Letters, Thursday, March 21, 2013

Have your say

Seafront needs a proper strategy

MY wife and I took my sister-in-law out for the day.

 We started in Dalton Park and thought we would pop into Seaham – and it was dead.

 To see a main street in a small town virtually closed mid-afternoon was very sad indeed.

 I estimated about a dozen people were out shopping.

 I bought a Sunderland Echo and came across the article on Page 7 which talked about the plans for the seafront near the Marriott Hotel in Sunderland.

 The strapline across the top mentioned the term “landmark designs” and showed a drawing of what look like seaside chalets. The article then referred to the two-storey buildings as luxury apartments with offices and retail units underneath.

 Would it not be more appropriate to have a seafront strategy covering the entire seafront from Roker to Whitburn – and look at it from the point of view of the residents of Sunderland and incoming visitors?

 I can envisage a day when there will be small areas of development dotted along the seafront with no cohesion in terms of design or environmental impact. Or will this be like a lot of other Sunderland projects where they start off with good intentions but never see the light of day?

David Warden

Man-made misery

EVERY time I read of a baby born with some sort of abnormality, and witness the heartbreak of the parents, it tugs at my heartstrings.

 Bearing this in mind, recent research in America has revealed that of 10 newly-born babies, whose umbilical cords were tested, they found over 300 chemicals present in their blood.

 These included some very dangerous ones such as bisphenol A, lead, mercury, percholorates and flame retardants. Meanwhile, the intrusion of chemicals in to the food chain has steadily and remorselessly become so widespread, it presents an insidious and far-reaching problem to the health of the nation as a whole.

 The only answer is, wherever possible, to eat organic food.

 Unfortunately, this presents a problem as it is too expensive for working class families, who simply can’t afford to purchase them. Ironically, it is costing the NHS billions to treat people who may never have become ill in the first place if it wasn’t for the unwitting consumption of these pesticides or chemicals.

 Greed is a hard taskmaster.

 When entering the brilliant Mrs Walker’s health shop in Fulwell, she apologised and informed me that the cost of my usual jar of honey had been increased.

 “But the bees aren’t charging any more for it,” I respectfully replied.

 So really, it is man himself who is the instigator of such misery.

G Docherty,


Protect libraries

NOT too long ago Audrey Foster wrote a letter against library closures.

 I did expect more letters defending libraries, but none so far, so I’d like to add my thoughts to hers, which praised the many roles and activities of the libraries. Central Library is the leading example but other libraries should not be forgotten.

 The running of the “Books on Wheels” is one aspect of library services. Housebound folk rely on this, their lives would be diminished without it.

 Please sign the forms that are in the libraries now putting their case to the public.



Huge tax burdon

MR Average, without any choice, is burdened with income tax, council tax, value added tax, national insurance, fuel duty, alcohol duty, stamp duty – the list is infinite.

 Mr Average has an informed choice whether to take out a payday loan from the so-called sharks. Would the hogs in power mind if Mr Average took out a payday loan to satisfy their cut of his earnings? No.

 The hunger of the hog knows no bounds. If Mr Average somehow accumulates some form of retirement fund it is taxed again. Also it seems that if Mr Average tries to get something back from the hogs he becomes Mr Benefit Cheat or Mr Shirker.

David Patterson,

Fence Houses

Search plea

I AM trying to make contact with two brothers. One at least worked at Pickersgills when the West yard was to be developed in early 1940s.

 They attended the auction at the Austin Pickersgill site.

 The oldest lad worked in the joiners shop “on the bench” and probably lived at Red House. I think his name may be Alfie Stonley, born in 1930.

 I remembers being told they had video of all the sales.

 Would anyone be able to help me get in touch with the brothers.

Joan Tate (nee Cowley),



Okay to indulge

AS Easter approaches, many people with diabetes and their friends and family may be unsure about whether they should be enjoying chocolate eggs and other treats.

 If you’ve got diabetes it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and include sugary high-fat foods only occasionally.

 But Easter only comes once a year and people shouldn’t worry about the odd over-indulgences, as this will not affect long-term blood glucose control.

 Small amounts of chocolate can also still be eaten as part of a healthy diet.

 It’s important that children with diabetes have a similar egg to their siblings and friends so that they don’t feel that their diabetes excludes them from this. Adults with diabetes, on the other hand, may prefer an alternative Easter present such as flowers, fruit or a book.

 We do not recommend “diabetic” Easter eggs. Diabetic chocolate is just as high in fat and calories as ordinary chocolate – it can still raise blood glucose levels and is often more expensive than regular chocolate.

Linda Wood

Regional Manager, Diabetes UK Northern and Yorkshire