Letters, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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Issue of tolerance must be addressed

I AM a promoter of multiculturalism and have tried to raise awareness of integration, and I do try to unite all the community on one platform as one nation.

 I attended the demo on October 6 at St Mark’s Road, Millfield, with the understanding that it would be a peaceful demonstration, therefore taking family members, including grandchildren as young as three years old.

 What a shame to face up to extremists who made us all feel that we were in a war zone – throwing fireworks, bottles and other damaging objects on us.

 The fascists’ mob were carrying banners displaying “No Muslims”. It shocked me as a Muslim who has lived in Sunderland for the past five decades and now, or almost, in our fifth generation we have not caused any damage or crime as such to harm any person in this community.

 We believe in peace, good manners and friendliness. The political parties like EDL/NF/BNP and other extremists are disturbing the peace, raising unnecessary evilness and insulting and abusing Muslims.

 Shame, Sunderland – my city – which I can only describe as beautiful, peaceful and welcoming to foreign students and other foreign professional bodies from whom the people of Sunderland gain a lot of benefits economically and socially, including the likes of Nissan.

 In the mid-1970s when I purchased my Toyota car, these political thugs attacked, smashing my windscreen and causing other damage to the car, raising their voices shouting: “No Japanese-owned cars but British only”.

 I would like to know what these so-called political parties think about Nissan, a Japanese-owned car factory, and several other similar foreign investments (some owned by Muslims) on their door step, providing them with bread and butter.

 I just wonder if these extremists have further plans to continue abusing foreigners and settlers about their beliefs, cultures and traditions spreading their uncivilized actions on a local and national level.

 If this issue is not addressed on a local and national governmental level it has the potential to spread globally, which may give rise to Sunderland taking the blame and bringing Britain to shame.

Tahir Khan,



Plea for families

IT is National Adoption Week and Barnardo’s in the North East is looking to highlight a chronic shortage of people coming forward to adopt.

 Successful adoptions not only transform the life of the child for the better, but also that of their new family. Seeing a child being transformed through the care and love they receive can be one of the most joyous experiences in life.

 We at Barnardo’s are always inundated with the profiles of children – particularly sibling groups, who need families.

 So we are appealing for people who can offer a stable, safe and loving home for these children.

 We want to hear from anyone – no matter what race, religion, age or sexual orientation.

 Barnardo’s has over 100 years’ experience of finding families for children. We specialise in finding adoptive families for children who tend to wait longer to be matched with adopters, including older children, disabled children and children with learning difficulties and children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

 We offer extensive preparation and training to adopters and provide a high level of emotional, practical and legal support to children and their adoptive families for as long as may be necessary.

 If you are interested in finding out more about adopting through Barnardo’s North East, please ring us for a chat. The number to call is 492 9000.

Steve Oversby,


Barnardo’s North East

Picture request

I AM a photography student in the final year of my degree at Sunderland University. My current project is based on and around the Holy Trinity Church, in Hendon.

 I am appealing to anyone who has old negatives to contact me.

 These negatives would need to be of Hendon and the East End of Sunderland, buildings or people.

 I wish to use these negatives to reproduce photographs of the area and display these in an exhibition to be held at the Holy Trinity Church in January.

 All negatives will be returned to the owner on completion of the project along with a copy of the developed and re-worked image.

 You will of course be welcome to come along to the free exhibition at the Holy Trinity Church.

 If you have any old negatives which you will be happy for me to use, then please contact me using the details below:


Tel. 07715591790,

Email: lotnumber82@gmail.com

A fishy business

I THOUGHT when I saw the railings along the old north pier that the council was doing something for my fellow anglers, but I’ve been told the railings are there because of repairs needed to the light on the end of the pier.

 The green fence is there to keep fishermen out. This will force fishermen to fish from a slippery slope on the north side of the pier.

 Why can’t the £1.5million be used to make repairs to this end of the pier and make it a safe fishing area?

Alan Ramsey,

Hall Farm

Help for disabled

MANY disabled people may be aware that they may be entitled to a disabled person’s bus pass, issued by Nexus in the Tyne and Wear area, also for bus travel outside the area (concessionary travel pass).

 Nexus has come up with a Companion Card for disabled people who need someone to assist them throughout the journey – help boarding, moving around, getting off.

 Concessionary travel pass holders can request one by calling Nexus, or picking up a Companion Card information guide at Nexus, Park Lane Bus Station, Sunderland.

 The Companion Card is also valid with the Metro Gold Card.

 Have you noticed how many buses have drop down door access for wheelchairs?

 But do they work?

 On my two only bus trips on different buses, Sunderland to Stanley via Pelton, wheelchair travellers could not board the bus at Pelton because the drop down access failed and they were left at the stops.

 Do bus drivers report such faults? Are buses checked before starting their daily routes? Is this disability discrimination?

G White,


Not very lady like

IS bingo a sport? I ask the question because a lot of the competitors seem to think so.

 That’s right, bingo players have now taken to wearing training shoes along with the other traditional bingo costume – the Aldi carrier and the head scarf.

 However, I would like to know why the players feel the need to wear running shoes?

 Many years ago the plimsole and the training shoe were only associated with sportsmen. The site of a bingo player in their 60s wearing such items was unthinkable, has the game changed so much?

 Personally I have never played bingo and the thought of winning some cheap looking vase or Tupperware has never sent my pulse racing.

 It would appear that by the gloomy expressions I witness at the bus stops outside the halls that there are very few winners.

 Good luck to them if that’s what they want to do, but I do not agree with women in their 60s walking around Wearside wearing trainers. It’s hardly lady like and does not set a good impression on those from the South who may be visiting.

Mick The Pen Brown

Flawed system

CONGRATULATIONS to Bob Latimer and other campaigners on winning their long fight against excessive overuse of combined sewers pumping untreated sewage into the sea and River Wear.

 The European Court has found that the original report, submitted by the Advocate General delivered on January 26, could not be supported and that the UK Government was, through the Environment Agency, not compliant with the licence conditions.

 For years Bob, together with others, was bringing this to the attention of the Environment Agency and Defra without success.

 Questions regarding water pollution were asked in council meetings only to be disregarded by the council as not being its responsibility.

 Indeed the council does have a responsibility to ensure that visitors and residents are protected from polluted sea water, a fact that they have denied by not complaining to the water company nor any of the relevant agencies.

 Despite countless pictures of sewage-related debris being pumped to sea and river through the Whitburn Steel outfall and the CSO at St Peter’s, the council sat on its thumbs.

 When the findings of the Advocate General found that the evidence regarding the overuse of CSOs was not incompliant and the cost benefit of improvement in bathing water quality would not be worth the expense, this “opinion” was taken by Sunderland City Council as bringing to an end all the complaints to the contrary.

 An official of the council did admit the opinion had to be confirmed by the European Court of Justice – as we now know that did not happen.

 The UK Government, for years, resisted the need for drastic improvements in sewage treatments but following the EUCOJ, has to comply with the necessary Directives. To this end the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, although disappointed with the court’s findings, has pledged major improvements.

 Why has it taken so long? Perhaps local authorities should have interfered even though they were, as they say, not responsible for water quality.

 They could, however, boast about Blue Flag status awards, subsequently withdrawn, even though they were gained through a flawed system.

 Thanks to Bob Latimer improvements are on the way.

Councillor George Howe,

Fulwell Ward

Golden thank you

I WOULD like to thank everyone who turned up for our golden wedding. Money instead of gifts for Grace House has so far totalled £330.

  Thanks also to Brenda and her staff at the Super Snooker venue. The room was fabulous and we would recommend it to anyone for a party. Thank you for the beautiful flowers.

Lavinia and Billy Talbot,