Letters, Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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Counting cost of charity donations

EVERY day, like most people in this country, I receive mail from various charities.

 Normally, and I’ve counted, I donate hundreds of pounds each year to these charities. With the events that have unfolded recently, I have made a new New Year’s resolution.

 Though retired I am still a taxpayer. My tax, and the tax of millions goes to pay many things. My savings are very limited, where the Government has unlimited funds. Therefore as we tend to leave most things for the Government to handle, so the Government should make payments to charities on our behalf from our tax.

 Our Government decided to use our tax to pay for the funeral of an ex-Prime Minister, costing around £5,000,000.

 That amount would normally see off about 1,667 people at today’s prices.

 I think with so many in the world wanting, it is wrong for any person to be dispatched for more than a reasonable fee, and that includes Royalty.

 With this in mind I am now cancelling my direct debits for charities, and all mail I receive in the future I intend to re-direct to 10 Downing Street.

 Okay, the odd charity in the street I may donate to, but that will be as I decide.

 So many charities ask us for £2 or £3 per month to help pay for this, that or the other. How many months would be covered with £5,000,000. Now let’s see our Prime Minister and company earn their pay.

John A Stott,


Support plea

FOR more than 40 years, Sunderland Primary Schools Football Association (SPSFA) has provided opportunities for boys and girls to play in organised football.

 For many dads too the first experience of playing organised football will have been for the school football team in a competition organised by SPSFA.

 Although falling class sizes and the increased demands on teachers’ time has seen less schools competing at 11-a-side, the interest in small sided football has increased dramatically and has ensured that the association still provides regular football competitions for thousands of children in Sunderland every year.  The rebirth of the Sunderland boys’ side seven years ago has seen the profile of the association rise not only in the city but also in the North East region with the representative side winning the Harrison Cup (league champions) four times in the last five seasons and the Derwentside and Medomsley Knockout Cup five times in the last six seasons. The boys have also been crowned Durham County Schools seven-a-side champions on three occasions and qualified for Wembley in 2009 as North of England seven-a-side champions as well as being crowned County five-a-side champions for the last two seasons.

 The girls have been just as successful, winning league titles in three of the last five seasons and looking favourites, as current league leaders, to add another league title to that tally this season.

 The association is entirely self-funded and relies on fund-raising activities run by its volunteers and donations from local companies to ensure its survival. With this in mind we have organised a fund-raising dinner at the Roker Hotel on Friday with ex-SAFC assistant manager Bobby Saxton and ex-captain Kevin Ball as speakers, and top Liverpool comedian Frankie Allen providing the laughs. Tickets are £35, include a three-course meal and are also available in tables of 10 or 12. Anyone interested in attending or any local business interested in taking a table can contact me on the number below.

 We are also looking for donations for prizes for the evening’s prize draw and have already received promises of prizes and services from one or two local businesses.

 We are extremely proud to see that four of the first Sunderland boys’ side to compete after the reformation of the district side are now halfway through scholarships at professional clubs and that four of the second year’s side have also received scholarships at professional clubs.

 Whether the children that compete in the association’s competitions go on to play professional football or local league when they leave school, some of their earliest footballing memories will always be of playing with their mates in the school team.

 Any help the people of Sunderland can provide will allow us to continue providing Sunderland children with opprtunities to play football that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Chris Lindstedt,

Chairman SPSFA,

tel. 07875361023

Can’t all dance away

THE coal miners grandson, Denis Gillon, obviously did his Billy Elliot impersonation and danced his way out of the pits. And has decided to bestow on us his aquired knowledge and wisdom.

 Let’s imagine Thatcher and her jack booted lackeys were correct in their beliefs that getting rid of the industry in the North East was the right thing to do. That is not the reason Thatcher and her henchmen are hated. It was the callous and uncaring attitude they had towards those people and their communities.

 The destruction she left, the taxpayers are still paying for.

 At the end of your letter about how disrespectful it is to speak out against Thatcher “as she did her best for the country”, I’m sure Hitler thought he was doing his best for his country.

 Just remember not everyone can put on their dancing shoes and leave the pits. Your grandfather must be proud of you.

Ged Taylor,


Deal is a disgrace

DAVID Beckham is reported to be picking up £20m as a sports ambassador with Sky over a four-year period.

 What is Sky thinking about? Has it got more money than sense? As if the Beckhams don’t have enough money to spend. Just think what this money could do for the starving millions around the world.

 I was a subscriber for 20 years, until about a year ago when I had had enough of having to pay for channels I didn’t watch.

 When I terminated the contract they sent me a closing bill of a couple of pounds, which I objected to. They have since hounded me with half price deals and the literature keeps on coming.

 They should, if they are making vast amounts of money, reduce the fees they charge, instead of paying the Premier League £2billion for footballers’ wages.

 I am now quite happy to watch Freesat and Freeview which still has plenty of channels but minus the overpaid footballers kicking a bag of wind around.

Ken Smith,