Letters, Wednesdsay, February 12, 2014

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I dreamt of a brighter future

I HAD a dream last week that Paul Watson and his cronies never got near Sunderland Civic Centre.

 The city of Sunderland was buzzing. Tesco built its hypermarket on the Vaux site, money was spent on the leisure centre and ice-skating was back.

 The swimming pool was in full swing, soft play for the infants, badminton courts, wrestling lessons, gym apparatus, five-a-side football, basketball, bowls, a bar with many private functions in the room.

 There were snooker tournaments, ice-skating tournaments, late voting booths for election days, the Metro was extended to Washington, cars, buses and trains all coming to Sunderland.

 No empty shops – the city was absolutely thriving – no eyesores.

 Then I woke up and saw him in the Echo.

 I walk down Crowtree Road now and see the leisure centre, what’s left of it, and my stomach turns.

 What they have done to our glorious city is beyond belief.

 Can you blame people for not coming to Sunderland now?

 The sooner the next election the better.


Ford Estate,

Political scoring

OUR shadow chancellor has struck again.

 He intends to increase the highest rate of Income Tax to 50 per cent from 45 per cent for people earning more than £150,000 per annum.

 The politics of envy has struck again.

 The job creators and the investors of job creation will once more consider life under a profligate government dedicated to eliminating high earners.

 Should they take their talent and money to a country which will appreciate their efforts and not remain in a place full of hatred and envy of their position?

 Try America, a country full of optimists, chasing the American dream, working night and day to improve themselves, full of ambition and pride in their country? The gardens of their homes always have a national flag flying. A bit different from Great Britain, don’t you think?

 Mr Balls and his coconspirators are the same people who raised the rate to 50 per cent one month before the last election. Why would they do that do you think?

 They knew the election was lost, so taking that action they forced the incoming Government to reduce it again, which, to Labour supporters, demonstrated that the Tories only thought of their own supporters’ interests and it twisted future statistics.

 How can anyone support someone who would facilitate such devious action and denigrate the prosperity of the country? Mr Miliband, with his recent outpouring of future actions on banks and power companies, has already caused great damage to the share values of these corporations – to what end?

 All it does is weaken the companies, leaving them with less money to invest in job creation, and leaving them with thoughts of jumping ship.

 The reason for the duplicity is to spur on their valued supporters to vote Labour next time.

 No good can come from their actions.

 The interests of the country are set aside against the interests of winning the next election at any price.

Allan Wilkinson

A paranoid Mackem

EUAN Tipe criticised my letter about our shipbuilding heritage (February 27).

 I never said Professor Colley was American. She is British but she does teach at Princeton University, USA.

 I never used the words “shipping centres”. The word I used was shipbuilding. Professor Colley did not mention Liverpool in her talk, so neither did I.

 So, I plead not guilty to Euan’s charges.

 My letter was the reaction of a paranoid Mackem to hearing Newcastle described as a major shipbuilding town, but no mention of Sunderland.

 If you want to accuse me of anything, I accept that my comment “Linda, love, go back to university” smacks of sexism.

William Crane,


Money down the drain

MANY customers of Northumbrian Water opt or have a water meter and for one or two people this might reduce their water bill.

 I had a meter fitted a year ago and saw a small reduction in my bill.

 On an average consumption of 100 cubic metres (100m3), I used the regulator’s consumption calculator which estimated my personal consumption at 49m3.

 I often use the hosepipe/sprinkler in the garden, hosing windows and changing my fish pond water, 3.5m3, several times a year and all this water goes back into the ground/soil and not into Northumbrian Water’s drain.

 On checking the water meter bill, Northumbrian Water charge me for every metre it supplied and charged me for the same volume to be taken away as sewerage.

 A tap consumes 880 litres per hour. As I did not think Northumbrian Water should charge me for water it did not take away – 51m3 at a cost of £1.05 per m3 = £53.55 – I complained.

 Northumbrian Water then sent me a Volumetric Sewerage Allowance Application, Farming Agriculture and Horticulture. After submitting this form, my request not to be charged for water going back into the soil was refused. Northumbrian Water explained that the bill already includes an allowance of five per cent for this.

 The Consumer Council for water advises that this five per cent is for consumption and cooking.

 So, if you have a water meter and use any water outside that does not return to the drain, Northumbrian Water is charging you £1.05 per m3 for not taking it away.

 What a nice multi-million pound earner.

 However, don’t forget that if you can divert the rain water that lands on your roof into the soil and not into the drain, Northumbrian Water will give you a small discount.

Name and address supplied

Remove the plank

SO Paolo di Canio thinks Sunderland AFC was “weak” for parting company with him.

 The club was weak for appointing him in the first place.

 The embarrassment and – much worse – the hurt caused by his appointment to thousands of loyal fans would have been anticipated by anyone with a modicum of common sense and basic humanity.

 I have three bricks on the wall of the stadium. One is to commemorate a protestant orphanage just off Naples, whose survival during the war depended upon a hearing in Rome’s High Court against Mussolini, conducted by a young Methodist lawyer, supported by his Professor of Law, a Jew.

 It is time for Signor di Canio to pluck the plank from his own eye so that he can better see the wooden speck in the eyes of others.

George E Brown

Shame on Sunderland

SO the fat lady has sung at last. It’s the swan song for the ship City of Adelaide.

 What an absolute crying shame, after all the publicity, letters in the Echo, the appeal for funds – all for nothing.

 She’s gone to Australia – shame on Sunderland.

 Her photo didn’t even make the front page of the Echo (February 4).

 Sunderland’s town hall was demolished, the Lindisfarne Gospels taken by the British Library and Hartlepool’s ship The Warrior taken to Portsmouth.

 Is there anything that the North is entitled to keep?

 All those pit slag-heaps that we grassed over to make them look like hills, why not send them South?

 We could tell the Southerners that we were sending them some works of art. Any old rubbish passes for art these days. We could tell them that it’s not the actual shale that is the art but the form that it takes as it slides off the back of the lorries!

R Tomlinson,


My faith is restored

MORE often than not we are quick to tell of our stories of bad service and disappointment with our estate agent.

 Well, all that changed for me in 2012 when I, fortunately met Jill Moore, of Select Properties.

 Not only is this lady smart, intelligent and polite, she is, most importantly, genuine.

 She was honest and very helpful. She guided me through the process of the sale of my home, doing all the viewings, recommending a solicitor, right to the point of handing over the keys to the new owners.

 She then went a step further and offered to sell my son’s flat. As flats have been slow to sell, what a surprise when Jill somehow had an offer within eight weeks and successfully completed before Christmas last year.

 This lady gives 100 per cent to all her clients, no matter the cost of their properties.

 She has restored my faith in the term ‘good estate agent’.

 Thank you so much for your professionalism.

Mr and Mrs Rawding,