Letters, Saturday, October 27, 2012

Have your say

Vaux site at risk of becoming an island

I READ with interest the article on the £13million update of the Vaux site and surrounding area.

 While this investment is very welcome and necessary, I and others believe that the council is committing a grave error by having a “super” pedestrian crossing rather than an overpass-underpass between the main part of the city and the intended site.

 I viewed the proposed model with other members of the Sunderland City Centre Traders’ Association(SCCTA) along with planners from the city.

 We all immediately identified the problem created by the six lanes of traffic separating the two sites. This was more or less the only matter raised that created a great amount of discussion.

 Our proposal, since we were asked for input, was that an overpass-underpass would offer better uninterrupted footfall between the city and the business park. Without this the site becomes an island and it would be easy for people working on the park to remain on it.

 The look on the planners’ faces told the story straight away. They were aghast that ordinary mortals had seen fit to question their most splendid plan. Their objections were the extra cost that our plan would cost and despite a spirited reply, we were hit with the dead hand of local bureaucracy.

 The Association had endeavoured to highlight that, with ease of footfall, the city would be enhanced by the workforce on the business park.

 The council has held the public consultation, listened to the people and traders, taken note of objections and ideas and then, as with the furore in Millfield, totally ignored and rejected the people and are pressing on with their plans.

 I believe the council only offer consultation as they are legally obliged to and having done so, can tick the bureaucratic boxes on the basis that they know best.

 This is democracy at work when you have the same party in power for 40 years.

Bryan Foster

A waste of money

WHILE I am very sorry for the people losing their jobs at the council, I wonder how many employers would give their staff one year’s pay tax free for going.

 I see the unions are expressing concern, the council could have saved £200,000 per year by not paying them for a start, also saving £1million on cars for a select few and £26,000 per year on bottled water.

 I also noticed the councillors rates have gone up. Why do we need 75 councillors plus overseas meetings?

 This council wants to stop all these perks before anyone else loses their job.

 I hope when the next elections come round the good people of Sunderland remember all the decisions this council has made good and bad – mainly the latter.

G Liddle,



Surprise omission

WITH reference TO the tribute by Douglas Smith on October 18.

 I was surprised that he did not mention Mr Curry’s work as an architect in the 1981 major re-ordering of Bishopwearmouth Church – now known as Sunderland Minster (which is well worth a visit). This omission is particularly surprising in view of Mr Smith’s presidency of Sunderland Antiquarian Society, whose offices at Sunderland Minster form part of the late Mr Curry’s superb design.

 “A major re-ordering of the building commenced in May, 1981, and was concluded in December, 1981.

 The architect, Mr Ian Curry, of Charlewood, Curry and Atkinson, has achieved a harmonious blend of new and old in a very imaginative way. The removal of the chancel screen has preserved the sense of spaciousness and the high quality of materials and workmanship has enhanced the first class work done by Caroe in the 1933-1935 alterations.” (Extract from the church’s history as copied on www.sunderlandminster.co.uk/)

David Herring


Good family fun

CAN you remember what Sundays were like in the old days before the shops opened seven days a week?

 Folk would go for a few pints come home for a roast dinner followed by a Dream Topping Trifle or maybe Angel Delight then sit down as a family and watch Bullseye on TV.

 I used to love watching the genial host, Jim Bowen, a man of many catchphrases.”You can’t beat a bit of Bully” was the most popular but on each show every contestant was described as “super, smashing or great” no matter how bad they were at throwing darts.

 The winner of the star prize usually won a speed boat and normally he or she lived in a tenement block of flats or a council house without a garage.

 The show is being repeated on Challenge TV on Sky and I am waiting to see if they show the episode where two characters from Southwick won £80 between them and came third.

 The two couples ahead of them declined to gamble and go for the star prize and kept what they had won already so Mr Bowen gave the two lads from Suddick the chance to become the winners of a flash holiday, a speedboat or a car.

 I watched with anticipation as they declined the opportunity.Bemused Jim Bowen said “Well lads you have won £40 each Super,. That will buy you a few pints up there.

 This must have been the only time no contestant ever went for the star prize but it was terrific entertainment.

 I really feel that Bullseye should be brought back to ITV with the one and only Jim Bowen.

 You can’t beat a bit of bully.

Mick The Pen Brown