Letters, Friday, January 25, 2013

Have your say

Schools wanted to break a record

THE charity world record attempt, sign2sing, takes place on Wednesday, February 6, at 2.45pm.

 We are inviting school children from Sunderland and also parents, if they’d like to join in, to take part in our sign2sing 2013 Guinness World Records attempt for the most people signing and singing a song at the same time.

 Last year 114,277 children from across the UK and overseas took part in our sign2sing 2012 event and smashed the world record. The previous record, which we also set, was 94,489.

 More than 1,000 schools, including two from Sunderland have so far signed up for sign2sing 2013, but we are hoping around 1,200 schools will to ensure we break our current world record. It’s easy to take part, fun and educational too.

 We are urging schools in Sunderland to sign up as soon as possible, so they have time before February 6 to learn and rehearse the song, which has been composed especially for the sign2sing event.

 Sign2sing is also a fund-raiser for us through a suggested £1 donation from everyone taking part. Children are being asked to wear a scarf like Olli the Monkey, who is our official mascot, to school on the day of sign2sing and take in their £1 donation. The money raised will be used to continue our work helping to improve the mental and physical health and well-being of deaf people, including deaf children.

 This year, teachers and pupils who sign up for sign2sing will have access to digital resources, including a free whiteboard app. Sign2sing is all about communication and the app will make it easy for teachers to teach the signs and song in an engaging way.

 Olli the Monkey, who loves to sign, features in the online digital resources. Following sign2sing, all participant will be given a certificate containing a secret code, which will give them access to Olli’s online home, Monkey Manor. Children will be able to play sign language games, take part in competitions and win prizes, including an iPad mini.

 Any schools in Sunderland wishing to take part in the event can contact us on 01494 687600 or visit www.sign2sing.org.

Steve Powell,

Chief Executive,

Sign Health

Give us better city

THE headline in the Echo on January 15 read “council has to make £100m savings in its budget over the next three years”.

 We are not the only council throughout the country to have to make these savings. There is a old saying which says if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves. The council has never been able to look after the overall costs of running the city. It has spent money willy nilly and when the good times were here it just went on spending.

 Now the time has come to make savings, like all politicans, they always blame the Goverment for all this mess. Even if Labour was in power, savings would still have to be made – so stop moaning and groaning and get on with what needs to be done.

 Then we have Mr Spedding quoting Mr Macawber. It just goes to show you how out of touch these people are with reality and what is really happening in the real world.

 All you get is the blame game, passing the buck from one to another but Labour have been power for nearly 40 years in Sunderland and has anything changed – no.

 The time has come for the council to be more transparent. Members should be out there asking the views of the people and what they think should be done.

 I think that each and everyone of the Cabinet who is trusted to run our city should look in the mirror and ask the following question: Have we delivered what we promised?

 Have the people of Sunderland got a better standard of life and a city to be proud of?

 I wonder how many can honestly say they have.

George Gibson,


Cut the spending

DO the cuts (Echo, January 15) mean councillors will finally look into expenditures such as £196,332 for full-time trade union officials, £850,642 on lease cars for senior council officers, £24,000 on bottled water and the ever-growing expenditure on private consultancy firms?

 Does any other council have full-time trade union officials on their pay roll?

Brian Douglass

Look after us all

BEFORE everyone starts to blame Mrs Thatcher for the cuts, I think they should look towards the Labour Council first. They want to cut £200,000 pounds from the Citizens Advice Bureau. This is the same amount of money it costs to keep union officials in good jobs at the civic centre.

 I think well paid staff should pay for the bureau out of their salaries as all of Sunderland would benefit from the bureau not receiving any cuts.

 The time is right to start looking after the city and not just the civic centre.

 They should start by stopping all the perks. As I have said on many occasion, cars, bottled water, union officials, community news letters, overseas trips, fancy phones, consultants, master plans all of these have cost the city millions of pounds and we are still in the backwoods.

 The people of Sunderland have suffered long enough. It is time for the council to look after all of us and not just a select few inside.

G Liddle,


Paying price to park

SINCE 2012 it’s been a puzzle to me why retailers such as Dunelm, Matalan, Iceland, B&M, Poundstretcher etc at the Pallion Retail Park would want to support a parking management company such as UKCPS, which charges its customers £60 to park because all the parking bays are full.

 Stan Adle in his letter of December 20 and K Charlton, January 1, are paying the price, the latter saying “there is a small notice somewhere warning you not to park”.

 In about July this car park was resurfaced and marked up, not small but very large clear notices have been put up everywhere. They surround every store entrance. If a motorist can still see a number plate at 20.5m/67ft then these are unmistakable.

 What caught my eye last July was the DMUK logo in the bottom left of the warning notice. This is the logo of Disabled Motoring UK (formerly Mobilise). I could not understand why such an esteemed disability organisation had its logo on UKCPS warning notices, because UKCPS doesn’t give disabled badge holders any longer (three hours) than non-disabled when its accepted in the enlightened parts of the parking enforcement industry that disabled persons need longer to get around than others. It’s what’s called a “reasonable adjustment” under the Disability Discrimination Act Part 3.

 Disabled Motoring UK say it doesn’t endorse UKCPS so why does UKCPS mislead Pallion shoppers with the DMUK endorsement?

 Anyone who has grounds for complaint about UKCPS should write to the head office of the retailers they shop at. They have a “contract” with these retailers.

 I don’t pay to park so I don’t have a contract with UKCPS!

G White,


Just one of the lads?

WHAT a hero our young Harry is made out to be.

 Out in Afghanistan he’s just one of the lads, just plain captain Wales he is.

 I wonder if he lets his new mates see his payslip on paydays, and let his mates use his valet when he’s not.

 Call me cynical but as the camera showed him getting in his helicopter the camera panned around the desert nothing for miles it seemed.

 Was it Afghanistan because it looked uncannily like Tenerife.

Ged Taylor,


Search for cousin

I WOULD like to contact my cousin Kathleen, maiden name Williams. I last spoke to her about 10 to 15 years ago.

 I am Harriet Steel’s daughter and my number is 516 0975 or 07816 679928.

Ann White

Thanks for your help

MY family and myself wish to thank most sincerely the gentleman who helped me when I fell on Sunday December 23, beside Lloyds TSB bank in Seaham.



Goalie in team plea

I AM a goalkeeper looking for a team, under-18s or above.

 If anyone needs a goalie, I can be contacted on 07789524745.