Letters, Friday, May 17, 2013

Have your say

We owe huge debt of gratitude to Pat

I WOULD like to pay tribute to Pat Burn, who has written her last article for the Sunderland Echo, thanking everyone for their support.

 It is, however, Sunderland and her beloved village of Silksworth that owes Pat a debt of gratitude.

 She has worked with and for the disabled, older people, youth projects, community groups etc for over 30 years. It is impossible to list all the charities Pat has donated her time and talents to support, but may I highlight a very small number of her achievements.

 She helped establish Disability Alliance Sunderland, the Disability Independent Advisory Group and Silksworth Heritage Group.

 During the 1980s, she ran a youth group at Gilley Law, which allowed her to demonstrate her particular concern for the welfare of children and young people; for a number of years she co-ordinated the stroke club at Age Concern and without Pat’s dogged determination Silksworth Community Centre would not have survived.

 For many years Pat has represented and worked for ADDER the Dystonia charity.

 Pat is a lovely, gentle lady, who cares passionately about the welfare of those in need in the community and I have been blessed to have her as a friend and colleague for so many years.

 Pat’s three priorities are her God, her family and the community all of which she loves and to all of which she has dedicated her life.

Liz Clark,


We need homes

THE State Opening of Parliament and all its pomp and glitter was somewhat dulled by the absence in the Queen’s speech of a much-needed policy for economic growth.

 I believe the Government should have used the occasion to announce a council house building programme.

 Over the years, this type of house building has been neglected by successive governments and the matter was exacerbated by the Tory right-to-buy policy that sold many thousands of council houses which were never replaced.

 As a consequence there are currently five million people on the social housing waiting lists. The need for urgent building work couldn’t be more obvious yet it appears the Government is ignoring the problem.

 It is indeed making matters worse by reducing the qualifying period for the right-to-buy council homes to three years.

 I am not against the sale of social houses providing they are replaced. The Government also seem to be oblivious of other benefits the house building would bring to the economy.

 Thousands would be in full-time work, which would bring down the dole queue, provide a decent wage that would then help the economy. The social security bill would be reduced and millions of desperate people would get the chance to live in a decent home.

 I would be very disappointed if a policy for building council houses is not in Labour,s manifesto for the next election.

W Quinn

Metal councillors

ONCE upon a time we had metal councillors. If they were given extra money from whatever source they would think: “how much metal could that buy?”

 So we got the fountain at Seaburn the Ambit and rusting pier gates.

 Now it’s “how much concrete can we buy?”

 Just look at Roker, the steps at Seaburn and now they’re tearing up all the lovely grassed area at Seaburn where people have enjoyed picnics for years, and what are they going to replace it with? Can they not be stopped before they ruin our coastline for ever?

 Please voters give your vote to someone with at least a modicum of intelligence before it’s too late.

Jean Barnes,


Same law for all

THE home secretary, Theresa May, is proposing that killers of police officers are handed natural life prison sentences.

 Quite right too. However, shouldn’t the penalty be the same for murderers of innocent kiddies and pensioners who cant protect themselves.

Ralph Arnold,