Letters, Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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City facilities are not maintained

I STRONGLY agree with reader R Tomlinson about the lack of toilets at the train station if Sunderland does become a City of Culture.

 Likewise, if they decide to travel by bus or coach they will be met with a few grotty toilets at Park Lane Interchange, which are made from cold metal and don’t even have lids. Some don’t even have toilet paper but sometimes there are bits of it strewn all over the cubicles.

 It is highly likely that they will have to pass through cigarette smoke in this bus station to get to the toilets as Sunderland Council refuses to fine smokers and has been letting them get away with it since the law came out in July 2007.

 There is nothing cultured about this.

 Also, what are they going to see when they get here? Perhaps the new Keel Row. This is more or less new paving with a few seats but, hey, the council can’t even maintain the paving in the rest of the city centre. Take for example the university in Albion Place then continue down to Vine Place and the bus stops in Holmeside. Some are broken into pieces, some rock, some don’t rock but are uneven and they are usually filthy from spilt drinks (perhaps from the night-time economy) and you never see the chewing gum removed. Even the block paving is dangerous and an eyesore.

 A YouGov survey has found that making streets safe for pedestrians an election priority for 62 per cent of people over the age of 65 and that 60 per cent feel angry and frustrated by the risk of tripping and falling on poorly maintained pavements.

 If the council won’t maintain paving thoroughly and regularly so that everybody, from toddlers to OAPs, can walk about the town and the rest of the city safely, it might as well just tarmac the lot. It would be safer and couldn’t look any more unsightly.

DS,

Sunderland

Cheer the priest

G LIDDLE wrote (April 18) about “a local priest is in Scotland protesting about our submarines”.

 Surely, that is what priests are supposed to do, promote peace, love and harmony, as opposed to death and destruction?

 In the second part of his letter he says if we want cheaper gas and electricity we need all we can find. If that is the case, why not cheer that priest on? There is plenty of oil and gas where those “subs” are, but the Ministry of Defence will not allow that gas and oil to be extracted.

 G Liddle goes on to say if Scotland does not want our subs, the North East would have them, and all the jobs that go with them. That may well be, but would we want to be on Russia’s nuclear strike priority list, taking into consideration that the Government has cut this country’s defences to the bone?

 Mr Liddle reckons that Seaham should not stop drilling for off-shore gas. The process of extracting the gas has been known for 150 years but has never been able to be made to work safely. The process may contaminate the drinking water supply.

 I hear that oil has been discovered in Surrey, so why not drill for that? Could it be that Surrey perhaps is just not the desolate North, old boy, as Lord Howell once referred to the North East.

 Finally, I would like to ask what makes him naive enough to think the energy firms would be benevolent enough to sell us cheap gas and electricity, considering their past track record?

R Tomlinson,

Seaham

Visionary schemes

AS an occasional visitor to Sunderland it’s always exciting to see how the council is forever making improvements.

 The projects at the seafront, St Peter’s (where a facelift has been overdue for several hundred years) and of course St Mary’s Way never cease to amaze and, thanks to their high-viz jackets, passers-by can see how much the workforce is putting in to realise these visionary schemes.

Robert McKeith,

Middlesex