Letters, Friday, February 17, 2012

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Council should reopen Crowtree

THE new Bring Back Crowtree petition has shown that a lot of people do actually want Crowtree Leisure Centre reopened for all to use, despite what the council may think. Bobby White was right in saying that he thinks it’s a shame that the younger generations are missing out on all the fun that he used to have there.

The council spent a lot on opening and revamping the leisure centre back in the day, so why let all that money go to waste? Thinking about it logically, if Crowtree was to reopen it would bring more people to the area, which would draw in more money which the council could spend on things that Sunderland actually needs, instead of spending it on things like the old Vaux site where, still, nothing has been developed.

The leisure centre is in the middle of the city, so therefore very easy to get to with all the buses and Metros that go near there, which would draw people in from other cities. That again, would bring in more money for the area.

The Aquatic Centre is good if you’re training for competitions or want to get fit, but it isn’t very family friendly, and with the Government promoting healthly lifestyles, how is that going to be achieved if there aren’t any places that attract children, as they see swimming as fun not exercise?

Also the ice-rink was very popular. It was packed every night, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays as they were the disco nights. Imagine how many people would go to ice-rink if it was reopened. Judging by the number of people who go the the Life Centre ice-rink at Christmas and Whitley Bay ice-rink, my guess is that it would be just as full as it used to be back in the 80s and 90s.

The Echo also had an article on how one in four shops in the city centre is closed. As the council is planning on turning the Crowtree site into more shops, why not open those stores in the one in every four that are closed? That makes much more sense.

Councillor Dave Allan stated that there are seven new Wellness Centres in Sunderland. Will a Wellness Centre attract children and older people? No, it will not.

All in all, many people think that the Crowtree Leisure Centre should be reopened for everyone to use and, hopefully, the campaign Bobby White has set up will help to achieve this.

Rachel Hull, Coniston Avenue, Fulwell, Sunderland

Dog-mess problem

A FULWELL ward survey which I carried out recently revealed that, after the Vaux site, the three most important issues concerning local residents were the poor state of the city centre, the seafront and dog fouling.

I am grateful to my two ward colleagues and to the Echo for highlighting this last matter (Echo, February 9). Pets of all varieties bring much joy to their owners. However, these same people have a responsibility to their neighbours to clear up after their pets.

I am appalled at the number of dog owners that think it enough to place Fido’s waste in a plastic bag which is then dropped on the pavement, frequently a few steps from a waste bin or, worse still, in someone’s nearby garden.

I encourage each and everyone of us to set a good example by clearing all forms of waste as we go.

Bob Francis, Conservative councillor, Fulwell Ward

Fight for woodland

I REALLY enjoy walking in Brecon Hill Woods and around Joe’s Pond. I love it because these areas provide quiet green spaces, close to home, where local people can spend time walking, birdwatching, dog walking and having picnics. In the current economic climate it is important to have inexpensive leisure activities.

It has been almost a year since the Secretary of State bowed to public pressure and put on hold proposals to sell England’s Forestry Estate. An independent panel was set up to look at the future of all forests in England and, along with the Ramblers, I’m worried that people think that the battle has been won and our woodland walks are safe for future generations.

The panel is busy gathering information for its final report in the spring. I welcome its initial recommendation that the forests currently owned by the Forestry Commission should remain publicly owned, with a high level of public access.

However, Forestry Commission land only accounts for 18 per cent of English woodlands and I think this is a golden opportunity for the panel to look at the other 82 per cent of woodland and truly put public access at the heart of forestry policy in England.

We still need to fight for the future of woodland walking.

Brenda Megennis

Hear, hear!

WELL said, Bob Paterson (Letters, February 14). You’ve put in a nutshell what the majority of the British population must be thinking. How can so many of us be so easily disregarded by our “political servants”?

Keith Teer, Monkwearmouth