Column: ‘Put a stop to this Doncaster gravy train’

Doncaster market in the town centre

Doncaster market in the town centre

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Did you ever hear the story about the boy that cried wolf? Well, it seems in Doncaster we may have had a similar type of wolf amongst our midst in the shape of austerity, which has resulted in the loss of countless of jobs, destroyed many lives of good people, privatised care homes, made massive cuts to vital services, and to top it all off we are now being told to pay extra in our Council tax.

Inevitably, this disproportionately impacts on the hard working, and working class of this town. If what I’m saying is not true, someone needs to explain why the Council could spend £22 million pound on consultants.

For me, it is absolutely criminal for people in unfiltered power to ask us to pay more in Council tax when they have been providing “birthday presents” to so many consultants. It would be great to know how many of these consultants were appointed officially. To put this into context, it is suggested that there are consultants working for the Council that earn more than our prime minister. I just cannot understand how in Doncaster this has been allowed to happen. The point is we live in a democracy, and when we pay our taxes we hand our hard earned money to those democratic leaders on the basis of trust, and an implied promise that they will not be frivolous with our money. I’d like to know, if this £22 million pound was spent with our interests at heart. Surely if that was the case we’d have seen a vast difference to the town we reside in.

More than that, I do hope that the Mayor will see it as her democratic duty to audit all the money that has been spent on consultants, including who was appointed through an official advertised route, and who wasn’t, so that either the current, or the future Mayor to be elected this Spring can put a stop to the Doncaster gravy train.

Moreover, given the fact that the Mayor has always been a supporter of skilling staff as opposed to appointing consultants and temporary staff, it would be useful if the Mayor to articulate if the current staff development strategy has failed by £22m, given that we pay so many people in between £50k - £100k plus salaries a year, yet still appoint consultants.

Or is the issue that people aren’t up to the job - if so, move on, so that we can employ local people/talent which can and will serve this fantastic town. I recently learnt through the Mayor’s own column that even more consultants have been appointed to revamp our treasured market – bewildering..