Letters, Friday, June 28, 2013

Have your say

Please don’t shut our great library

PLEASE do not close Silksworth library.

 I am disabled and use a wheelchair. How could I access Sandhill Library? Have you tried to find a parking bay? The school, the nursery, the drop-in centre, and goodness knows who else all park there. The car park is quite full most days and not all are library users, I am certain.

 There is a very steep bank up to the library and about 25 concrete steps. I cannot propel myself up the bank or use the steps to the entrance.

 There is a busy main road and a bus route, which is near a busy junction with cars parked along the road – school children being dropped off and picked up. All this is quite dangerous for me.

 Ryhope library? Again a busy building, doctors’ surgeries, chiropody clinic etc and not a large car park. It too is on a main bus route.

 Silksworth library has easy access, good parking, wheelchair access and wonderful staff.

 How can you close this new building? Help, please.

Mrs M Smith,

Beckwith Mews

Inspiring pupils

I HAD an incredibly inspiring day at Farringdon Community Sports College in Sunderland on June 17.

 Meeting the teachers running the Sky Sports Living for Sport project and the pupils involved was truly inspiring. I received a very enthusiastic welcome from the school and the young people who were very keen to share their experiences with me.

 My role as a Sky Sports Athlete Mentor for Living for Sport, which is delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, is to motivate pupils to be the best that they can be in all areas of their life. I do this by running a mixture of different sporting activities for the students and sharing my own experiences as a professional sports person. The pupils I met on this visit were a credit to Farringdon Community Sports College and, as is so often the case in this job, I came away from the school feeling incredibly inspired myself.

 I told the pupils how I overcome difficulties to excel in my chosen sport and also shared the British Athletes Commission’s ‘Six Keys to Success’ which include mental toughness, hunger to achieve and planning for success. I encouraged them to think about the skills you learn through participating in sport and how these can be applied to improve all areas of their lives.

 Different sports inspire different people but one thing is true, there’s a sport for everyone and it can be life changing.

 I hope that I have encouraged the pupils to keep focused on reaching their goals.

Katy Storie,

England women’s Rugby

Union star

We need the EU

ANOTHER letter (June 17) from Marjorie Matthews calling for our withdrawal from the EU.

 She goes on and on about this like a needle stuck in the groove of an old record.

 Just for a change let’s have some positive arguments in favour of the EU. First, it provides the largest market for British goods and services. It has led to higher environmental standards and cheaper air fares. It has spread prosperity and successfully integrated the new democracies of Eastern Europe.

 Its greatest achievements? For the first time in centuries the prospect of war in Europe has been banished. We in Britain must not discuss the importance of this in a blasé manner.

 The Polish Foreign Minister recently pointed out how fortunate Britain was not to suffer enemy occupation in the Second World War. European politicians work to prevent this ever happening again.

 The postwar German Chancellor, Konrad Adenaver, saw it was essential his country should be firmly bound in economic union with neighbouring states. Co-operation rather than conquest.

 Little Englanders who fuss about Brussel bureaucrats fail to see the bigger picture. They dream of a bygone era when we imported cheap lamb and cheese from the Commonwealth.

 If we wave goodbye to the EU, then what? We’d still be dependant on the goodwill of European countries. In a world of large potential blocs, could we survive on our own?

 I don’t want to lake a leap into the unknown.

Henry Whipple,



DENIS Gillon, UKIP’s ‘voice of reason’, certainly goes from strength to strength with his increasingly bizarre ravings.

 In his quest for ‘common sense’ politics and his promulgation of UKIP’s principles, he merely succeeds in achieving the opposite and opening himself up to ridicule.

 Take, for example, his most recent pearls of wisdom (June 21).

 Here he offers the following nuggets on the state of modern Britain. Firstly, he states that: “Traffic is nose to tail on almost every road”. No, it isn’t. This argument is laughably inept and barely dignifies a response.

 Then he claims that: “Hospitals are near collapse”. Increasing waiting times in A&E, an ageing population and scandals in Mid Staffordshire and Morecambe Bay are certainly major challenges, but are they symptomatic of imminent collapse? Come off it, Mr Gillon.

 He than states that: “Schools try to teach in 100 languages”. Again, no they don’t. If Mr Gillon can name one school or Local Authority where this is the case, and backs this up by a statement from the school’s headteacher or Local Education Authority, then perhaps I may start to believe him.

 And finally, here is his crowning glory: “You cannot be truly British if you are prepared to accept the Brussels-Strasbourg fiasco indefinitely”.

 I would urge all readers to consider this statement: The breathtaking arrogance of it and the worryingly anti-democratic overtones. You see, everything is black-and-white (no pun intended) to UKIP and its supporters . You are either with them or against them and if you are against them you are seen to be un-British. So, fellow democrats, if you are prepared to do the unthinkable come the planned referendum on EU membership and vote to stay in, be prepared to remove all items in your possession that are decorated with a British flag because, you see, according to UKIP, we should not be entitled to possess them.

Neil Johnson

Let’s back Britain

I COULD not agree more with Mr George Gibson (June 12) about MPs being total rubbish.

 It is no wonder, people cannot be bothered to vote.

 Back in the 1970s (I think it was) when Britain thought it was struggling a bit financially, someone came up with the idea of having an “I’m backing Britain day”.

 This was done by people going to work and working an extra shift for nothing to help the country out of the mire. It was voluntary and not everyone did this, of course, but I wonder where those people are now? True patriots, or just fools?

 What’s the chances of today’s billionaires, tycoons, bankers, football clubs, energy companies, and other big businesses, coming forward with say a day’s wages or profits to get Britain up and running again? No chance, that’s what.

 Patriotism? What’s that where money is concerned.

 Some firms will not and do not even pay tax!

 Back in the 1650s Oliver Cromwell came on the scene. He got rid of all the corrupt MPs. We desperately need a new Oliver Cromwell.

R Tomlinson,


Excellent care home

HAVING to choose a care home for an elderly loved one is not an easy task, as I’m sure many would agree.

 A great deal has been said in the media about poor quality standards throughout the country. However, I am happy to report that my own experience has not reflected that, and I can only express how grateful I am for the excellent care shown to my mother, Harriet McKay, during the eight months she was a resident in the Bryony Park Nursing Home, Sunderland.

 I cannot thank the staff enough for all that they did to make her life as comfortable and interesting as possible until her death in May at the age of 93.

 Much criticism has also been levelled at the NHS and Social Services. But once again, speaking personally, I can only say that the services my mother received from both NHS primary and secondary medical care staff, and especially social workers in this city, was first-class and for that too I thank all concerned most profusely.

Ann Fryett,