Letters, Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

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Mosque will be good for city

IN recent weeks there has been some debate regarding a possible mosque and community centre in Millfield. As a resident of Millfield and Sunderland (born and bred), I wish to give my opinion.

The issue is our council is selling a garage/depot that is surplus to requirements in these hard times, and at a good price (£450,000) to a section of Sunderland’s community. It’s a no-brainer. Why not?

If assurances are given that parking and noise will be monitored, then planning permission should be allowed.

In my opinion it will be good for Sunderland. It will enhance our city’s reputation as a pleasant place for all people to visit and live. It will increase our reputation as people who embrace and are tolerant of all people in the world from all countries and religions.

As a city we need to continue to develop our relationships with all people and cultures and this potential regional mosque and community centre would add to our multicultural reputation.

In these hard times our city needs to keep welcoming business and people from all areas to keep Sunderland financially healthy.

If we shun other cultures and religions or make it difficult for new people to live in our great city, we will self-destruct.

Without foreign investment Sunderland would not have a magnificent university to be proud of, because without foreign students our university would shrink to the size of a local college. Without foreign investment, no Nissan, no local jobs. Sunderland would become a ghost town. Therefore the decisions made by our good city’s leaders are done to ensure we remain a cosmopolitan city with charitable and ethical values.

Let’s continue to understand and respect other cultures. A regional mosque will be good for Sunderland. Live and let live.

Gordon Chalk, Millfield, Sunderland

Calls ignored

I WOULD like to say a big thank-you to Karen Garbutt of the Gentoo Silksworth office and also Paul Woodvine of the gardening team at Gentoo.

I contacted them when I wanted information on the chemicals that Gentoo were spraying on the paths to get rid of weeds. They were very helpful in finding out the exact contents of the chemicals being used.

Let me explain. Over the last month residents have lost five cats, and dog owners have had problems with their dogs having sickness and diarrhoea.

Contrast this with sunderland council. Two weeks ago I telephoned the council and told them that I was concerned about the chemicals being sprayed around the streets and parks in Ryhope. Nobody bothered to reply to my phone calls.

On September 20 I again telephoned the council telling them my concerns and again I was told someone from the parks and gardening deptartment would ring me. Guess what? Two days later I’d still no call from the council. You would have thought that the council would have been concerned enough to have picked up the phone to call me, but no.

Scott Andrews, Wilkinson Terrace, Ryhope

Back the bridge

THE council has recently submitted its “best and final” bid to the Department for Transport in support of the building of a new road bridge across the River Wear. The Government’s response is expected at the end of the year.

Conservative councillors fully support the council’s proposals. While we cannot guarantee the bid’s success, we will do all we can to facilitate the building of the new bridge.

The bridge has been talked about for years. It is needed as part of a new route into central Sunderland – helping reduce traffic congestion and connect major development sites which, in turn, could guarantee new investment and jobs.

The bridge is part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor project and the bridge and new approach roads would increase accessibility to potential regeneration locations along the river corridor.

The council’s bid for funds is in competition with bids from other councils across the country. The design of the bridge may have proved controversial. Hopefully, however, we can all support the bid and see the benefits it could bring to our city.

Coun Peter Wood, Conservative Transport spokesman

What’s in a name?

SCOTTISH Conservatives want to change their party’s name north of the border so they’ll have a better chance of winning elections. The idea is that if only they have a different name, voters will forget who they really are and the harm they did.

I’ve just had a brilliant idea: what Sunderland’s Conservatives can do to win our council again. Any suggestions for a new name, anyone? (Nothing rude or offensive, please – remember this is a family newspaper).

Martin Welbourne, Chester Road, Sunderland