Letters, Thursday, November 22, 2012

Have your say

Work together for benefit of the city

AS local Councillors we do not usually get involved with the drivel of tit for tat letters from Tory supporters or Councillors, we have better things to do.

 However the recent letters from Keith O’Brien (October 23 and November 10) and Tory Councillor Robert Oliver (November 13) compel a response.

 All letters show a complete denial that police numbers have reduced. Total number of police officers has fallen from a peak of 143,734 in March 2010 to 134,101 this March and we are now seven months on. What problem do they have accepting their own Government’s Home Office figures?

 Even worse is the reduction in the Community Safety Fund, which is used to fund crime prevention measures.

 The Tory-led Coalition Government has cut the fund by a shocking 60 per cent. The Home Office Community Safety Fund for Sunderland City Council, which had a base line in 2010/11 of £390,260, is reduced to £157,495.

 Obviously as usual, some Tory supporters and Tory Councillors will dispute these figures.

 We will also remind Keith O’Brien, a former long standing Labour Party member and activist who turned his back on his roots and stood as a local Tory candidate in Millfield, that we as local councillors have a a responsibility to represent all constituents, work together with partners, including the police who we fully support and if necessary challenge.

 Furthermore, before Robert Oliver complains about Labour Party newsletters he should check his latest Tory autumn newsletter and stop misleading residents that Sunderland City Council is responsibility for repainting Virgin telemetry boxes, absolute nonsense.

 Come on, Robert pull yourself together and join with us to concentrate on working for the residents of our great city.

Stuart Porthouse

and Darryl Dixon,

Local Councillors

St Chad’s Branch Labour Party

Don’t take sides

ON the eve of Thursday’s poll for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections I received an email purporting to be from the Unity Multicultural Organisation urging me to vote for Vera Baird, the Labour candidate.

 I will leave it to your readers to decide whether I followed this advice!

 My question to TA Khan (chairman) at this so-called “Unity” organisation is: “How do you promote unity within the local commuinity by siding so blatantly with one political party rather than another?”

 Presumably he won’t be expecting my support in future for applications from his organisation for financial support!

Coun Peter Wood,

Deputy Leader, Sunderland Conservative Council Group

Kick him out

CAN someone please explain to me what the problem is with deporting Abu Qatada?

 I am no racist. I lived in South Africa for 21 years and believe me I know what racism is, but it beggars belief that the British Government with all its powers cannot deport this man.

 He is clearly a threat to British people. The British law lords are terrified that the European Court of Human Rights would fine the UK Government. The last time a country, Italy, went against the EU it was fined 12,500 Euros. I say – let them fine us.

 This man hates the West. He has openly made speeches against the British Government operations in Afganistan and is a supporter of the 9/11 bombing in the U.S.

 It is costing the British people £100,000 per week to keep him safe, never mind his legal aid bill that runs into millions.

 I say kick him out before he again starts to spout his terrorist views.

 I am all for free speech but this is getting ridiculous. How much longer do we have to be seen as the laughing stock of Europe?

 The Americans would not have allowed him into their country in the first place

Scott Andrews,


Police promise

I WOULD like to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in the Police and Crime Commissioner election.

 It is an honour to be elected as your voice with Northumbria Police.

 I know many people did not vote because the role of Police and Crime Commissioner was not widely known. I would like to reassure you that over the weeks, months and years ahead I will be a familiar face in our communities as part of finding out what you think the police are doing well and what could be done better.

 I am committed to ensuring our neighbourhoods remain a safe place to live and work.

 You have my assurances that I will support the police in their efforts to cut crime, and I will be working with other organisations, businesses and the public to improve safety and ensure all voices are heard.

 Northumbria Police has a strong record in tackling crime. I am determined that our force remains committed to the people it serves and that by working together we deliver real change.

Vera Baird,

Police and Crime Commissioner