Better way to spend cash

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It was interesting to see that Labour MP Julie Elliott has finally woken up to the fly-tipping epidemic that many parts of central Sunderland have been suffering from for months (MP urges war on fly-tippers, November 21).

It was convenient that the MP didn’t seek to put any of the blame at the door of her Labour colleagues who run Sunderland City Council.

Far from being forced to cut street cleaning services as they would have you believe, ruling Labour councillors have chosen to do so; even though they knew that areas like Millfield, Thornhill, Hendon and Southwick would suffer badly.

To add insult to injury, at the same time as cutting back on street cleaning they have chosen to protect spending on free meals for councillors after meetings and have refused to cut their ‘special responsibility allowances’.

If they reduced these allowances to the same level as Newcastle Council it would save £240,000 a year that could be better spent employing hard working street cleaning staff.

Instead of seeking a photo opportunity, perhaps Julie Elliott could be more effective if she waged a war on wasteful spending at Labour-run Sunderland Council.

Niall Hodson

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Millfield and Thornholme