Letters, Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Have your say

Let our dogs roam free in our parks

I AM really annoyed by the letter saying dogs must be kept under control (December 8).

 I am in my seventies and have been walking in Backhouse Park for as long as I can remember and at no time have I come across packs of uncontrolled dogs.

 Yes, lots of people stop and chat, it’s the most friendly park I know.

 When we were chatting, a gentleman accosted us with a tirade of verbal abuse and pointing fingers.

 Backhouse Park is the only park where dogs can run free, none are out of control.

 If someone was injured it was because they did not have the correct footwear to walk in the park in damp conditions.

 Please do not take the word of one person – just allow our dogs to have fun.

 The verbal abuse we received was worse than anything I have ever witnessed and the three of us were gobsmacked by the seemingly unbalanced behaviour.

 No wonder there are wars in this world when there are people who carry on like that.

 I am a true dog lover and allow my dogs to display natural behaviour.

Mary Shepherd,

Eden Vale

Make your mind

ROD Hepplewhite (December 4) in response to my earlier letter, in which I pointed out it was Labour that started the privatisation of NHS services in the early 2000s, states: “just because a little privatisation (none-core services) was introduced some years ago” it does not mean that wholesale privatisation is acceptable. No one had ever proposed wholesale privatisation.

 There are two points I must raise. Firstly, the left claims privatisation is bad, full stop. It must make up its mind. If privatisation was fine under Labour what’s changed?

 Secondly, Mr Hepplewhite’s claim does not ring true when it involved setting up private sector treatment centres, widely used in the North East and, in particular, Sunderland. Then there was the decision to allow profit-making companies to tender to run GP practices. Hardly small beer nor non-core services. This is, of course, on top of the privatisation of the procurement in the NHS.

 I repeat that the NHS is safe in Conservative hands. The NHS has received an extra £12.7billion in funding with a further £2billion just announced.

 The NHS is hiring 13,000 more clinical staff to treat patients.

 As for Labour, it would be spending less money on the NHS than the Government is. Shadow Health Secretary Andy Barnham said it was “irresponsible to increase NHS spending in real terms”.

 For the ultimate proof that Labour is not fit to run the NHS, we need look no further than the Mid Staffs NHS Trust.

 A previous writer stated Sir Bruce Kelogh referred to the “harrowing accounts set out in the Francis Report into the shockingly high death rates in the Mid Staffs NHS Trust”. What is rather disturbing, but not surprising, is that Labour ignored 81 requests for a Mid Staffs public inquiry.

Keith O’Brien,

Middle Herrington