Letters, Monday, September 2, 2013

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Poor will lose out in library closures

AS we are all now well aware, Sunderland City Council is planning to close nine libraries across the city to make £850,000 worth of budget cuts.

 What the council is not advertising is the fact that some of these libraries will be in the city’s most deprived areas, Hendon, Monkwearmouth and Southwick.

 It is in these areas where children may not have ready access to books or internet services at home where these cuts will hit hardest.

 It’s one thing a parent allowing their young child to visit a library just down the road and entirely another to allow a child from Southwick to walk to Fulwell or Bunny Hill Libraries.

 As additional cause of concern that the public may not be aware of is that in addition to full library closures, many libraries are to have their opening hours reduced to just 15 per week.

 Fulwell Library is currently open 33 hours per week, but will be expected to provide services for the current users of both Monkwearmouth and Southwick, while at the same time having its opening hours slashed to just 15 hours per week.

 Internet users at Ryhope and Fulwell Libraries are currently able to use these facilities for 10 and half and eight and half hours respectively on Wednesdays. However, the proposal is to open both these libraries for just three hours on Wednesdays.

 Chaos will surely occur if internet users from closed branches wish to check their emails or carry out job searches that day. If anything, the remaining libraries should have increased opening times.

 I hope the council will not deny Sunderland residents their right to access to these services when they meet on September 4. Books and internet use should be available to all.

G Knight

Letting misery

HOW I love letting agents and those rogue landlords too.

 For years I’ve had the misfortune to live near three buy-to-let flats. Tenants have included convicted criminals, and other antisocial rowdies and undesirables who trashed their flats and were dragged away by the police.

 Now I’m looking forward to having some nice Romanian neighbours next year.

 My protests to letting agents have always fallen on deaf ears. So long as the rent (ie housing benefit) is paid, they aren’t bothered who they dump next door.

 As for landlords, they are laughing all the way to the bank. It’s the long-suffering taxpayer who provides them with the housing benefit to pay off those mortgages.

 Home ownership is supposed to lead to a settled, stable community, which is why it’s a key element of Conservative Party beliefs.

 Buy-to-let does the very opposite, so why do Government financial policies encourage it?

Name and address withheld

Theft is a disgrace

I HOPE the scum that raided our daughter’s bench in the garden of rest and stole the flowers, which we put there on August 20 to commemorate her birthday, come into contact with the same disease that took our daughter away nine years ago.

 This is not the first time that has happened to us.

Mr and Mrs Ridley,

Parents of Wendy Cullerton,

Town End Farm