Letters, Thursday, February 26, 2015

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Time to vote no to mediocrity

SEVERAL readers have made very interesting remarks about the impending General Election and its potential impact on Sunderland.

 For me there can be only be one issue – the state of our city centre. Whoever looks like ‘doing the necessary’ will get my vote.

 Our city centre has been allowed to fester in mediocrity for too long and it is time that enterprising politicians grasped this nettle. Other readers have rightly made the point that continued development in Washington, Houghton, Hetton and Shiney are all very well, but it is the city centre and its surrounds that drive what Sunderland is all about.

 These matters should be on the Sunderland agenda in the build up to the General and Local Elections:

 An imposing central railway station opening onto a new public square; a feature footbridge linking Stadium Park with the Vaux Site and Keel Square; attracting more city centre hotels to supplement the two already under construction; an ambitious house building programme in and around the city centre, Hendon and the East End; a new university campus on the vacant land along Villiers Street, which would breath life back into Sunniside and High Street East; a programme of relocation of Civic Centre functions back into the city centre, spearheaded by a new City Hall building as part of the Vaux site and a gradual flattening of the current Civic Centre building; a Bridges extension onto the Vaux site to include a new Marks and Spencer and John Lewis stores; an extension of wide well lit walkways to link the city centre with the riverside; clearance of the old industrial and scrap yard buildings in the Sheepfolds area to make way for riverside apartment and leisure developments in between Monkwearmouth station, the river and the Stadium of Light; an extension of the Metro system from Hylton to Washington and a rail link established between the Leamside line and the city centre to bring back a direct rail connection with Durham.

 They are just a few ideas that would bring back life, vigour and most importantly people into our city centre.

 Adopting such an approach would carry the election day in Sunderland but do we have politicians of any persuasion with the mettle to realise that?

Mr Clark

Government has led to tax freeze

THE Echo is right to commend Sunderland Council for freezing the city’s council tax once more.

 However, it must be remembered that the council tax freeze is a policy of the Conservative-led Government which provides funding to allow councils to freeze and in some cases reduce council tax.

Bryan Reynolds,

Middle Herrington

TV programme was shocking drivel

CHANNEL 4’S “mockumentary”– UKIP the first 100 days – was typical left-wing drivel, which you would expect from a left-wing-run television channel like Channel 4.

 Such left-wing propaganda was shocking to watch.

 How can Channel 4 hope to get away with any credibility for making such a programme?

 With more than 1,000 complaints, I am sure Ofcom is sure to launch a probe into such a biased programme.

 I do not want to live in a right-wing or left-wing country, can we not have a common-sense government that does not look after its friends and targets its government’s enemies?

Angry Alan,

Red House

End strike now

I WOULD like the firefighters’ strike to end once and for all.

 The Government was talking about putting the retirement age up to 60. I think it should be reduced to 50 years so that they can still be working when they are fit and healthy.

Steven Howard,

Witton Gilbert