Letters, Friday, August 02, 2013

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Campaign to raise awareness of Polio

BRITISH Polio Month is under way and as part of the campaign to raise awareness of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), I urge readers to contact The British Polio Fellowship should they find themselves with nowhere to turn and in need of our support.

 Few realise over 120,000 people in the UK suffer from PPS and despite affecting around as many people as Parkinson’s disease, this devastating neurological condition can be missed or misdiagnosed by GPs – leaving those with PPS feeling forgotten.

 The British Polio Fellowship is here to help. Our website survey is researching GPs knowledge of Polio and PPS, while our Medical Alert Card, Map of Medicine and other online resources provide the medical community and patients alike with the tools and support they need. With a large population from countries where Polio is still prevalent, such as those from the Asian Community living with Polio and PPS in the UK also need our assistance, together with their families, carers and health professionals.

 Thanks to the support of celebrities like Julia Roberts and Team GB Paralympian heroes, like London 2012 silver medalist James Crisp, British Polio Month has been a great success so far, yet making GPs and the public aware of Polio and PPS remains our top priority.

 Those who need assistance with the debilitating effects of Polio and PPS, The British Polio Fellowship can be contacted on 0800 018 0586 or email us at info@britishpolio.org.uk or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk

Ted Hill MBE,

CEO The British Polio Fellowship

Common ground

AMAZINGLY, albeit feeble and unfounded, misjudged and erroneous, there have been disagreements with my views on the incompetence and ineptitude of the last two parliaments.

 The critics seem to come from those I lovingly call Loony Leftist Liberals.

 But on the subject of MPs’ remuneration, I fear that I am in danger of providing some common ground.

 When the Daily Telegraph exposed our MPs’ disgraceful expenses scandal, few would have believed that it would lead, especially in these times of austerity, to an 11 per cent pay rise for the guilty parties.

 Sir Ian Kennedy, of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which has a budget of £6million, seems to have decided that MPs’ abuse of their expenses was due to the inadequacy of their legitimate remuneration, so they must take the near £8,000 pa salary rise, like it or not, because he does not want a return to those scandalous times. Even TV correspondents refer to MPs as “filling their boots” with expenses because they felt passed over in salary reviews, with a kind of “ Well who wouldn’t” attitude.

 Should we therefor pay subsidies to shoplifters because they cannot afford to buy the item? Of course not, and we should not have set up yet another expensive quango simply to reward the disgraced MPs

 They have created the perfect “have your cake and eat it” scenario where the good and the bad alike must take a pay rise while all in Parliament, including the Prime Minister, wring their hands in mock horror. Meanwhile Sir Ian takes the flack until 2017, when he will be installed in the House of Lords for a spot of his own imaginative expenses claiming, and all will be back to normal until an enterprising Sunderland Echo reporter unmasks the next public sector villain and the cycle begins all over again.

 Meanwhile you and I get poorer and poorer but our public servants go in the other direction.

Denis Gillon


The poor relation

THE Echo lead with the story that Sunderland’s iconic new bridge design is scrapped as it’s too expensive.

 Looking at the road transport infrastructure in the North East, we see that the Trans Penine A66 is 90 per cent single carriageway between the A1M and M6. The A1 north of Morpeth is 90 per cent single carriageway until you reach Scotland.

 The most important cross Britain route is the A69-M6. Carlisle to A1M Newcastle, this forms a landbridge from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland via the Tyne to Europe. This almost is all single lane route with a 60mph limit, but clogged with HGVs, whose maximum speed is 40mph, but often crawl at 30mph when hill gearchanging.

 Having crawled behind a supermarket wagon from the M6 in a long traffic jam, I turned off at the Spadeaddam Military Base and joined the B6318 Roman road from Greenhead and what a revelation is was, void of wagons an easy speed of 60mph achieved to Tyneside.

 It’s coming to something that a road intended for 2013 traffic (A69) is dumbed down to 30/40mph due to lack of developmentm, when a Roman road, designed for horse and cart, maintained 60mph.

 Ed Cox, Director for the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) who advises from the Treasury National Infrastructure Plane Pipeline data, states that Government transport funding is spent thus: London and South East – £2,595 per person, and here in the North East it’s £5 per person and 33 transport projects for London and South East, while we in the North East have three – yes, that is, three.

 If the Scottish border was redrawn horizontal across Britain from the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse to the North Sea, Sunderland would be in Scotland and all the better for it.

G White,


Sort out the weeds

HAS anyone else noticed the state of the weeds in every part of Sunderland?

 Is the place not bad enough without two-feet high weeds growing everywhere.

 The gutters are overgrown and the city (ha ha) looks a right mess.

 Come on, council, you waste money all the time, buy some weed killer and sort out the problem.

C McGiffen,

High Barnes

Priceless support

I WOULD like to thank the young couple and the lady who came to my assistance on Saturday, July 13, when I fell at Hylton Retail Park.

 Unfortunately, I did not get their names but cannot thank them enough for everything they did. It is nice to know we have some caring people in the world who are willing to give up their time to help others.

 Your help and support was priceless. Thank you once again.

Gordon Brown, 83

Unwelcome feeling

ON Thursday, July 18, I was in the city centre and decided to visit Julie Elliott’s office in Norfolk Street at 3.50pm.

 Her personal assistant, Graham Marsh, answered and explained that he wanted to go home early, so it was not convenient for me to see him.

 I felt a bit offended but thought that nothing is perfect on this earth and he might have a good reason to leave early on such a lovely day.

 The following Wednesday, July 24, at 4pm, I was leaving central library and thought it a good idea to call at Miss Elliott’s office again. I pressed the buzzer and a lady answered to say Miss Elliott was in London. She asked for my name and I gave my name and address. She said she would send someone down to see me.

 A gentleman opened the door but blocked the entrance with the lady a few feet behind him in the hall.

 I could tell by their actions that they did not want to let me in, which took me by surprise, and I felt embarrassed.

 I said I could see they did not want to let me in and the lady spoke of the need for appointment. I said: “It doesn’t matter” and walked away.

 It is a bit much to have an unwelcome reception twice in less than a week.

 I have decided not to go back and feel reluctant to contact Miss Elliott in any way.

 As I walked along St Thomas Street, I remembered how courteous and helpful the staff were at Mr Ethrington’s office in Bridge Street.

John Watson

Daft to take babies

I WAS at the Air Show on Saturday – what a brill day out.

 The only things that spoilt it were poor babies crying and people with dogs. Why do they take dogs and babies to an Airshow?

 One idiot mother took a two-week-old baby. It was far too hot for them to cope.

Margaret Crosbie,