Letters, Monday, January 21, 2013

Have your say

Joining UKIP is not answer to problems

I REFER to the various calls for Conservative voters to switch to supporting UKIP. 

The truth is that Conservatives defecting to UKIP will only immerse the UK deeper into the shambles that is the European Union.

 The reason I say this is that UKIP will not gain enough support to form a government and enact its policies. All that will be achieved by Conservatives switching votes is the return of a Labour Government led by Ed Milliband.

 This is the Ed Milliband who was a member of a Labour Government that waved through European Union budget increase after budget increase. A Labour Government that also surrendered a large proportion of the hard won rebate on the UK’s contributions to the European Union and received nothing in return. It also introduced the Human Rights Act. Milliband was a member of the Labour Government that ratified the Lisbon Treaty despite a manifesto pledge to put it to a referendum first.

 Despite cynically voting in Parliament for a cut in the EU budget, Miliband said several days later that if the Prime Minister blocked the EU’s budget increase he would be out of step and would push the UK to the sidelines.

 Ed Milliband consistently refuses to rule out the UK joining the disastrous euro currency.

 This is why, despite being anti EU myself, I argue that Conservatives switching to UKIP is ill advised.

Alan Wright,

High Barnes

Let’s get tough

I WOULD like to offer the following solution to the crisis regarding the benefit system.

 I would increase the minimum basic wage by £1 per hour to encourage people to look for jobs.There are plenty of vacancies if the unemployed bothered to look but because they get too many benefits to start with its not worth the bother to apply.

 Bring back National Service for the unemployed. This system worked before and it would work again reducing the unemployment numbers in one fell swoop.

 Reduce the amount of benefits for the long-term unemployed. For example, someone who has been unemployed for more than three years would get less than someone who has been unemployed for six months.

 Surely this would encourage folk to actually get off their backsides to find work.

Quite frankly I am sick of hearing the same old excuses from the unemployed. They need experience. There are no opportunities, let’s blame the Government.

 The trouble is this country is a nanny state and tough right-wing methods must be used to get people to seek employment.

Mick The Pen Brown

No end to waste

WHY was £3.5m spent on the North Dock at Seaham. It’s money wasted.

 It used to be a way of life for the local lads, now that’s all gone.

 Boats can’t get in or out until the tide is a certain height.

 Now we have unnecessary traffic lights and lane markings and humps on the road. There’s no end to all the waste.

J Watson,


Must improve

I REFER to the “half-time talk” of Labour and Conservative leaders giving their verdict on the coalition’s performance (January 5).

 The tongue-in cheek criticism by Council leader Paul Watson on Government cuts whereby the council is required to save £100million over the next three years is a bit much when he is quite happy to squander £120million on a new bridge design at an absurd location (Phase 2 SSTC).

 Under the terms of Freedom of Information, the council admits it cannot even estimate the cost of phases one, three, four and five of an ill-conceived Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC), by which the tenuous new bridge will be connected to the city centre and the port.

 On the same page, Conservative leader Coun Robert Oliver can be seen eulogising a landmark image that will never match up with the pretty artist impressions printed in the Echo and Community News editions since 2008. He appears to be blind to the fact that the SSTC will be a massive traffic detour away from the only Metro railway underpass leading to the A19 and in so doing, it will also by-pass the ring roads south of the Wear.

 Worse still is the fact that the SSTC will not serve the prime industrial and manufacturing site at the riverside, but it will consume it!

 House-building on the Grove site can only provide temporary jobs – when the houses are finished, so too are the jobs.

 Fortunately, the recent report by Sue Kirby has revealed that Coun Peter Wood, the Conservative deputy leader, has finally acknowledged that the SSTC in the planned boulevard outside of the magistrate’s court disconnects the Vaux site form the city centre.

 Pedestrians, 35 ton lorries and buses cannot compete with each other in safety, without interfering with traffic flow.

 Dr Thurlbeck is right. Sunderland can do with improved traffic management.

Ron McQuillan,