Letters, Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

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Disgraceful cost of school photos

WHY are school photos so expensive? A friend of mine has just received the packages for her children’s school photos. The main package is £29.50 for the highest one, the lowest being £17.50 plus extra for so-called add-ons which you can’t purchase unless you get a main package, so you can forget about trying to purchase one of them alone.

I know that there are a few single-parent families who have more than one child at school, so you are talking double or even tripple the amount there for the top package which could cost just short of £100.

You can’t get half of one package and half of other – it must be all of each. You can’t even get one package and a different add-on.

Years ago they stopped children wearing designer clothes at school because the kids that couldn’t afford them were ridiculed by the others. So isn’t it just the same with these photos? The children whose parents can afford them will, in a roundabout way, rub the others’ noses in it. In a lot of cases this won’t be done deliberately, but will still be done.

In this day and age why do we need these photos as you can take a photo of your child in their school uniform with a digi-camera and go to the supermarket or photo shop and do you own at the same sizes for less than quarter of the price.

James Mather, Sunderland

Not private matter

IN reply to Kevin Stoker, the reason I had a go at Councillor Anderson was that she had gone on Facebook, but the sub-committe said she had no case to answer because it was her “private views”.

I’m sorry but that’s not correct. She is as an elected official, voted in by the people of her ward, and she should have had the common sense not to air her views in public.

How you can support her actions is beyond belief. I’m ex-5/16 Lancers. I did three tours of Northern Ireland, trying to keep the peace, and I do not expect elected officials to publicly support the IRA.

Coun Anderson may be a nice lady, but I object to her views being on Facebook. She should have known better.

Scott Andrews, Wilkinson Terrace, Ryhope

Politics every day

IT is customary for political parties to write thanking the electorate for votes following an election. On behalf of the Sunderland Greens, I am sincerely grateful to the people of Sunderland.

You have my thanks for the votes you cast for me in Doxford Ward and for the other Green candidates, who stood in a record number of wards across Sunderland for the third year running.

Moreover, you have my thanks for making Sunderland the community it is. I am grateful for the kindness I receive every day, for the care I can get from nurses and doctors, for the education system my children benefit from, and for the hard work of workers throughout our community.

In the Green Party we believe that politics is what happens every day; in our streets, workplaces, and homes. Politics is not just a periodic trip to the ballot box. That is why I specifically make a point of thanking my community and not just those who voted for me or my colleagues.

Only 32 per cent of Wearsiders did vote and it’s not hard to see why. The Tory Coalition government appears corrupt and incompetent, unable or unwilling to hold to any promises, and Labour are unable to adequately resist Tory politics, whether in or out of power.

So, while it is welcome to see Greens making steady electoral progress across the country, I take this opportunity to call for all those who want to protect our environment, maintain and develop our community and build a better future to support us. Let’s work together. See our website for more information: www.sunderlandgreenparty.org.uk

Caroline Robinson, Co-ordinator, Sunderland Green Party

Cancer screening

A COUPLE of months ago, I had a letter printed in the Echo. This was after my son and myself had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Therefore there is a family potential for bowel cancer. I was attempting to convey this to my estranged daughter.

I now have additional information, which may be beneficial to her. A genetic counsellor has said there is an increased risk of bowel cancer for the other siblings. I must stress this does not mean they definitely will contract bowel cancer.

When the geneticists have completed their research, they will formulate an appropriate screening interval for all the siblings, which hopefully will drastically reduce their chances of ever having bowel cancer.

If my daughter wishes to access the screen advice, when available, the address for genetic counselling is: Institute of Genetic Medicine, International Centre for Life, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3BZ.

Name and address supplied