Letters, Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Have your say

Probate service not all it seems

HAVING recently lost my father, and being faced with the distressing bureaucracy that’s required, my family and I found ourselves faced with a different sort of ordeal.

 A company apparently attached to my father’s bank tried to hard-sell my mother probate services, in an overly aggressive manner, which she later described as “oppressive” and “not wanting to take no for an answer”.

 They later rang her at home and tried again, so must’ve been given her number by the bank (which may be against the data protection laws).

 The bank itself described its bereavement service as free, and provided by part of its company.

 However, only a few minutes research on the internet showed that the service was provided by a separate company, and in only a few minutes I found over a hundred complaints about it.

 Not only did its fees turn out to be huge, amounting to an exploitative four per cent of an estate, but it took years, in some cases, to conclude business, and used legal trickery to avoid accountability.

 To add to my sense of outrage at its attempted callous exploitation, I found that the “free bereavement counselling” leaflet provided by Sunderland Registrar’s Office was printed by the same company.

 May I advise people not to even consider these probate companies. Check them out on the internet before you sign anything.

Name withheld

Rubbish pile just keeps on growing

IN 2010, I wrote to the cleansing department to let them know there was a load of rubbish behind Hylton Castle Primary School, near the bus stop opposite the small shops.

 I had a letter back saying it would be looked into – but nothing happened.

 In 2011, the rubbish was still there plus an extra year’s worth of rubbish. I wrote again as it is near the children’s playground. I had a letter to say that the litter is actually in the grounds of Castle View Academy, when, in fact, it is not even in sight of the academy.

 I can see plastic and polythene sheeting, cans, glass bottles, even carrier bags hanging off trees and they were there when I first wrote to them. The little stream is completely dry now too.

 A little bit of the rubbish blows all over the place. It’s not a pretty sight when everyone gets off the bus.

 Will it ever be cleared away?

B Collar,


MPs should reject their salary rise

WE have all praised the Conservatives for dealing with the debt left by Labour, mostly by making wage rises low and we all understood that.

 For IPSA to now say that MPs should get a 10 per cent salary rise completely wipes out the logic of austerity pay for everyone else.

 The Government should reject IPSA’s decision and take a two per cent rise.

Marjorie Matthews,