Letters, Monday, December 23, 2013

Have your say

Leisure facilities are needed in the city

I’M sure I’m not the only person who grew up in Sunderland in the 1980s and is sad to see Crowtree leisure centre go.

 Okay, the building was no oil painting, but it was what went on inside that mattered.

 I have fond memories of learning to swim there. First splashing about on the beach area, then moving to the learner pool and – eventually – braving the Hydroslide – and not to mention taking your first tentative steps on the ice rink.

 What a shame our own kids can’t do the same – no ice rink, no leisure pool. There are smaller pools outside the city centre, and, of course, the Aquatic Centre; but any parent will tell you that these aren’t ideal for introducing toddlers to the water.

 South Shields is showing the way with its new leisure pool by the seafront. What a shame that Sunderland parents will be taking their kids through there, and not to our own city centre.

 Recent reports – including one by Mary Portas – have said how important it is to have distinctive city centres, including leisure facilities as well as shops. We now have three large empty sites – Vaux, Holmeside and Crowtree.

 It’ll be great to have more shops and offices in the centre – but one of these three sites should be used for leisure facilities, which would bring people back into the city.

 That would then be good for traders, and mark us out as clearly different from Newcastle and the MetroCentre – both of which have reduced leisure facilities in recent years.

Brian Robson

Millfield and Thornholme Liberal Democrats

Bat for Sunderland

NO sooner than someone sticks up for Sunderland, as did Gillian Galbraith, then the Tory letter writing unit springs into action with its blame culture, twisted logic and blue tinted glasses.

 Can someone remind them their message, which rarely changes, has produced a Tory group big on rhetoric but very small in numbers.

 Isn’t it about time they changed the record and started batting for Sunderland?

Mackem Loyalist

Lack of money

WHY in this day and age are children going to school hungry every morning?

 It is said that 85 per cent of teachers have seen an increase in children arriving at school without having eaten breakfast over the last two years.

 This just goes to show the huge pressure parents are placed under due to Tory austerity.

 Tory Ministers Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith try to blame child poverty on “chaotic” or “troubled” families.

 Whatever chaos or troubles these families experience, they start with a lack of money.

 And the Tory’s latest assaults on the right to welfare will only push these families further into destitution. That’s why more and more people are turning to pay day lenders.

 Something has to changed.

D Swann

Pointless striking

FIREFIGHTERS are claiming that they are not paid enough and their pensions will not be large enough.

 They should be thankful they have a job, and, of course, if they keep fit they will receive a pension, which will undoubtedly be better than mine.

 My pension is private so it’s small – very small.

 You firefighters wouldn’t put your mug down in your canteen for such an amount.

 If you volunteered to swap places with any of my workmates you would be joining the dole queue.

 I retired at 65 from a stressful job. It was not a 9-to-5 job and no overtime was paid – that is how it was.

 My company employed thousands of people, but now houses stand where the factory once stood.

 Remember, we taxpayers keep you in a job, pay your wages and pensions.

 Don’t expect a wave of support for your claims. You could go the same as my company and end up with zero.

 You will never make up the loss of pay by striking, and I am sure in the end it will all be for nothing.

J Simpson,