Letters, Thursday, December 19, 2013

Have your say

Too many autism sufferers let down

SINGER Susan Boyle has revealed that she has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

 Like many other adults with autism who are diagnosed relatively late in life, Susan said that finally getting a diagnosis was a great source of relief, providing an explanation for years of feeling ‘different’.

 But there are practical benefits to diagnosis as well – as they should, in theory, allow people to access all the local help and support they need – help and support that was promised to them by 2009’s Autism Act – England’s first disability-specific piece of legislation.

 In the four years since the Act, there has been some progress in providing people with autism with what they need, but it’s been patchy and many of the 460,000 adults with autism across England are still waiting.

 Susan Boyle’s story has caught the public’s attention and got people talking about autism, and the effect that it has on people’s lives – that’s great. But what we need now is for the Government to take notice of the fact that too many people are still waiting for the everyday support they need.

 That’s why I hope that people will join me in supporting the National Autistic Society’s Push for Action campaign (www.autism.org.uk/push).

 Together we can work to put the needs of adults with autism to the forefront.

 No one with autism should have to wait for a diagnosis or for the support they need.

 We have a chance to make a huge difference to lives across Tyne and Wear. It must not go to waste.

Allison Sheers,


Get city facts right

GILLIAN Galbraith says people should not knock Sunderland as things are happening (December 19). If things are happening, I would say “about time”.Gillian then hails the new Primark store. Great, there is a niche in the market here, but, dear me, is it the best we can do?

 Gillian then states: “We are going through tough times with Government cuts that affect the North East in particular.”

 There’s no mention of the city going backwards over the last 40 odd years of Labour control of the city.

 I could also ask what improved in the city during the 13 “glorious” years of a Labour Government?

 I can provide the answer to this – nothing.

 All the recent investment has come from this Conservative-led Government. Providing the funding to buy the Vaux site and to allow the iconic bridge to be built. Well, it would have been built if the Labour council had not got its sums wrong over the estimates.

 Still, we will get a bridge, albeit not iconic, thanks to funding provided by this Government.

 Defend the city if you must, but please be factual.

Keith O’Brien,

Middle Herrington

Had its chance

THE lady said stop knocking the council and give it a chance.

 We have had a Labour controlled council for 40 years – how much of a chance do they want? Just look round the city and the state it is in, when we have some of the highest paid officials in the country, the only people who have benefitted are those on the top table.

 If you do not believe me, look at the salaries they are on.

G Liddle,


Give rise to charity

I READ with interest that Sunderland’s three MPs are, quite rightly, calling on the recent 11 per cent pay award for MPs not to be paid.

 The MPs were reported to be “flabbergasted” and referred to the award as not “morally right”.

 MP Sharon Hodgson said: “This decision would make it look completely out of touch with reality.”

 Easington MP Grahame Morris said: “In the circumstances, do I think it is morally right for MPs to have an inflation-busting pay rise? No I don’t.”

 It is a pity the city’s Labour MPs don’t have a word with St Chad’s Labour Councillor Stuart Porthouse and ask him if the recent 50 per cent hike in his allowance is morally right?

 It is coming to light that a “representation” or request was made to the remuneration panel asking them to review the allowance for the Deputy Mayor. Who would have made that request?

 I would also call on our local MPs to donate their pay rises to charity.

 Let’s see how outraged they really are.

Dominic McDonough

Doxford Council Candidate

Sad to see yards

I HAVE just read the letter by Tony Carty (December 6), relating to the fact that it is 25 years since our shipyards closed.

 Well, some weeks ago with a member of my family we visited the Pallion end of Doxfords, where I worked for some 19 years.

 As I looked through the gates, I could recall a lot of the activity that went on, but I was totally shocked at what I was seeing – total devastation.

 I only hope that it’s not a case of out of sight out of mind.

 At the opposite end of Doxfords, I looked through the entrance to what was once Coles Cranes, where I had also worked – yet another eyesore.

 Being from a Deptford family, we can recall these places of work, but, sadly, you leave with a lump in your throat.

 Our next stop was to see what the other end of Pallion and Deptford was like – not too bad and was glad to see the Saltgrass Pub, opposite Laings shipyard gates, was still there and served a good lunch.

 So, well done to the management of the pub for keeping it going.

 As I read a lot about the Vaux site, I only hope that the Pallion area gets back on its feet soon.

Alan Winter,


Short memories

WELL said, Michael Dodds, (December 12).

 People have short memories.

 The planned destruction of the shipyards in Sunderland by Thatcher and her jackbooted henchmen was nothing short of treason.

 Her pathological hatred of unions drove this unbalanced woman to wreck all industry in Britain, especially the shipyards of Sunderland.

 Her actions are now coming home to roost.

 The massive dole queue created by her actions and subsequent benefit bill is staggering. The saddest part of all is listening to some of the people of our great city agreeing “naively”with the right wing press about the constant strikes and lazy workforce – that is so cruel and unbalanced.

 Well done, Michael, for a well done, factual letter.

Ged Taylor


Thanks for party

THE Fulwell and Seaburn Neighbourhood Watch committee, under the auspices of the Fulwell Community Association, held its annual Christmas party in Millview Social Club.

 As usual, the event was a huge success.

 Fulwell Ward Councillors wish to thank the club and their members for their sterling efforts in providing, once again, a very enjoyable occasion.

 Not only did they provide the venue, they also arranged for an afternoon of live, popular, musical entertainment together with a celebratory drink to help the festivities go with a swing.

 Raffle prizes were kindly donated by local traders and the lunch was funded by a donation from the ward’s community chest provision and a local Sea Road caterer.

 Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and good health in the coming new year.

Fulwell Ward Councillors

George Howe,

John Wiper,

Robert Francis