Letters, Wednesday, November 13, 2013,

Have your say

Carrier bag charge is nice little earner

I NOTICE that WH Smith has started offering customers the chance to buy a carrier bag for 1p.

 I assume that this is part of an effort to help save the environment. You’ll get no argument from me there, but if that’s really the case, why, once I’ve turned down my 1p bag, do I still get a load of junk mail shoved into my hand by the cashier?

 There’s a receipt, money-off vouchers, tokens for McDonald’s (a company which really cares about the environment, eh?) and one or two other bits of paper that will all go straight in the bin.

 WH Smith can’t be that concerned about the environment if it’s happy to force unwanted rubbish that will end up in a landfill onto its customers.

 You’ve already paid for a carrier bag in the price of your purchase whether you take one or not, so it seems to me the 1p bag (or 30-odd pence bag if you’re lucky enough to visit the WH Smith at Heathrow airport – welcome to rip-off Britain!) is less about saving the planet and more about it being a nice little earner.

David Walpole,


Get diagnosed

IT is a worrying fact there are still too many people who are living with dementia but have never received a diagnosis.

 New figures reveal that across England, only 48 per cent of people living with dementia ever get a diagnosis. This is an increase of just two per cent on last year, despite Government efforts to improve this.

 I ask for your help as I am supporting the Alzheimer’s Society campaign to raise awareness of this key issue.

 A diagnosis is just as important to people who live with dementia as the key to your car or your own front door. It unlocks access to support, information, and sometimes treatment. With the right help it is possible to live well with dementia, and a diagnosis allows people to plan for the future.

 These shocking new figures show that dementia is still yet to be given the same priority as other conditions. The Government, the NHS, local GPs and the wider public all have a role to play in helping people to get the support they need.

 Help us change things for the better and sign up to stay in touch at www.alzheimers.org.uk/campaignersnetwork

 Finally, I would urge anyone who is worried about their own memory or that of a loved one to find out more at www.alzheimers.org.uk/memoryworry but also visit their GP.

Ann Minto

Not what we need

IN reply to Mr Logan’s letter (November 5), regarding the difference between Sunderland and Shields’ facilities, things are soon to get worse for the people of Sunderland.

 In its wisdom Sunderland Council has approved a new major seafront development of offices shops and residential units on Marine Walk, which will dramatically reduce the already limited parking on Roker seafront.

 It then gets even worse if you have mobility problems or a young child in a pram as you will have no access to this development.

 An access expert’s report concluded: “The lack of access will significantly disadvantage many disabled people. Does not provide equality of access to employment or services, restricts employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Does not meet the council policies regarding access for disabled people and is not compliant with the Building Regulations.”

 I ask – is this what the people of Sunderland deserve from their council?

Len Lowther

Exceptional care

WHEN it comes to health I have to say I’ve been very lucky.

 Unfortunately, my father had some issues with cancer and dementia and after a short spell in hospital, he returned home.

 Sadly, he died two weeks later.

 In many ways it was a blessing because he had deteriorated rapidly so his quality of life would have been very limited.

 It was obvious from the moment he entered hospital that his life was coming to an end but, despite that, the support we received from the various organisations within the much-maligned NHS was absolutely exceptional.

 So on behalf of our family, I would like to take this opportunity to give the highest praise to the following: The staff of Ward E58 of Sunderland Royal Hospital, the Palliative Care Team, the district nurses from Hetton Health Centre and the care workers from Allied in Chester-le-Street. Take a bow, each and every one of you. We can’t thank you enough.

Derek Carter,


Time for change

I SEE the council is sacking the staff again.

 It is always the lower paid ones to suffer.

 Why doesn’t it start on the overloaded top tier of management – those on large salaries, including those on more money than the Prime Minister. The council said it has to pay these obnoxious salaries to attract the best.

 I must have been out the day they earned their money.

 Do we have to remind the council about Vaux, the fact that Magistrates Square will be like sitting in a wind tunnel, the iconic bridge, the sparkling gates on the pier, pods on the prom at Roker, oil drums in the river under the city bridge, Aquatic Centre with no parking, two large litter bins next to the Stadium of Light and the rest.

 I do not think we are getting value for our money if these are the best.

 I hope, when the next elections come round, we all remember these decisions.

 Forget about the way your mam, dad, gran and grandad always voted Labour. Look at the state of our city after 40 years of Labour and say – “it is time for change”.

 I read a letter from Mr Quinn. He wants to take us back to the dinosaur age. I can remember 1979, litter piling up in the streets, electric blackouts, our dead relatives in refrigerated containers in hospital car parks because we couldn’t bury them because of strikes.

 Renationalisation – no thank you.

G Liddle,


Workers lose out

IN present day Britain, we are all aware of the Government’s austerity measures and the cuts applied to the general population. But those cuts are unfairly distributed to everyone.

 In this day and age, as one of the fifth largest economies in the world, how is it that we have 350,000 people every year having to make use of food banks?

 This in a country where there are 88 billionaires.

 In the present day cabinet of 29, which governs from Downing Street, 22 of those are millionaires.

 How can these people possibly understand the needs of the poor, the needy or the homeless? Why has the Government’s cuts hit the poorest in society? Why have the wealthy not been hit as well? Why are some companies not paying their workers a living wage?

 It seems to me that all they are intent on doing is increasing their already considerable wealth.

 All we have heard for the past three years is that it is the fault of the previous Government.

 Where the last government went wrong was not regulating the banks and financial institutions, because they are the guilty ones.

 At the end of the day it is the working people of this country who have to pay the piper for all that went wrong.

 In my younger days it was the fault of the unions, according to the right-wing of politics and the media.

A A Kelly,

Tunstall Vale