Letters, Friday May 3, 2013

Have your say

Run organisation was a big mess

SO the marathon is over again –and what a mess.

 Last year was a mess and it was re-organised this year and it was still a mess.

 Some people could not even get out of their house, and some people like to get to church on a Sunday but could not, and others had to go all round the city to try to find a way to get to their place of worship.

 Could I make a suggestion?

 How about next year you arrange the marathon on a Saturday when Sunderland is playing at home.

 Now there’s a thought!

Name and address supplied

Reform essential

LAST month, in a council debate on benefits, a Labour councillor shouted out, “The Tories are trying to kill us”, showing how that party has got itself on the wrong side of the debate on welfare.

 Reform is essential if we are to make the system fairer by returning to the idea that welfare is earned through work and not seen as an entitlement.

 It is also popular, with opinion polls consistently showing support for reducing benefits.

 Change is needed as under the last Labour Government, despite years of rising employment, the number of families in which no one has ever worked doubled.

 Tragically, many families in Sunderland are trapped in benefits when they want to work, which is neither fair on them nor on others who are being asked to foot the bill.

 Of the measures introduced to address this, the benefits cap presumes a household income of £35,000 – way above the average wage in this city – so it is hard to argue that it is anything but fair.

 Here, 79 families currently take home more than the cap of £26,000 a year in benefits which comes in at a cost of more than £2million to the taxpayer.

 Even some Labour MPs accept this must change, arguing that for many families in work, their own earned income is capped at a far lower level, out of which some is taken to support others.

 Limiting the value of benefits means that work pays.

 It’s easy to complain about these measures, but change to welfare needs to happen and people need to know that the Labour Party is refusing to commit to reversing these changes.

Councillor Robert Oliver,

Leader Conservative Council Group

We are losing out

CHARITIES and voluntary organisations are being stretched to the limit – facing funding costs, Echo, Tuesday, April 23. Why?

 It seems from January, Bulgaria and probably other countries will be able to just amble, at will, into the UK and claim housing and benefits they can’t get at home.

 Unbelievably, some Bulgarians have said that they prefer the poverty of home, than that in England.

 So the poor’s taxes will again be used for anyone – except us.

 Now all charities funding will gradually stop to pay for English world benefits.

 Maybe the Government will realise the rich, and politicians, will have to start paying their way, and use more modest dwellings, and give up their riches for the benefit of anyone in the world who sees fit to come to England.

 England will be a country like a square on a draught board, which must feed and house the rest of the draught board – like it or not.

 Soon we won’t have to go abroad to buy a foreign football player, they will all be here.

Mr J A Stott,


Huge coincidence

WHILE hunting for the makings of our next day’s meal we happened to pass a notice board advertising meals at the Grey Horse, Penshaw Village, so we called in.

 We must have passed the turning for it thousands of times in my 73 years of life, but had never been in.

 What a treat we have been missing. It was a Tuesday, so it was quiet, but the couple who run it saw to it that we had a lovely meal. We would recommend it to anyone. Plus we got to sit in a proper pub, even though it was quiet you could feel the atmosphere. It must be great fun on a night as there is all kinds of entertainment advertised on the notice board.

 While we were there I made enquiries about a lad I hadn’t seen since 1962 when we finished our apprenticeships. I had heard that he and his wife lived in the village, but, unfortunately, no one knew him personally but had heard that a Bob and Dorothy Gair lived round the doors.

 On the Thursday we walked out of the hospital onto Chester Road and we bumped into Dorothy. We had chat and then our bus came, so we had to leave as we were in a hurry – creepy heh?

 It would be lovely to hear from them again.

Arthur E Steel,

Phoenix Road

Looking for David

I’M hoping that readers from the Farringdon area may be able to help me find the brother and sister of an old friend.

 Their names are John Stevenson and his sister Doreen who have an older brother called David. As children, the family lived at 38, The Avenue, in Deneside, Seaham.

 I have been trying to trace David for years. I heard recently that his brother and sister were living in the Farringdon area.

 In the 1950s, a group of us became friends at a Sunday School camp in Marske. It’s a very long time ago but I would love to get in touch with David.

 A lad they knew in Deneside told me that the last he heard about David, was that he had moved to Teesside.

 If you can help, email me at annmackem@optusnet.com.au

Ann Hansen (nee Pike),


Priorities wrong

I AGREE with F Watson’s letter, April 27, regarding the £3.5million spent on the north dock at Seaham.

 Where are the 70 yachts that we were told were queueing up for berths in the dock. On my last visit I saw seven motor boats. At present it seems to me to be an ill thought out plan and if it is a success what benefit will it be to the people of Seaham.

 Here we have a town that has been crying out for a swimming pool and a community hall for shows and functions, etc – more so since the Vane Tempest Centre was closed under the pretence of asbestos, and against all the wishes of hundreds of people who used the hall, and can I say, with no support from local or Durham County Councillors.

 Is it not time for the people of Seaham to be served first and tourism later. After the clock and the Vane Tempest fiasco I, like others, think politicians and planners have a lot of square pegs in round holes.

George Garrett,