Letters, Friday, April 18, 2014

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Health warning to would-be thieves

IN training people how to handle asbestos safely, I see and hear many reports of a lot of unusual cases, but police reports from earlier this year of thieves stealing equipment from building sites containing asbestos is a very real concern.

 Asbestos can be found in a host of places and even when labelled as hazardous, it is not stopping people risking their lives by handling it.

 There is no known cure for diseases caused by asbestos and not even the most cold hearted among us would hand a thief a death sentence such as this.

 There is also the added problem of children finding building sites attractive places to play.

 For anyone, thief or otherwise, who suspects they may have come into contact with asbestos, our advice would be to seek medical advice and if you have stolen the substance, report where you have left it to the police so no one else comes into contact with it. The asbestos can then be safely disposed of.

 People need to understand that asbestos remains the biggest cause of work-related deaths in the UK and this hidden killer must only be handled by people trained to do so safely. 

 If in any doubt, experts will be able to advise on the appropriate action.

 Nichol Associates has spent years training and advising organisations throughout the country on such matters.

 Visit us at www.nicholassociates.co.uk for further information.

David Nichol,

managing director,

Nichol Associates

A once proud city

I HAVE written a few letters in the past bemoaning the state of Sunderland.

 This time I would like to praise something which I discovered in a charity shop, which just might provide the spur to get the oomph back into this once great location.

 Walking through the streets of the city, one could almost be forgiven in thinking that you were in a third world country, with the filth and litter strewn across the place. The stink of old tobacco from discarded cigarettes or the smoke barrier in front of shops and bus shelters.

 The thing that might make a difference is a book – yes, that’s right – a book. It is entitled My Sunderland and it is a collection of items and letters that make the reader proud of what was done in the past.

 I know that you can’t live in the past, but you can certainly learn from it.

 The book is an inspiration and should be obligatory reading for all councillors, officers and indeed the general public.

 I came to the North East in 1981 and had the pleasure of being part of Washington Development Corporation – without which the area would be in an even worse state.

 I had no real idea of what had happened in the Sunderland region other than a great flying boat from the Second World War was named after it.

 My Sunderland mentions great names such as Charles Dickens, who acted in the theatre in Sunderland, LS Lowry who painted scenes and lived near the sea when he stayed here.

 High quality glass was produced in Sunderland and exported all around the world.

 The story goes on and on. This book could provide the next generation with the inspiration to make Sunderland a world class name again.

David Warden,


Voting for monkeys

WHAT a travesty it was to watch the programme on Channel 5 about gypsies on benefits.

 What an insult to the taxpayers of this country, as well as people on benefits, who are getting their money taken away completely or slashed, making it hard for them to manage.

 These gypsies come over here to get free housing, free health care and a better life. A lot more than many of us who were born here seem to get.

 They have it all worked out before they even get over here.

 When one woman gets sanctioned for not looking for work she is angry. Well hello, that is what everyone who is on Jobseekers has to put up with.

 The people of Britain are being taken for fools by everyone – this is a big problem. It shouldn’t be allowed to go on.

 We are all entitled to a good life where the money keeps coming in.

 I hope in the next election that there will be a new party put into power that will stop all this and try to put what is wrong in this country right.

 If the British public will vote for monkeys they will have to have a lot of nuts to throw at them, I’m afraid.

B Crute,

High Barnes

The law is a joke

ABOUT 28 years ago my son was absent from class enough times for me, as a parent, to be prosecuted for not making sure he got an education as prescribed by law.

 I was fined £100 as my son was absconding. The very fact that I was a single father bringing up three boys after my divorce, unemployed with very little money did not make any difference to the judge.

 My son, by the ways, is now doing very well in work – so lost education did nothing.

 Michael Gove’s regime has issued 52,000 £60 fines to parents.

 So explain this: How come a parent, who unknowingly has a child who absconds from a school where the teachers have no control, is guilty of breaking the law “by their child not getting an education,” as prescribed by law?

 Why are teachers allowed to go on strike and stay away from school? Surely this is not giving pupils “the education as prescribed by law.”

 So the law gets £3,120,000 in fines from parents, but teachers pay nothing, and probably get paid for their absenteeism.

 British law is a laughing stock.

Mr J A Stott,


It’s playing politics

WHO needs enemies when you have friends like David Cameron and the Tory Party?

 At the beginning of the week they were fighting to defend the culture secretary, Maria Miller, regarding fraudulent claims on her mortgage.

 Days later, they were queuing up to plunge a knife into her back.

 Do they really expect us to believe that she decided to do the honourable thing and resign?

 Where was the honour when she was defrauding the taxpayer out of £45,000 – refunding a mere £4,500.

 It is more likely that Mr Cameron had a quiet word, saying that if she went quietly he would, if re-elected, bring her back into the cabinet.

M Mcardle,


Missing beauty

I AM at a loss that the very attractive, bubbly winner of the Miss Sunderland 2013 competition is not being put regularly in the public eye.

 We have had some very high profile events recently which she should have been part of.

 Is it that the management team behind her are not promoting her in an effective way?

 She should be showing off what beautiful talent we have in the North East and also preparing for the next stage, the Miss England competition.

 All I can say those responsible for promoting Miss Sunderland should be seen to be doing just that.

Michael Coughlin

Bowls players’ plea

ONCE again I would like to invite all members and prospective members to our seasonal bowls meeting at 2pm on Saturday in the pavilion at Barley Mow Park.

 We play most afternoons during the season, and enter SDBA leagues on a Monday and Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon for the Vets. We also take part in the Friday night Grindon league.

 The first game will take place on April 25.

G Gibson

Help appreciated

ON Saturday, April 5, I had an accident at the bottom of Wensleydale Avenue, Penshaw.

 I would like to thank the five people who looked after me until the ambulance came – something I forgot to do on the day.

 I greatly appreciate your help and kindness. There doesn’t seem to be any lasting damage but I do have a wonderful black eye.

 Thanks again.

Joyce Armstrong

An honest deed

SINCERE thanks to the very honest gentleman who found my black purse outside the fruiters in Houghton on Saturday, April 12, and kindly delivered it back to my neighbour in Mulberry Park.

 I would have liked to thank you personally but you did not leave a name or contact number.

 Your good turn is really appreciated.

 Many thanks.

Diane Lodge,

Mulberry Park