Letters, Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Have your say

The facts behind school meals rise

I REFER to your article re the increase in the cost of school meals (Echo, June 16) along with the editor’s comments printed the same day. It was reported that the cost of a meal would increase by 10p.

In the article Coun Pat Smith was quoted as saying: “Although the decision to increase the price of a school meal was taken very reluctantly, it was deemed necessary because of the reduction in specific grants from Government.”

There was one brief reference to rising food prices but no detail. It seems Coun Smith was more concerned with blaming the Government than quoting facts.

The Echo’s editorial waded in under the heading of “School cuts are hard to stomach” and went on to say: “Sunderland school dinners are the latest victim of the Government’s austerity measures.” It closed by stating: “What a pity then that by cutting funding to schools, the Government is hitting most ordinary families in the pocket and some children in the stomach.”

Having checked the facts, it is discovered that the Government’s spending review accounts for 1p (10 per cent) of the increase and world record food prices account for 9p (90 per cent) of the increase.

Let’s have more factual coverage of such issues, please.

Coun Alan Wright, Conservative, St Chad’s Ward

Sad over ship

I’M very sad to read we could not save the historic ship The City of Adelaide.

It would have been something for all of us to remember our shipyards, somewhere for our children, families to go to, a maritime museum where people could see the Adelaide and learn about our heritage.

I am the wife and mother of ex-shipyard workers, the late Norman Redman and son Norman, burner and welder.

Phyllis Redman, Kirkdale, Sunderland

Justify the cost

MIGRATION has happened since life began on Earth, but the pattern of migration has always been from areas of high population towards areas less crowded.

Migration into England from places like Poland is the complete reverse of that pattern. Poland will actually need an extra 80million people to have England’s current rate of population.

All English MPs should form themselves into an all-England committee and assert a bit of devolution for England. They should examine the books for who pays and gets the money, and every penny spent on other people, be they Scot or Somali, should be justified and, if justified, prove it. If it is not justified, end it and spend it on the English poor.

MPs and everyone else should know you can only spend a billion on other people at the expense of depriving one million poor English people of an extra £1,000 a year.

You can’t play the Good Samaritan to some without being a Pharisee to others. What is true will be the same for all people. Two plus two will come to the same total in Siberia, Sudan and even Scotland as well as in Sunderland.

J. Young, Alexander Terrace, Fulwell, Sunderland

Cheer him on

THIS Saturday, shortly after 10am, Sgt Neil Hymas of The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers will march over Wearmouth Bridge on his way to meet the Mayor outside Sunderland Museum at 10.30am.

At this point Sgt Hymas, carrying a pack weighing over 70lb, will have completed more than 200 miles of his 240-mile eight-day Faithful Foray, a sponsored hike around the whole historical boundary of County Durham. His efforts are in support of the appeal to raise funds for a national memorial to our region’s famous regiment, The Durham Light Infantry.

Sgt Hymas set off last Saturday from the DLI Museum in Durham. Since then he will have hiked through Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington, Barnard Castle, Teesdale and Weardale. Ultimately he will arrive back in Durham where the Durham Marriott Hotel has kindly given him a room for the night.

Throughout the week the weather has been dreadful, so it would be great if the people of Sunderland could give him a warm welcome, encouragement and support and hopefully make his fund-raising efforts worthwhile.

Arthur Charlton, Houghton

Beautiful display

CONGRATULATIONS to the Parks Department for the beautiful hanging baskets in Vine Place, Holmeside and Fawcett Street, making a lovely display in our otherwise drab city centre.

J. Carter, Sunderland