Shields not to blame for walk-in centre closure

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YOUR correspondent Kevin Blair’s continuing attacks on the Chairman of the CCG (‘Chairman should resign’– Gazette, Friday 2nd) are seemingly being extended to the innocent, by-standing folks of Shields ... because he believes the closure of the Jarrow walk-in centre is due to the facility having been terribly inconvenient for us.

I am not aware of any significant expression of that view amongst us.

We frequently travel to Palmer Hospital for the services provided on that site, including walk-in facilities, convenient or not, and have preferred Jarrow to our only other alternative walk-in service at Bunny Hill in the middle of Hylton in Sunderland.

He asserts that once again the residents of Jarrow and Hebburn are losing something to South Shields.

What else does he have in mind that we are gaining at the expense of Jarrow and Hebburn?

If history is anything to go by, the ‘spendulum’ swung decisively up-river some decades ago following similar divisive and parochial campaigns in the wake of earlier ambitious development of the South Shields seafront, notably the so-called ‘Trickly Fountains’ and the Amphitheatre in the era of Councillor Gerry Graham et al.

The period of oscillation of the said pendulum must be somewhat long though, because it’s taken a long time to come back to Shields, assuming it ever has done.

Some research into capital spend per head of population in South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn respectively over a reasonable reference period would settle the matter.

Kevin could embark on this and if he shares the verified outcome, we will then perhaps listen more attentively to his views.

For better or worse, our townships are bound together under the South Tyneside banner, for the time being.

Perhaps Kevin believes that Jarrow and Hebburn will fare better under Gateshead, or Shields under Sunderland? Neither of these prospects is fanciful, to be sure.

Don’t concentrate so much on the pendulum, watch out for the pit.

Lastly, if Kevin would like to make a more direct representation to the Chairman of the CCG, he is well placed to do so. Its offices are located in Monkton, Jarrow.

I bet the folks of Shields would have liked the CCG to have been located in Shields ... much more convenient for them.

Brian Mackley,


South Shields.