Letters, Monday, January 9th, 2012

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Some thoughts as we enter 2012

WELL, 2012 is here and what does it hold? A double-dip in our fortunes? More job losses? More outstanding problems in Europe? Struggling families struggling more? More family break-ups or will the Tories still blame Labour for the global mess that started in the United States?

With reference to Councillor Alan Wright, I think he should retire because like the rest of his colleagues at Sunderland Council he’s so out of date with the people of this region. He babbles the same tripe in every letter he puts in the Echo.

His party are more like a Carry On film, a joke. Why won’t Mr Cameron call an election? Because he needs Nasty Nick to keep him in power. Yes the Labour Party is far from perfect. Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls to take the party forward. The Tories have always punished the North East. We need investment in Sunderland, not cafe bars.

John Street and Fawcett Street are ghost streets. How long before Food Giant is redeveloped ie. putting Park Lane and Jackie White’s market into one big indoor market, plus a hotel for the old Joplings site? The Labour council state they have money in reserve. Why don’t they invest it?

Labour has done a lot for the North East and, on a final note to Mr Wright, at the next election let some new blood take over. You blame Labour, but remember Hatchet Thatcher who broke the mines, broke the shipyards and broke the UK. Councillor Wright, what happened to her? Oh yes, her own party kicked her out.

K. Stoker, Labour, Sunderland

Council balance

THE voters of Sunderland are not getting a fair representation in our council chamber, as Labour are always in the majority. A good democratic council should be about 60 to 40 and not all one-sided.

It is a disgrace that taxpayers’ money is being paid to Labour union council employees doing union business. The union should pay these people themselves, not the voters.

This money could, and should, be spent on public services for the good of the community, but Labour rely on the vast sums of money given to them by the unions to stay in power.

So unless the unions are broken up, nothing is going to change for the better.

Eric Pickles is trying to do his best to make this happen. It can’t come soon enough for the good of the country and the voters of Sunderland.

D. J. Wright, Appley Terrace, Roker


Festive thank-you

THANK you to all the people who gave a good Christmas service in Sunderland High Street on December 17.

A big, big thank-you to Jim and all his staff and helpers at the Hope Church, Hendon, on December 20 who gave their time, freely, to give us all a fabulous Christmas lunch. It was delicious.

Bless you all.

Sam Colburn and Tom Gair, South Durham Court and Hendon Court

Bus contracts

YOUR correspondent Shaun Cudworth should be reassured that if a “Quality Contracts” bus franchise is introduced it will not require greater taxpayer subsidy than current local buses require – but could well provide a better service.

Nexus has committed to develop proposals that will provide a network of local services at the current cost, and this work is backed by all local councils in Tyne and Wear and the Integrated Transport Authority.

More than £60million of taxpayers’ money is paid to support bus services in Tyne and Wear annually through payments to private companies. We believe the public will get better value for money from a franchise system, with the cash surplus from heavily-used journeys supporting less-busy, but equally essential services.

Mr Cudworth is not correct in saying “Network One” passes are sold by Nexus. Network One is a joint product shared between Nexus (as owner of Metro), Go North East, Stagecoach and other bus companies. The price is set jointly and we would hope to reduce it in a Quality Contracts environment, where all fares were set by one body.

Huw Lewis, Head of communications, Nexus

Forgotten heroes

I WOULD be very obliged if you could give a mention to the men who were killed in Cyprus.

I was in Egypt and when Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal in 1956. We were sent to Cyprus. I was there for two years and in that time 371 lads died or were killed by Eoka terrorists. Most of them are buried in Kyrenia Cemetery.

It’s very rare that they get a mention.

A. Hossack, Bayswater Avenue, Town End Farm, Sunderland