Letters, Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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Need to nurture our green world

TIME To Cut Back The Ivy was a heading, which appeared in the gardening section of one of our national papers.

 True, it is high time the ivy was cut back, not only in private gardens but everywhere – it is relentlessly spreading.

 Encouraged by a letter featured on these pages, I am adding my voice to the plea for anyone who takes care of trees, hedges and bushes (is there anyone?) to also cut back ivy.

 It is a parasite that is so invasive that it prevents trees from reaching their full potential and through its sheer weight can pull them over. Hedges and shrubs can be completely smothered and killed. Why spend thousands of pounds on planting trees, restoring hedges and parks for ivy to be given free rein?

 We still have some old magnificent trees and some old hedges have survived (thanks to the care of previous generations) giving homes to wildlife and making our countryside beautiful, but more than this their preservation is a necessity for their unique role in taking up tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air and replacing it with the same enormous amount of oxygen.

 This is needed more than ever today in the face of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 Future generations will see our neglect as a dereliction of our duty to preserve and cherish our heritage.

W Gibson,

East Herrington

Not envy – anger

I AGREE with Ged Taylor about the late Bob Crow (March 15).

 It’s refreshing to hear about a union leader who won his members decent rates of pay and conditions of work.

 Whoops – have I said something wrong? After so many years of union-bashing, I clean forgot they are the “enemy within”.

 Thatcher’s victory over the unions, plus her vindictive destruction of traditional industries, ensured many workers don’t get a living wage now.

 Think of the temps, the part-timers, the shelf-stackers, agency workers with no basic rights, employees on zero-hour contracts living in fear of hire and fire policies.

 Britain has some of the most repressive anti-union legislation in the world. Yet we are told to rejoice over what Tories call Thatcher’s greatest achievement.

 If I hear one more Tory politician praise “hard-working families”, I shall put my foot through my television.

 These friends of stockbrokers, bankers and billionaires sneer at the jobless as feckless layabouts, and now they’ve destroyed the industries which once gave workers self-respect and sustained communities. They blame the poor for being unable to rise out of their poverty.

 Thatcher’s view, warmly endorsed by Blair, was that we are all middle class now. If you don’t aspire to own a home or chase after loads of money, you don’t fit in.

 It won’t do just to be working class, earning enough to feed your family and pay the bills.

 The Tory party is a coalition of privileged groups, who defeated the old working class and mock those left behind as chavs.

 They deflect people’s venom away from themselves and against those on the lowest rungs of society: immigrants, the unemployed, those on benefits.

 Tories will call my grumbles the politics of envy. I’d say it’s the anger of someone whose side lost the class war.

Henry Whipple,

Washington

Unfair parking fine

I WONDER what is going on with the private parking firm that is giving people parking fines even though it is not their fault.

 I have been given a fine because I could not park in a disabled bay at the Royal Eye Infirmary so I parked in a normal bay. Apparently, I should have registered with the hospital but no one told me this so I got a ticket for £40.

 Then, low and behold, the same firm has given someone else I know, who was parked in a disabled bay, a fine, even though they had their tickets on the dashboard – just like I did.

 Why would you want to park in a disabled bay without your disabled tickets on the car? You know you have to pay for a ticket or put your badges on the car.

 This company is a menace. It has no proof you parked without tickets. It just sends letters with a couple of photos of your vehicle coming in and going out of the car park – nothing else.

 If you are disabled and have badges you should be told on a notice board that you have to register at the reception area of where you are going instead of having to be a mind reader.  So it looks like the blue badge is not really legal when you park in a disabled bay or an ordinary bay in my case. You need to inform people.

 Parking Eye hasn’t really got its eye on the ball has it.

 If it is too hard for the firm to see what is going on, why doesn’t it employ parking attendants like the car parks in the town centre, or does it not want to pay money out for this?

 I have appealed against my fine. There is no way I will pay a parking fine when I put tickets on the dashboard of my car.

 I did what I had to do to take someone, who has difficulty walking, to get their eyes tested. An ordinary bay was the only bay near enough to the doors of the hospital.

 I wonder how many people have fallen foul of this system?

Mrs B Crute,

Sunderland

Power mad nations

SURELY Russia is doing what the EU would do? The EU is annoyed that Crimea is now Russian. Russia is worried that the Ukraine would be taken over by the EU so has grabbed Crimea.

 The EU, run by Germany, wants all possible countries to kowtow to them. Then they would bribe the Ukraine to join the Euro and we know all Euro countries are bankrupt. Russia and the EU both want power.

Majorie Matthews,

Sunderland

Amazing people

I HAVE yet again picked up a cheque from the Boxing Day Dip 2013, along with a very special cup.

 The Lions Club Cup is awarded to the group raising the most sponsorship money.

 Our fantastic team Footprints In The Sand has picked up this cup for nine consecutive years.

 I am yet again overwhelmed by the amazing support we receive for Peter’s Trust Fund.

 What another great achievement by my brave, brave dippers who yet again gave up their Boxing Day morning to run into the cold North Sea to raise some more money to put in our Peter’s wonderful trust fund.

 I feel so proud of each and every one of you, also, of course, our incredible sponsors, from single £1 donations to our generous companies who once again dug deep and sponsored us £100 each.

 How proud we were to be carrying your companies’ names or logos on our fantastic t-shirts, which were yet again printed by our friends Keith and Darren, from Total Sports.

 My thanks again to Sunderland Lions Club members as without them and their wonderful work and commitment, this event would not take place. It is always a pleasure to donate our 20 per cent to their chosen charities.

 We raised the amazing amount of £4,800 from the dip.

 All the money raise this year will be donated to Cancer Research UK.

 So once again, thank you all for your continued support – you are amazing people.

Julie Reay