Letters, Monday, August 5, 2013

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Put up or shut up on Forces welfare

IT is not a new problem faced by ex-servicemen/women and their families. From conflict to conflict, since the New Model Army was formed as far back as 1640AD, the community has supported those that fight in wars and conflicts.

 However, when the bombs and bullets fall silent, it seems that the survivors and the loved ones of the fallen are placed back in a box and left to pick up the pieces of shattered lives with very little support from national and local government.

 I am fed up with reading about feckless politicians and councillors making false promises about how they are going to deal with the “problem”. It is not a “problem” without a solution.

 If they get together to work out how to tackle a financial solution to this issue instead of chasing white elephants and wasting council taxpayers’ money, then we as a community can go a long way to ensure the wellbeing of all concerned.

 Sunderland folk are fantastic supporters of our Armed Forces, both past and present. That is because almost every Wearside family has had a family member serve his/her country, in some cases offering the ultimate sacrifice upon the altar of freedom, and this is why, without reservation, we as a Mackem community contribute to charities like Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion, SSAFA and to worthy local causes such as the amazing efforts of the Brothers In Arms.

 So the next time, when the feckless make popular false statements of “ex-forces welfare” just to attract the votes, we should hold them to account – put up or shut up.

Keith Powell.

If you have a horse, take care of it!

I WOULD like to appeal to the owners of the horses that are left on the open fields near Saint Luke’s road. The horses are left there in full, open ground, with no shelter whatsoever.

 They have very little or no water at all. If you are going to have a horse, then take care of it. Something should be done about these horses and the poor condition they are left in.

Jason Green.

People to get more say on bus service

I CAN reassure Coun Peter Wood (Echo, July 23) that our proposals for better bus services will see local people in Sunderland getting a much greater say in how and where their local routes run.

 We plan to set up a new Local Bus Board for Sunderland, with the city council, which will oversee performance and put forward changes it wants to routes.

 And there would be open and transparent consultation on proposed changes, once a year, so all users can have their say before a decision is taken.

 Local people will therefore have a much greater say than now, as well as benefiting from simple fare zones, future prices limited to inflation and cheaper tickets for young people. There are more details at www.nexus.org.uk/bus strategy.

Tobyn Hughes,

Deputy Director General,


Spirits soared at airshow spectacle

AND there you have it, the airshow, over for another year.

 I visited the beaches on Saturday and Sunday for several hours.  

 Though I cannot walk as far as I used to due to a very old army injury, I was still captivated by the scene of so many patrons.

 Good fortune shone on the weekend, with so many thousands enjoying so much.

 There were ambulances riding around, but no panic, I saw no injuries. There were plenty of police, but I saw no one being led anywhere in handcuffs.

 Nowhere did I see any drunks, even though there was plenty of beer around.

 I looked over the parapets of Roker top promenade to see so many people simply relaxing and enjoying the day’s performances.

 This was a real pleasure in itself.

 All we need now is more attractions to bring the people back after these annual shows.

John Stott,