Would splitting from Sunderland really help Washington's fortunes? Here's what you said

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A petition calling for Washington to breakaway from Sunderland and be granted its own council has sparked a mixed reaction from readers.

Members of the Restoring Washington Facebook page say they are fed up of what they see as taking a back seat to central Sunderland, and feel having its own council and funds would improve the fortunes of the new town.

People in other outlying areas, such as Houghton and Hetton, often have a similar grumble. But the issue has sparked a varied debate with readers on our Facebook page.

Read more: Wexit? Calls for Washington to leave Sunderland and become independent town

Dave Bramham said: "The only people that could have anything constructive to say on the subject are the ones that lived there pre-seventies, before it received the 'new town' status.

"The term new town meant it was ring fenced and received lots of investment for houses, factories and a new shopping centre, namely Yhe Galleries.

"Since it ceased to be a new town the galleries have been improved twice, it's bus station revamped and a brand new leisure centre built to replace the one built in the seventies.

"If Washington as a whole is going down hill, I don't think it is by the way, then blame the vast influx of townies, probably the same ones that are bleating away on here."

David Crosby said: "Hope they can get this through in time for the Democratic Republic of Washington to face England at Euro 24"

Paul Elliott said: "I'd be interested to see what people think would be classed as Washington and where the boundaries would be. That starts a whole new debate!"

Anne Renwick Coulson said: "Nothing has been mentioned about the new leisure centre that cost £11million, and some of them need to get over to Doxford Park and see the state of the lake that doesn't get litter picked unless the kids from the local school do it !!

"Seriously some people moan about anything. Try living in some parts of Sunderland and see the state of those places !!!"

Vicky Tinnion said: "I think people need to look at where Sunderland council are 'investing' their funds. The city centre seems to be getting a lot of sprucing up while the rest of the place is left to fall into disrepair !!

"That's Sunderland and Washington!! Personally I have never seen Washington look so overgrown, unkempt and generally run down."

Bernard Purdy said: "Shopping in Washington is far better than Sunderland. The west side of Sunderland is far better off than the east side. Believe me."