Letters, Friday, November 7, 2014

Have your say

Not all dogs are badly behaved

I DO believe that there is a vendetta against dogs off the lead.

 Since the council announced (or rather didn’t announce) this requirement, I have seen a number of letters backing this move but not one against it.

 One correspondent complained about dogs jumping up. A well trained dog shouldn’t jump, but you will usually find this happening among the smaller dogs (size is no excuse, though). Mine are taught from being pups that they are not to jump at people, mainly because they are big dogs (labradors) and will knock the person over, giving them good cause for complaint but also because I have friends whose (small) dogs jump at me and I don’t like it.

 But just because a few people dislike dogs is no excuse for the council to take such action. A dog running up to you is no guarantee that they are going to attack.

 I’ve not long returned from walking my dogs in the Barnes Park extension (Ettrick Grove side) and have seen at least a dozen other dog owners walking their dogs as well as people without them and guess what? Not one dog jumped up at anyone.

 Dogs need exercise. They need to run around and play just like children. One of mine likes to play with a frisbee, another with a ball. They can’t do that on leads. I’m careful not to throw the frisbee or throw the ball when or where it could hit someone, why should I and my dog be penalised?

 I’m given to understand that a section of the big field in Barnes Park is to be set aside for dogs to play in, marked off by a white line. Whoever thought up this bright idea obviously doesn’t realise that dogs, frisbees and balls do not understand these restrictions. If I throw the frisbee or ball for my dog and it goes over the white line, will I be penalised? Will my dog be taken away and destroyed, because that is what it will come to.

 The correspondent who raised the subject of dog mess, obviously, has no recollection of a time when dogs were kicked out of the house first thing in the morning and left to roam the streets unsupervised to do as they pleased. Then the streets were a mess. Nowadays the footpaths are much cleaner

 While they are at it, will the council ban or place restrictions on mobile phones in the parks, just in case some young mother is concentrating so hard on her phone, she doesn’t see her young child fall into the pond? Or perhaps the pond ought to be covered over with a mesh or even filled in – just in case.

Hans Mooney

The law must look after police force

REGARDING the debate over police proctection, of course, there must be a law that protects members of the police force. We put the police on the front line, regardless of how much they’re paid.

 It is imperative that we insist that it is not acceptable under any circumstances that members of the police force can be murdered.

 Some people may say that the police are corrupt, well, just like the Catholic Church, any institution can become corrupted.

 At the end of the day(and just like it is in the Army), many join the police force as a job opportunity, we put them on the front-line and we mustn’t let them down.

Lesley Aitch,


Devolution does not always mean more

HAVING seen Alex Salmond achieve star billing north of the border with it, the word ‘devolution’ is in vogue with “wanna-be” power-seekers south of it.

 Strange really when most of our MPs demonstrate little regard for national identity but show an unhealthy infatuation for federalisation and a blind devotion to Brussels.

 So I hope this does not drag us through another North East Assembly fiasco with all the little budding Salmonds scrambling for power, offering us a bigger slice of non-existent cake when another layer of government simply means less cake and more chaos.

 Although the UK has the most successful economy in the EU, our borrowing is running at the rate of £5,200 per second and it requires £60billion, rising to £70billion in 2017 per year, just to cover the interest.

 To add insult to injury, the EU will take another £1.7billion of our money.

 No wonder most Brits are concerned about this relentless haemorrhaging of our independence and assets to the EU. Especially when they note that “free movement” prevents us from regulating a hopelessly expanding population, a perverse Human Rights Bill prevents us from removing criminals, and countless other restrictions create a minefield for public services.

 Inexplicably, we pay through the nose for all this pain when all we signed up for in 1975 was a Common Market.

 Regardless of the result of our next elections, thw UK will continue to be governed by Brussels and British sovereignty will continue to be eroded by the diverse opinions of the 27, and rising, other nation states comprising this ridiculous club.

 Where Government is concerned, less is more. Tell the Devolvers and the Eurocrats to get a proper job.

Denis Gillon

Anger over felling of trees for car park

THE recent controversy created by the council giving permission to Wearside smallholders to fell several trees on Shields Road in order to create a car park, although legal through the council’s delegation system, is nothing short of an act of vandilism.

 The whole procedure was flawed, as residents opposite the area in question were not told that the car park would entail felling mature trees.

 Indeed, residents were only informed via labels wrapped around lampposts.

 Residents were advised to contact the council’s website for further information, however, not every resident has access to the internet. Many assumed that it was to be hard coring on spaces in front of the allotments.

 Usually, such planning applications go forward to a sub-committee for approval, but this application was delegated to officers of the council.

 Ward councillors were also unaware as to the need for trees to be cut for the car park provision, a decision that would have been resisted had full information been given.

 Residents were angry over the felling just to create a car park for visitors to the site, when there were ample spaces within the allotments.

 Opponents to the scheme were told by allotment holders that the hard-standing car park would prevent grass being destroyed as it has on verges throughout the city.

 Yet applications for remedial action to protect such grassed verges has been largely ignored.

 As councillors for Fulwell ward, we have made representation to council officers that more information be given when such delegated decisions are made in order that, as in this example, people should know the consequences of such ill advertised decisions.

Coun George Howe,

Fulwell Ward