Letters, Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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It was good to see that Sunderland ‘High Street’ is going to receive financial help to revive the City Centre.

Based on the figures of £9m for 33 towns and cities, so far, this will amount to an average of £273,000 for the whole city. I would like to say good luck to Sunderland for this pot of money to return the City centre into a vibrant place to visit and shop.

When shops and offices start closing down, the City started to leech customers for the stores and shops that remained. This accelerated as more businesses found it difficult to stay open as takings declined and people turned to taking their business to shopping malls with free car parking and with a wider choice of goods.

This has been further compounded by online shopping, which is on an upward trajectory, and has taken further income away from the City.

The only way that this decline can be reversed, if it can, is to lobby the local MPs to press for a major overhaul of business rates. Anything else, such as this funding, is nothing more than using a plaster on a major wound.

The Labour council, which has been in a majority for over 40 years, is complicit in this sorrowful decline of a once proud town and City.

The council has let the people of Sunderland down in its handling of major rebuilding that has not served the future of the City.

All past and present councillors should hang their heads in shame for the pitiful state of our City centre.

Bryan G Foster,

Via email.

Pit closures before Mrs T

I see once again Mrs Thatcher, who cannot defend herself, is being blamed for pit closures.

 My husband was a deputy at Wearmouth Colliery and men were being transferred from places like Leadgate to Wearmouth Colliery long before Mrs Thatcher was supposedly invalued.

Mrs Mary Metcalfe,

East Herrington.

Bus lanes are too narrow

I wonder who it was that came up with the brilliant idea of reducing the width of the bus lane at the Wheatsheaf bus stops coming into town from Southwick?

Once over, even if two buses were using the stops outside the Stagecoach offices, other buses could still get past and go about their business, but now we have one or even two blocking the traffic coming up North Bridge Street bearing off towards Roker Avenue because they have nowhere to go! Yet another badly thought out waste of money!

Ralph Arnold,

Seaham.