Letters, Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Have your say

Grassed areas not being maintained

I WONDER how many people have tried to contact the appropriate people who work for Sunderland Civic Centre, in relation to the upkeep of grass cutting and hedge pruning in the Washington area.

In the past 30 years Washington has been a well-kept and tidy place to live. All praise to Gentoo for its upkeep, but now it seems boundaries have appeared in Washington where Gentoo share the burden of the grass cutting and pruning with Sunderland Civic Centre.

Alas, I live in the boundary serviced by Sunderland Civic Centre along with many others.

Not one grass cutter was seen or a tree pruned in the time that Gentoo had been around their alloted boundary at least three times.

You can easily tell Gentoo have visited by their nice trimmed grass compared to Sunderland Civic Centre’s very long and weed-riddled areas.

Des Burton, Titchfield Road, Biddick

Action for city

B. PATTERSON was spot on in their assessment of our current council leadership. So much talk, and endless master plans produced by our so-called city, and absolutely no action by our elected leaders.

At least B. Patterson was once proud of Sunderland. I was born in the early 80s and the city has never been anything to be proud of in my lifetime.

Perhaps our council leader, Mr Watson, and chief executive Mr Smith could do some sort of Niall Quinn-type roadshow around the pubs and clubs of Sunderland and tell everyone which of the many plans are due to be actually implemented over the coming 12 months. I’m sure they would receive some constructive feedback.

Or perhaps we could look to the Far East for some rich billionaires who would like to invest in the city and oust the current regime.

R. Hall, Raleigh Road, Red House, Sunderland

RAF get-together

ALL ranks from RAF, WAAF and WRAF or next of kin who served at RAF St Eval are invited to join the RAF St Eval Coastal Command Association.

We have two reunions every year, in April and September, and two newsletters, in January and July.

Information regarding the above from: Ray Massey 01925 755556, Peter Salisbury 01460 61291, Ken Wilson 0151 424 3263.

Many thanks.

Ray Massey, Cheshire

Marxist alternative

MR GRAVES, in his recent letter, used the phrase “half-baked Marxist garbage”. Do people know anything about Karl Marx before saying things like that? Have they read Capital or The Communist Manifesto?

Marx came to England to study the condition of working people. He saw industrial workers and their families living in squalor, earning a pittance producing goods for manufacturers who forced them to buy those goods back at inflated prices.

The Industrial Revolution created a capitalist society where factory owners prospered and many suffered, appalling working and living conditions.

So what’s wrong with Marx’s idea that the workers should seize power and own the means of production?

Before anyone replies: “Look what happened in the Soviet Union”, what went on there and its satellite states in Eastern Europe had nothing to do with true Communism. It was state capitalism with a touch of tyranny thrown in.

Marx presented an alternative view on how things could be, but workers did not have the courage to embrace it.

They depended so desperately on the capitalist system that they feared its destruction.

We are blind to the Marxist alternative because we are slaves to the consumer society. We like pretty things in shop windows.

The hero of our consumer society is Adam Smith, the man on the £20 note. He believed that the driving force in society is the desire to own property.

What chance does Marxism have against that?

Henry Whipple, Coach Road Estate, Washington

Art school sale

RE. the letter of April 28 regarding plans for selling off Ashburne House, the art school in Backhouse Park. I attended the consultation event on March 24. I found it strange that a planning guidance book for the conservation area has a red boundary line all around the conservation area of Ashbrooke yet dog-legs Ashburne House and the art school.

In our investigation we were asked if we had any queries to contact Property Management Surveyors. I did just this some five weeks ago. To date no reply – nothing.

My query was: would the public still have access to the park near Ashburne House?

Thank you, Mr Tumman, for bringing your concerns to the Sunderland people in your letter.

As you said, the park was given to the Sunderland people by Mr Backhouse.

C. Brown, Sunderland