Letters, Friday, October 25, 2013

Have your say

UK needs to have own Bill of Rights

THE latest Government measures to limit migrants into this country, together with a crackdown on illegals’ rights to remain here, has already come under attack from the Labour Shadow Minister Yvette Cooper.

 It is ironic that opposition shadow ministers should criticise the Government after they created the open door policy which brought about this crisis.

 In order to return our national interests we should withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights and replace it with a UK Bill of Rights, giving Parliament and our courts, the right to deport suspected terrorists, who are using the Human Rights convention as a means to frustrate efforts to have them deported.

 The new proposals are to deport them back to their place of origin where they can appeal against the deportation.

 Yvette Cooper, during an interview on Sky News, has criticised the Government for not taking a more responsive stance and yet it was during the era of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown that the doors to Britain were opened, allowing thousands of immigrants into our country.

 Tony Blair signed the country up to the European Court of Human Rights, his wife being a prominent human rights barrister.

 Yvette rolled out the same old story that migrants in this country had, over centuries, created wealth and prosperity. While that is true in part, the situation now is that the numbers are vastly different, creating huge pressures on our services.

 The expected arrival of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria next year will only exacerbate the pressures that the current system has created and should be prevented as being yet another EU dIrective that will undermine the social and economic structure of this country for ever.

Coun George Howe

Sensory exhibition

SUNDERLAND and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind is organising the fifth annual Sensory Exhibition ‘We’ar Vision We’ar Hear’, which will take place in the Banqueting Suite at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, on Wednesday November 6, between 10am and 4pm. Admission is free.

 To date more than 40 businesses that supply specialist equipment for the visually and the hearing impaired, together with several charities and service providers, have booked a stand.

 Free transport for anyone wishing to attend the exhibition has been arranged from Cowan Terrace (beside Park Lane bus station) to and from the Stadium throughout the day, provided by Compass Community Transport.

 Sighted guide support will be available for the visually impaired, provided in partnership with Red House Academy.

 The exhibition will include equipment demonstrations by some of the county’s leading manufacturers. Advice and information will also be available to anyone with an interest in visual or hearing impairment.

 The event will be attended by the Guide Dogs UK Event Demonstration Team, who will be pleased to discuss guide dog ownership. In addition, Sit And Be Active will offer a series of taster sessions to demonstrate the benefit of exercise and yoga.

 We are delighted with the interest that is being shown in the exhibition. As well as showcasing specialist equipment for the visually impaired and hearing impaired, it will highlight local services for local people.

 Anyone requiring further information about the event can telephone the society on 567 3939.

Richard Wood,

Executive Officer,

Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind,


Wasteful exercise

SO the council has closed nine libraries and is attempting to justify this action by saying it must save thousands of pounds.

 On the same day that the Echo photographed campaigners expressing the displeasure and disappointment of many regular library users, a small paragraph appeared in the Public Notices.

 It seem the council is inviting interest from anyone wishing to be considered for the fabrication, installation and commissioning of a bespoke piece of artwork which will be a large glass, steel and bronze structure.

 Yet another wasteful exercise costing thousands of pounds, in addition to the millions wasted on designing a bridge and the ridiculous pods, which are neither use nor ornament along with the hundreds of tons of boulders scattered randomly on the seafront just waiting to catch the unwary wheelchair user, or the partially sighted.

 Now we have plans for a public square where we can sit looking at nothing except the coming and goings of the Magistrates’ Court.

 I wonder how many more civic amenities will be sacrificed.

Margaret Carter,


Tribute to Matty

LOCAL historian Matty Morrison died suddenly on October 12 at the age of 71.

 Two of the three books Matty had published were about Hendon – a place very close to his heart.

 He was brought up in Ward Street and used to run messages for his mother to the shops in Hendon Road. His reward was a halfpenny iron ore boat (a cake made from leftover ingredients) from Pryde’s Bakery.

 Even while serving in the Army in Germany in the early 1960s his thoughts were still with his hometown. When Sunderland AFC showed interest in a young Irish footballer called Johnny Crossan playing on the Continent, Matty got a weekend pass and travelled to see the future Roker favourite playing for Standard Liege.

 After returning to civilian life he married Gwen, a Hendon girl, and raised a family of three children – Karen, Kevin and Kim.

 In later years, between researching and writing his books, Matty was never happier than when he was spending time with his grandchildren, having a drink with regulars in the River Wear Club or recalling the old days with friends at Hendon Board School reunions.

 Matty is pictured in 1988 when was chairman of the local branch of the GMB trade union.

 After 27 years as a driver for Sunderland Corporation Transport he became an employee director of the new bus company when it was bought out by the workers.

Alan Brett

It’s a ghost town

SOUTHWICK Green’s a ghost town

There’s nothing left to do

The bingo and amusements closed

And the library too

So I’m pleading with the councillors

To reopen them again

For the sake of the adults

And also the bairns

We’ll fight on, not let things rest

Until everything is reopened and Southwick thrives again.

Mary Mitchell,


Amazing people

FOLLOWING the discovery and treatment of a cranial aneurysm in July this year, I would like to thank the following people for the quality of their care and support during an anxious and stressful period.

 Claire Howell, from Specsavers, the consultant at Sunderland Eye Infirmary who recognised there was a potential problem and referred me to Miss Adams, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Sunderland Eye Infirmary. Miss Adams arranged for a series of further tests and scans. Thanks too to appointment staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital who kept me informed of any cancelled appointments, which quickened the process.

 Miss Adams then referred me to the Newcastle RVI Neuroradiology Department.

 I received amazing care and attention from Newcastle RVI Ward 17 staff, Professor Phillip White, Professor of Neuroradiology, the theatre team, recovery team and the High Dependency Unit, who all helped me feel safe, secure and comfortable.

 I would also like to thank Steve Dougal, Sunderland Aquatic Centre Manager, and Linda Kouache, Aerodyne Trampolining coach, for supporting me back into fitness activities.

 It’s comforting to know at such times, that there are genuine, caring and committed people.

 I cannot praise them enough.

Olive Marrs,


Thanks for votes

WE would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade in the recent Lottery charity vote.

 We appreciate it very much.

 This allowed us to obtain a new Save and Rescue vehicle.

 Thank you all.

Larry Hetherington,

Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade, press officer