Letters, Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Have your say

Fears over reason for sewage pong

I HAVE heard it all now, referring to the article in last week’s Sunderland Echo regarding “Water bosses spray Sunderland sewage trucks with bubblegum scent in a bid to beat the pong”.

 What concerns me is that if you can smell a sewage pong, then it means that there are undoubtedly pathogens released into the atmosphere too.

 Nature gave us a sense of smell to enable us to either enjoy the source or to find it offensive. It is obvious that the people of Hendon find the pong offensive.

 Like pain, which tells us that what’s causing it should be avoided, in this case it appears the avoidance for the Hendon people means the water company spray bubblegum scent.

 To apply bubblegum scent to mask unpleasant odours, when one should really be stopping the cause of the pongs, shows once again the council’s failure to act against the water company.

 The council says there has only been one recorded instance of smells being a problem since August. Considering it has been the driest year for years, why should there be a problem at all?

 For the water company to resort to such desperate measures, covers up the real danger of the possibility that pathogens, which are an organism capable of causing disease, are present.

 It seems like common sense to suggest that what is needed is for the water company to ensure that the sewage treatment plant works safely without any emissions, either of harmful odours or of still contaminated sewage.

 After all, we are paying for that service, aren’t we?

Bob Latimer,


A perfect present

ON behalf of more than 10million people in the UK with hearing loss, I would like to publicly thank John Lewis for speedily re-releasing its Christmas television advertisement with subtitles.

 The original omission has brought to light one of many challenges faced by deaf and hard of hearing people at Christmas.

 Many people with hearing loss can feel isolated at Christmas and while subtitling may seem trivial, Action on Hearing Loss members tell us that words and music, be it carols or lyrics sung by Lily Allen, is one of the things they miss most. Subtitles allow them to share the experience with family and friends.

 The avalanche from the deaf community on social media following the lack of subtitles on the first John Lewis advert, led Action on Hearing Loss to Tweet the company and its response was immediate.

 Subtitles were included in less than a week and we would like to thank John Lewis for an early Christmas present.

 John Lewis responded in the spirit of Christmas and we would like to urge other retailers and members of the public to follow suit.

 As the UK’s largest charity for the deaf, Action on Hearing Loss works to ensure people with hearing loss enjoy the best possible Christmas, and ask everyone to take that extra care to ensure family and friends who are deaf or hard of hearing do not feel excluded this festive season.

Rob Burley,

head of public affairs and campaigns,

Action on Hearing Loss

Voting was a waste

A NORTH East Assembly was voted against in 2004, but now the seven North East councils are trying for it again with a new name – “Combined Authority”.

 More expenses, more jobs for the boys, another layer of bureaucracy, which will take more money from council taxpayers.

 This was supposed to go before the Government in April 2014, but seven North East Councils are taking it for granted now.

 Durham County council has appointed a Chester-le-Street councillor as chairman of the North East Leadership Board, another layer of bureaucracy to lead the creation of the new authority.

 Why did people waste their time voting against a North East Assembly?

Majorie Matthews

Such kindness

I WOULD like to thank the very kind lady who handed in my handbag, which was left in Debenhams cafe, on Saturday, November 23.

 I would like to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.