Letters, Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Have your say

Is there a need for a new court?

I READ with interest Bridget Phillipson’s views on the lack of progress of the proposed court complex in Sunderland City Centre, and the claim that this building will help regenerate the city centre.

 If that is indeed the case, surely, the opposite must be true that the closure of the Magistrates’ Court in Houghton must have adversely affected Houghton town centre.

 I cannot recollect any protest from Ms Phillipson when the closure of Houghton Magistrates’ Court was announced, despite it being in her constituency, while the city centre is not.

 Houghton Magistrates’ Court remains empty despite it being still ‘fit for purpose’, with cells in the adjacent police station, nearby parking and easy access from the surrounding area.

 Turning to the matter of the delayed court complex in Sunderland City Centre, which is planned to replace the existing court and a new crown court, why do we need to build a new crown court?

 We are constantly informed crime is falling, so a new crown court cannot be required, can it?

 If the case for a new crown court could be proven, then it should be built adjacent to Durham’s Frankland Prison.

 This would be cheaper (land costs), more secure, as prisoners would not have to be transported by road as is currently the case, travelling to Newcastle or Sunderland, if a crown court was built causing traffic chaos and what must be a greater security risk.

 Yes, the magistrates’ court in Sunderland is in poor repair, so open up the Houghton Court and refurbish the Sunderland courts over time, thus leaving the site for the new court complex available for retail/commercial/leisure use, which would serve Sunderland much better.

Coun Colin Wakefield,

Leader of the Independent Group,

Sunderland City Council

Mention of money

I READ Alan Ramsey’s letter (September 15) with a feeling of déjá vué, for I too have been ‘accosted’ by these strange callers.

 I do not actually have a telephone, but I do have an email address and quite a few years ago I started receiving an email from an unknown address. Not recognising them I would ignore them – until money was mentioned.

 It stated that the good doctor emailing me from Nigeria had 85million GBP, which I presumed to represent Great British Pounds, which he needed to place in my account to get the money out of the country.

 I explained that I did not have a bank account but I assured him that if he parceled it up in good, strong, brown paper and take the cost of postage out of the 85million GBP and something for his trouble, I would be grateful to him to my dying days.

 Unfortunately, I am yet to take delivery of said money – but I am not going to hold my breath.

 There is a service provided by the phone people that takes your number out of the hands of people like that, which I believe is free.

 If I had received such a call I would let them think I was interested and then state ‘oh, there is somebody at the door, I shall not be a minute’ and then read a book for a while until I would check if the caller was still there.

Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent,

Old Penshaw