Letters, Friday, February 22, 2013

Have your say

We need action not master plans

PEOPLE of this city might wonder why it’s in such a state.

 Could it be because of budget cuts? No. The council still finds money for company cars, jetting councillors off abroad, bottled water and subsidised meals. We also saw over 13 years of reckless spending.

 Could it be because of the shipyards and mines closing? No, that excuse is older than time itself and happened before I was born. Once again we have also seen 13 years of a Labour government throwing around money it did not have.

 So what is the cause of Sunderland being in the position it finds itself?

 To work it out we need to look at the success stories in the city. Doxford Park and Nissan for example. Private enterprises, with minimum council involvement, that have created tens of thousands of well paid jobs.

 Let’s look at the failures: Vaux, the Food Giant site and Crowtree Leisure Centre. What links these three sites? The council.

 Over the last decade we have seen the Vaux site lay dormant, progress hampered by constant interfering by the city council. We now see a site which should have provided thousands of jobs sit empty with no prospect of building.

  Crowtree is another example. A building left to rot. A prime leisure site left with zero maintenance and zero care. We now hear that it is to be demolished. Any plan of what will replace it? No, apart from a vague promise of retail outlets.

 Week after week we see “master plans” from the council explaining what they will do to make the city better.

 The only way we will see any real progress is by getting the council out of the way. Let private business do what it does best – build, invest and create prosperity for the people of this city.

 The difference between business and council is that if businesses don’t get it right first time they don’t make money. The council is voted in regardless and can waste our money time and again.

 Enough of the master plans, enough of the politics. You have had your chance. It’s time for prosperity and some real progress.

Dominic McDonough,


Memories of Wales

TESTIMONY Films is producing a new four part series for BBC Cymru Wales on life in Wales during the 1960s.

 We’re keen to speak to people who lived in Wales in the 1960s and have experiences and stories to share.

 The series will explore the dramatic changes that took place in Wales in the 1960s to transport, education, industry and the effect of the sexual and social revolution.

 Do you have a story about the education system in Wales in the 1960s? Perhaps you attended one of the early comprehensives in Wales? Or you might remember the last days of the grammar schools?

 Were you teaching in Wales at that time and have a story to tell about the dramatic changes to the education system?

 Do you remember the opening of the Severn Bridge and the M4, and the closure of many railway lines in Wales?

 Were you a rebel teenager who defied your traditional upbringing? Do you have a story about the taboo of sex before marriage? Did you listen to the new bands that were emerging out of Wales?

 Do you have a story about working in industry in the 1960s? Perhaps you remember the new opportunities that were opening up for women in the work place?

 Did you work down the mines, the steel works or work in a factory on one of the big industrial estates?

 If you or someone you know has memories of life in Wales in the 1960s or would like more information on the series, please contact me on 0117 925 8589, emily.sivyer@testimonyfilms.com or at Testimony Films, 12 Great George Street, Bristol BS1 5RH.

Emily Sivyer,

Researcher Testimony Films

Excellent care

AFTER developing a heart problem and being admitted to the Royal Hospital Cardiac Centre, and at a time when with the help and encouragement of the legal profession, the complaints and compensation band wagon is in full swing, I should like to express gratitude to the doctors and staff of the Cardiology and Catheter Centre.

 In particular to Cardiology Consultants Dr Mahmood and Dr Maja for the excellent treatment I received during the unexpected difficulties encountered with the angiogram/angioplasty procedures which they overcame with quite unbelievable expertise and determination.

 The doctors and staff of this department are a credit not only to the Royal Hospital, but indeed to the city of Sunderland itself.

Eric Ward,


Sand mystery

I WAS wondering where did the sand that formed the sandhills at Grindon came from?

 One theory was it was ballast from ships, another it was sand for making glass. Does anyone


Trevor Bone