Letters, Tuesday, October 1, 2013

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Cuts not the only reason for demise

THE closure of nine libraries in Sunderland is not just about “Government cuts” as there are a number of local factors which have also led to the demise of the service in the city.

 Libraries in Sunderland have not kept pace with a dramatic fall in usership in the last 10 years, from 1.6million in 2003 to under one million last year, with little attempt to change the service in response.

 Unlike other local authorities, not enough was achieved when there was a lot of funding in terms of developing digital software and connecting libraries with other local services to increase usage.

 Additionally, only a tiny amount of the budget is currently spent on buying books, which has got to be the priority, and last year amounted to only 3.9 per cent: a proportion which has been allowed to halve in recent years.

Councillor Robert Oliver,

Leader Conservative

Council Group

Always a puzzle

NOW that Paolo di Canio has left SAFC, may I return to the subject of his admiration for Mussolini.

 Conservative supporters of SAFC were always puzzled about David Miliband’s appointment as a director, but kept their peace.

 Once Miliband resigned over Paolo’s fascist leanings, they rose up with one voice and shouted good riddance.

 They said Paolo was entitled to hold whatever political views he wanted. When we beat Newcastle, then Everton, that seemed to settle the argument.

 But Fascism was not a political party like others. It was a mass movement of thugs and bullies, who used violence and brute force against their opponents.

 Why certain prominent SAFC supporters backed Paolo’s right to hero-worship the Italian ‘Duce’ defeats me.

 Where Fascists gained power, it was always with the help of other right-wing parties, who then discovered too late that they were living under a brutal dictatorship.

 I suspect those people who support Paolo’s right to hold his political opinions were not so sympathetic towards James McClean and his protest about Bloody Sunday.

Frank Seely,

Washington

Great thrifty idea

THE Crack and NARC are two free monthly magazines which tell me of local events.

 I learned from NARC about the UK’s first Festival of Thrift at Lingfield Point, Darlington, which took place on September 21 and 22.

 Lingfield Point was originally built as a wool factory by Patons and Baldins in the 1950s and was the biggest employer in Darlington, engaging more than 4,500 people. The factory has now become a centre that houses offices and small businesses.

 The Festival of Thrift was spread out over a large site and many examples of recycling and stalls demonstrating arts and crafts were provided.

 There were lots of ideas of how to reuse goods and furniture, talks on saving money, beekeeping, bread making and gardening, workshops on weaving, quilting and cooking, along with plenty of free entertainment for adults and children.

 The festival was the idea of the designers, Wayne Hemmingway and his wife, Geraldine, and the owner of Lingfield Point, John Orchard.

 I hope they have another festival next year.

 You can learn more about the festival from the internet.

John Watson

Back to bad days

BIGGEST joke of the week is the claim that unions only act in their members’ interests?

 Ordinary members are simply there to fund the telephone number, pay and pensions of their union leaders, and to further their hate-filled Marxist ideological aims at every opportunity.

 Where were the unions when Labour allowed the millions of immigrants into the country – taking our jobs and driving down wages?

 Where were the unions when Labour abolished the 10p tax rate, which affected millions of low paid workers?

 Now that the militants are to the fore once more, there is a real danger of a return to the bad old days of the 1970s and 80s, whoever is in power.

M Brown