Why didn't you seek the other viewpoint?

With reference to your rather one-sided article headlined "£300,000 revamp aims to transform lake" (The Journal, March 7): why were local residents, who are unanimously against this project, not asked for a comment to be included in the article?

With reference to your rather one-sided article headlined "£300,000 revamp aims to transform lake" (The Journal, March 7): why were local residents, who are unanimously against this project, not asked for a comment to be included in the article?

Is it because this was a press release from the owners attempting to attract support for their unpopular venture?

Local residents aren't the only ones who have objected to this development.

Both Natural England and Durham Wildlife Trust objected on the grounds of what they feared was an inadequate and potentially flawed wildlife survey; the potential impact the development could have on protected species, and tree felling.

And Conservative councillors objected to the development because of the quality of the application, which they regarded as poor - part of the site is a site of nature conservation importance, and the impact the development would have on the local residents and community.

The planning permission granted in October was subject to 24 separate conditions, which must be met before the development could go ahead.

I believe the application was passed only because Sunderland's Labour-controlled council had not been fulfilling its duty to the SNCI and had neglected the site for many years.

The council's excuse was that Willows Pond is effectively an unmanaged resource and the formalised management regime for Willows Pond would outweigh the expected impact on wildlife habitats within the site.

This, to me, is very much a case of Sunderland council neglecting its duties to the SNCI and seeing this development as a method of passing the buck. Unfortunately, it's the wildlife and local residents who are going to have to pay the price.

IAN CUTHBERT, Deputy Chairman (Political), City of Sunderland Conservative Party, Fatfield, Washington

There is no such thing as humane slaughter

THE way animals are killed in slaughterhouses is something most of us don't want to think about, but the incredible fact that nearly two-and-a-half million are slaughtered in the United Kingdom each day means it is an issue we can't ignore.

BBC3's recent Kill It, Cook It, Eat It advertised itself as lifting the lid on the British slaughter industry - but sadly, it was a whitewash.

What the program failed to point out was that millions of animals suffer pain and fear when they are improperly stunned before slaughter and may fail to lose consciousness at all, facing a violent and terrifying death.

Long delays between electrical stunning and the knifing which actually kills the animals means millions more recover consciousness while bleeding to death.

It is also wrong to think that a vet observes every killing, as they are only obliged to do this once a day.

If you eat meat, it is a certainty that you will sometimes eat meat from animals that have suffered greatly at slaughter.

The industrial slaughterhouses are only interested in maximising the speed at which they turn living creatures into cuts of meat.

Make no mistake, there is no such thing as humane slaughter.

Luckily, each of us has the power to do something about this.

By going veggie we stop supporting this brutal business and reduce the number of animals enduring this fate: on average, each veggie saves the lives of over 11,000 animals. For more information about slaughter or going veggie, contact Viva! at 8 York Court, Wilder St, Bristol BS2 8QH, tel (0117) 944-1000.

JUSTIN KERSWELL, Campaigns Manager, Viva! 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH (tel: 0117 944 1000; email: www.viva.org.uk)

Has grief for a parent led to discovery

WE'RE making a documentary for Channel 4 television which looks at how adults deal with bereavement when they lose a parent.

We're particularly interested to hear the stories of people who've been bereaved within the last five years or so, and have discovered some new information about mum or dad which they didn't know before the death.

They may well have learnt something unexpected about their parent's past and perhaps they'd like to find out more.

In our lives we will all face the death of our parents, but it's such a delicate topic that it's rarely spoken about or discussed.

As an award-winning, highly experienced team we have a great deal of experience in making programmes about challenging subjects. We hope this film will promote a greater understanding of how people cope with loss and grief and its affect on relationships between grown up children and their parents.

All calls and emails will be treated with sensitivity in the strictest confidence.

EMMA VULLIAMY, Assistant Producer, RDF Television, The Gloucester Building, Kensington Village, Avonmore Road, London W14 8RF (tel: 0207 013 4232; emai: emma.vulliamy@rdfmedia.com)

It's time to reject these views on the EU

IAM rather tired of politicians repeating the same old myth that the European Union has been a "success" or at least "on balance an advantage" when in fact it has been an utter disaster for all the countries involved.

Many have claimed that although we have lost much of our democratic sovereignty, it has been "worth it" because we have gained economically.

But even the European Union's Commissioner for Enterprise, Gunther Verheugen recently admitted that the cost to the EU's businesses of complying with the hundreds of thousands of EU regulations is now around 5.5% of the EU's gross domestic product: around £405bn a year. On their own admission, EU regulations now costs more than three times the calculated benefits. Put another way, the cost of EU regulation is equal to the whole output of the Dutch economy.

And for that, 27 countries have given up their right to democratic self-government.

RODNEY ATKINSON, Stocksfield, Northumberland

Let's move away from `our might is right'

THE Western World possesses the means of annihilating any nation with the temerity to insist on their right to rule as they wish and who resort to the very reasonable wish to arm themselves in the manner in which we, in the west, have demonstrated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in particular.

A raft of ambitious rulers simply follow the edict of America, that might is right. They all claim they are right and that God, therefore, is on their side, but lack the wherewithal to physically and tangibly assert themselves. So, alternatives are sought and prosecuted.

We have brought this about via Vietnam and countless other "might" excursions back to our sojourns in Africa and India.

Bush and Blair propagating warlike ideas have no experience of the horrors perpetrated on innocent people (except September 11, 2001) on the receiving end of their visionary views. Mr Churchill, recently acclaimed the greatest Briton in history, stated that jaw, jaw was better than war, war.

Planet Earth could be paradise if there were fewer selfish people running things.

BILL RICHARDSON, Rothbury, Northumberland

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