Letters, Wednesday, September 25, 2013

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Unions only reflect members’ interests

ROBERT Oliver, the Sunderland Conservative spokesman for Education (and a teacher himself), criticised the teaching unions, the NUT and NASUWT, (September 9) for calling a strike next month to protect the pay, conditions and pension rights of members, which have been continually attacked by this Government

 Mr Oliver, like many of his Conservative colleagues, continually seeks to demonise unions. These unions only reflect the views of their members and the strikes will not go ahead unless they are supported by the teachers.

 Most teachers I know are intelligent people, who are able to think for themselves, and will not be led by their unions into a strike unless they feel they have a genuine grievance.

 I wonder whether Mr Oliver has had the opportunity to read the speech by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable.

 Mr Cable, who has been working alongside Conservative ministers for almost three years, criticised the Conservatives for making a scapegoat of unions, benefit claimants and ethnic minorities in his speech at the Liberal Party conference. He stated: “The list of people the Tories disapprove of is even longer than that – public sector workers, especially teachers.”

 Despite his political views, I do have a lot of sympathy for Mr Oliver, as I wonder how long it will be before the penny finally drops that the political party he has supported so fervently has nothing but contempt for him and any other public sector worker with a vocation to help and support other people, rather than the inclination to grab for themselves whatever they can.

R Scott

Peterlee

I’m truly privileged

YOU donated £3,302 to that grateful Grace House clown during the last month.

 The total for this year so far is £28,394, making a grand total of £74,917 since October 2009.

 The first collection last month was on Friday, August 2, at UKAR Call Centre, Doxford Park, where £346 was collected between 6.45am and 11.15am.

 A taxi then dropped the clown off at Pallion where he collected until 4.30pm. He also collected for a few hours on the Sunday and the collections raised £273.

 In between that, £278 was donated at Asda Ryhope on Saturday, August 3.

 On August 9 and 10, the amazing sum of £907 was given by the big-hearted customers at Morrisons, Seaburn.

  On Saturday, August 17, the clown was at Dalton Park where he raised £321. He must have been a pitiful sight in the wind and cold because three ladies brought him hot drinks.

 The next weekend raised £171 at Sainsburys, Gilesgate, followed by £282 at Matalan, Pallion, on Saturday, August 24. Then finally, £423 was raised at Asda Leechmere on Friday, August 30, and £316 at Lidl, Durham Road, on Saturday, August 31.

 Progress continues on the furnishing of Grace House and it will open in the very near future.

 I thank you all for your continued support.

 I truly feel privileged to be the middle man between an incredibly generous North-East public and a desperately needed facility.

 God bless you all.

Jeff Coxon,

Seaham

Unbearable cruelty

AFTER reading about the cruelty and neglect to Barney the pony, I cried and couldn’t get him out of my mind.

 The owner, who was banned from keeping horses for three years, should have been banned from keeping any animal for life and, in my opinion, should also have served some kind of prison sentence.

 How any human being could leave an animal to suffer like Barney did is, in my opinion, evil.

 I hope she suffers as poor Barney did.

 I felt sorry for the poor vet who had to put him out of his misery.

Mrs S Charlton

Mistaken identity

MRS Joan Munroe, of Hylton Road, would like to point out that Harry Munroe, who lives in York, is still very much alive.

 In her letter, regarding the sale of a fleet of cars to a gentleman in Arizona, she referred to her late husband who was, in fact, WG Munroe.