Letters, Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Have your say

Thanks for Poppy appeal support

I WOULD like to thank everyone who took part in the Remembrance Service and Parade.

 Special thanks to III Squadron Air Cadets, Methodist Minister Alan Burns, musicians Jimmy Kelly and Irene Worthy, Northumbria Police, Councillors Doris McKnight, Denny Wilson, Steve Foster, the Scouts and Cubs, also our members and loyal supporters.

 Our Poppy appeal this year showed tremendous support for the British Legion.

 A huge thank you to all who helped in any way.

 Our new venue, Sainsbury’s North, was a great help, also Morrisons, The Stadium of Light, and all the schools, shops, factories, clubs and pubs who displayed poppy boxes.

 To the general public, thank you for helping us to raise £13,119.27.

June Nixon,

Hon Secretary,

The Royal British Legion, Women’s Section, Castletown

No library displays

I BELONG to an art group, based at St Gabriel’s Church.

 We, along with several groups in Sunderland, have regularly put on art displays in the foyer of the central library over several years.

 However, we have now been informed that for the foreseeable future, perhaps three years, there will be no displays.

 We have been invited to display at another venue, but feel this place is unsuitable to the public.

 The public enjoy these displays, we know from feedback, but will be denied the pleasure in the future.

 The foyer does not seem to be well used now – so why are we denied this pleasure?

Tony Cooke,


Don’t bully us

SO Cameron Marshall is increasingly concerned about the level of misleading information coming from UKIP regarding Nissan (December 4).

 I am concerned about the threats and blackmail coming from Nissan and its alliance partner Renault (if we vote to come out of the EU, Nissan will close).

 As I write this letter, a month has not yet passed since Remembrance Sunday took place. Why did all those men die fighting a world war? Answer, democracy. To be free to do as our people want, and not to be dictated to by foreign powers, and certainly not by industrialists.

 Mr Marshall goes on to say: “The preposed referendum provides a huge black mark against Sunderland.”

 If the people of this nation want out of the EU, then let the Government take us out.

 Mr Marshall says that there are more than 20,000 jobs at risk in the North East. Well, there were more than 20,000 men killed in two world wars, fighting for democracy.

 Were their sacrifices all for nothing? Is the county now totally spineless?

 Democracy must come first, last and always.

R Tomlinson,


Easy to criticise

I REFER to R Scott’s letter of (December 2) responding to Coun Robert Oliver’s earlier letter on free schools.

 In his attempt to talk down free schools, he quotes the problems at Al Madinah School in Derby.

 His argument could have been balanced if he had also referred to Perry Beeches Free School in Birmingham, which has posted exceptional examination results.

 He could also have mentioned Grindon Hall Free School in Sunderland, which is greatly oversubscribed. This is a classic case of parents talking with their feet.

 It is easy to point out a new school that has suffered problems. R Scott could have pointed to Academy 360 or Red House School or Washington School. All schools that have had ratings from “not satisfactory” to “inadequate” but have come back over a couple of years to rate as “improved” to “good”.

 As for unqualified teachers, did these not operate in schools in a Labour Government? In fact, was David Miliband not an unqualified teacher at his old school, Haverstock Comprehensive?

 It is ironic that R Scott’s letter was published on the day a further report by OECD one again showed Labour’s education failures and how they let down children in education during their 13 years in power.

 As I have said before, Labour can never be trusted with children’s education again.

Peter O’Connor,