Letters, Tuesday, January 18th, 2010

Have your say

Clean up please

ON a recent visit to Sunderland seafront, round the Marina area and Roker seafront, I was totally amazed by the amount of dog poo and owners who are blatantly not cleaning up after their dogs.

I appreciate cuts have to be made by the council, but am totally disgusted at the amount of dog poo there is and the council don’t seem to be doing anything about it. Do they realise what sort of diseases dog mess carries? It makes for uncomfortable viewing for local residents and visiting families.

I would be obliged if someone from the council would like to go on record on this matter because when I telephoned I was told there were regular patrols at the Marina.

The seafront is one of the biggest attractions to Sunderland, so come on Sunderland council, clean up your act.

Name and address supplied

Welfare state

WILLIAM Beveridge and Nye Bevan must be spinning in their graves when they see how their dream of a welfare state has turned out. We all realise cuts need to be made but in the right places.

To begin with generations are living on benefits from choice, not circumstances, while genuine sick people like the man who suffered a heart attack and was told by a non-medical ‘jobsworth’ he was fit to work found his benefit ceased.

Care homes where old people unable to look after themselves and dedicated staff are facing an uneasy future with closures. It is people at the top who need to be shown the door.

When we hear £6.5 million has been spent on paperwork with nothing concrete to show for it then those responsible need to be axed and now.

How many jobs could that have saved?

Furthermore, we should get out of the EU. Our contribution is astronomical, yet we only get peanuts back, unlike France who get out every cent they put in.

And do not let us hear of it affecting our exports. Neither Norway nor Switzerland are members of the EU and their exports do not suffer. It is all hogwash by those desperate to get their snouts in the trough.

Lucrative it is, make no mistake about that. So let us see some top people with their P45s. We are long overdue for a change in this town but while the voters put them back in repeatedly so be it. You get what you deserve.

DS, Southwick

Religion wronged

RE the letter in the Echo (January 11) by Richard Davies in his attack on religion and the Catholic Church in particular. I would like to remind Mr Davies that the Catholic Church and the Pope can be traced right back to St Peter, a time span of 2,000 years. Hardly an organisation to be associated with rag-bag Christians and as far as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer goes, I never did know what he looked like.

It is so easy these days apparently to plant a bomb and kill innocent people anywhere in the world. It’s hardly rocket science, but oh so cowardly. The world is full of zealots, cranks and various other nut-cases, all bent on creating havoc in the name of religion. History shows us time and again how rulers, monarchs and politicians have all used religion to obtain and justify the awful deeds they have perpetrated.

We should also remember the great Christian leaders too, even in our lifetime. People like the late Archbishop Ramsey who went onto the Belfast streets during troubled days encouraging people to pray for peace and Mother Theresa who did so much for the destitute people of this world.

Perhaps Mr Davies should trawl through the internet and find out more about these good people’s lives instead of finding something amusing to him that happened in Wisconsin, America.

Finally, as a practising Christian all my 70-plus years, I have never had my arm pushed up my back in order to practise my faith.

A. Kelly

Honest Sheila

I HAVE been reading the article in Friday’s Echo (January 14), about Councillor Sheila Ellis, but it tells us little about what actually happened apart from the fact she was representing constituents and had acted unwisely.

Can you tell us more please of what the planning story was about? What was she trying to do for her constituents that was so wrong? If she has been accused of corruption surely she has a right to defend herself.

Sheila Ellis is the most honest, upright and hard-working and uncorruptable person Houghton could have for a councillor.

Joyce Dixon, Newbottle

Pension reform

IN response to a letter from James Bell (Jan 7) expressing hope for 2011 and reassuring pensioners that the earnings link to pensions will be restored in April. Well, not before time, especially as it was Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government who took it from us. Then again, it is given with one hand and taken away with another via value added tax which hits hardest those on low incomes.

The bankers too in such a dilemma re bonuses; should they or shouldn’t they? Either way theirs will be a most comfortable year as always. Whether they deserve it or not is another matter.

Miss T Childs, Caledonian Road, Hylton Castle Estate