Letters, Saturday, February 22, 2014

Have your say

Council not aware of people’s feelings

FURTHER to my letter of December 10, I was disappointed to note that the Labour Group on Sunderland Council pushed through the 50 per cent increase in the Deputy Mayor’s Allowance at the January Council meeting.

 This, despite a plea by the Conservatives to refer this back to cabinet for reconsideration, given the state of the council’s finances. A state which Labour Councillors are constantly complaining about.

 The Labour-appointed Deputy Mayor and soon to be Mayor, Coun Stuart Porthouse, of St Chad’s ward, has accepted the rise. You would think that the pride of being in such a prestigious position would be honour enough and not be seen as an earner.

 Others have asked the question: Do these councillors not understand how people feel?

 Obviously, they do not and they can only hold their electors in contempt by accepting increased of 50 per cent at a time when this council is cutting back on services and jobs. I wonder what employees and ex-employees think of this when many have lost their jobs and the rest are held to nil wage rises or rises of one per cent?

 Labour councillors have accused critics of showing disrespect to the position of Deputy Mayor. In truth, they have demeaned the position themselves.

 Councillor Porthouse clearly knew what the allowance was before he accepted the roll. If he was unhappy with it, why accept the position? Let us hope he is happy with the allowance paid to the Mayor.

Peter O’Connor,


Not quite honest

AS Michael Dixon says (February 2) Thatcher did give people the right to buy their own homes, but she didn’t practice what she preached.

 Didn’t she allow some unknown source outside of the UK to buy her house for her, so she could live there rent-free?

 It wouldn’t have had anything to do with tax avoidance by any chance, would it? Because we all know that she was as honest as the day was long (if the truth about the pit closures is anything to go by).

 No, in my book one swallow, a summer does not make.

R Tomlinson,


Fabulous building

ANYONE with an interest in the history of Sunderland, should visit the Phoenix Masonic Hall.

 I had the great privilege to meet David Lawson for a guided tour. I was not aware of the Lodge in Sunderland as it is hidden back off High Street. I have passed this building many times, not knowing what it was.

 The Freemasons fund its upkeep and do a fantastic job.

 I would like to thank Mr Lawson for allowing me to visit and help me with my research.

 It is such a relief to know we have a fine building dating from 1785 that is not up for demolition.

 Keep up the good work all the Freemasons involved.

Allyson Timm,


Great dance show

I MUST congratulate the Shameem Karim School of Performing Arts for the excellent show at the Sunderland Empire on February 5.

 The show Once Upon a Dance was absolutely brilliant from start to finish.

 Well done to all the girls and boys who performed and a very big thank you to Shameem (principal), Audrey Herriot (senior teacher) and Sophina Afzal (choreographer) and everyone behind the stage for putting together such a show-stopper.

A Fisher,