, she can phone me on 07843 197341.

Name and address supplied