Letters, February 2

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Am I the only person in this country that is totally bemused by the continuing glowing reports by news writers glorying in the fact that house prices are going up?

A report on Saturday’s Daily waxed ecstatically in large headlines, ‘Good News, House Prices rose in 2011’

What planet do these people inhabit? If house prices were allowed to fall back to the 90s level only the beneficiaries of parents’ wills would slightly suffer.

Couples selling and moving house would sell for less and buy for less. Young couples buying their first house would have less deposit to find, and lower prices would mean more affordable mortgages for them.

The benefits to all seem so blindingly obvious to me so why, when the one item in life that everyone actually needs and not just wants, continues to spiral out of first time buyer’s reach does everyone react with joy and throw their hats in the air?

If news writers expressed such sentiments referring to huge increases in, cars, clothes, holidays or food, the writer would probably be certified.

A start would be to make it illegal to sell your house for more than the rate of inflation, plus an outright ban on mortgage to purchase other goods.

Some householders may think these proposals are outrageous but I have eight grandchildren and I know what they’d think.

Frank McKone, The boulevard, Edenthorpe

Time to tacke this unfairness

BEFORE people cry foul at the bus drivers or public sector workers striking over pay and conditions, I’d like to draw their attention to something that requires urgent resolution.

The chief executive of the publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland earns £1.2 million per annum, with a bonus this year of £963,000 (which he has since turned down - ed) which means with all that lumped in to one sum, even if he had to pay tax on the bonus, he would get over £4000 per day.

Is someone able to explain to me that whilst Stagecoach drivers, nurses, teachers, police officers, cleaners, class room assistants and lollipop crossing patrol staff have to strike to earn a few more pennies, this gentleman who is in charge of a publicly-owned asset can get such a massive income?

This bonus has been authorised by George Osborne and David Cameron, the very men who want to wage war against the public sector.

Another issue that appears to be getting attention is benefit theft/fraud.

Benefit theft/fraud is a serious issue, however, tax evasion by massive companies makes the effect of benefit theft/fraud look minuscule. Osborne is keeping the tax evasion issue well out of the public gaze as its all his gang of cronies who is affected.

Let’s tackle the massive amount of unfairness in this country of ours - and let’s do that by starting at the very top - NO to massively inflated salaries, NO to tax evasion for the richest companies and NO to insulting pay and conditions to some of our most hard working guys on the front line.

P J Cawkwell, West Street, Conisbrough

It’s a funny old world

WOMAN with class B drugs; teenager beating a woman; criminal damage to a window; drink driving; bank employee steeling money from accounts; stealing number plates.

But who gets the largest fine and sentence? A man fishing without a licence.

Am I alone in thinking that something is not right here?

Shaun Beal, Main Street, Hatfield Woodhouse

Closing libraries is folly

I BELIEVE Mayor Peter Davies to be a sincere and honest man.

When he says the financing of the Keepmoat Stadium is a ‘mug’s game’ you can sense an expression of deep irritation. I agree with him and with his despairing comment that he inherited a ‘dreadful situation’ which leaves him with a ‘heavy heart’.

He also has a heavy heart about his enforced closure of 14 libraries, saving money that other governments have unwisely spent.

I believe there is much that the mayor has to do that involves correcting past mistakes.

Many people think that the Keepmoat deal was folly from the start. But many people also think that closing of libraries is folly.

In Sprotbrough a library group is striving, even at this late stage, to save its library. They may or may not succeed.

In the case of some of them having to close the mayor will demonstrate his commitment to the principle of providing a 21st century library service by ensuring his elected cabinet, supported by his library executives, devise innovative information pods that don’t merely ape the screen experiences of a teenager’s bedroom. And, for those areas without a library, provide services that do not just replicate the Amazon book delivery van.

A move towards redemption would be for the residents of Doncaster to have the right to buy any surplus stock from the closing libraries before sending books off to be pulped,

Peter Cotterill, Riverhead, Sprotbrough

Trouble to spend a penny

CAN someone tell me why the disabled toilets on the ground floor of the Frenchgate Centre were closed?

I know what you are going to say, ‘there are someone the second floor’, all very well if you are not in a hurry.

You have to get the lift then walk round the corner to another lift. After waiting for quite a while for the lift, got to use the loo, when I came out to press the button the lift doesn’t come, lucky there was an attendant who got the lift to come. Trouble was it had taken so long I wanted the loo again. It’s a bit silly having such a big building with so few toilets not only for the disabled, I can’t walk very far without having to sit down, so the toilets in the bus station, which means a trek to the second floor walk up to the lifts which is quite a way when you are not fit.

A lot of people are going to stop coming into town which would be a shame.

Mrs J Moore, Clevedon Crescent, Doncaster

There’s a cheap option

YET another waste of resources in Stainforth, informing drivers of their speed, (even though they are all equipped with speedometers).

The cost of equipment and ‘man plus woman power’ was forgotten within an hour, and all was back to 70mph.

The cost of all this waste would probably purchase a camera with proceeds being ploughed back into more cameras.

Visit Station Road, Brook Street in Thorne, take a glimpse of speed humps ie traffic calmers are much better and cheaper.

Long term Stainforth resident, Mr B Doane, Coronation Road

Support Age UK to help needy

The care system is in crisis and one of the most pressing issues facing older people today.

But we have an opportunity to persuade the government to reform it, before it is too late.

Many of those who need help and support are being badly let down by a system that is at breaking point, while others find themselves forced to sell their homes in order to pay for support they need.

Social care provision, when it works well, helps those who need to get out of bed, washed, provides meals and helps older people live as independently as they can. When the system fails as it does all too often, older people are left isolated, fearful and struggling to cope.

Recent cuts to care and support services have increased the pressures in the care system, bringing it close to collapse.

Unless we all make a stand now and demand urgent reform of the care and support system, thousands more older people and their families will be left under intolerable strain and without care and support they need to live with respect and dignity.

This is why I fully support Age UKs Care in Crisis campaign, calling on the government to take urgent action now to ensure that everyone who needs care receives it and is treated with the respect they deserve, no one is forced to sell their homes or sacrifice all their savings to pay for the care they need and people are able to plan and prepare for care in advance.

Age UK has launched a Care in Crisis petition and needs your help to reach its 100,000 signature target. If you feel strongly, like me about the issue and want your voice to be heard, please sign up at www.ageuk.org.uk/careincrisis or visit your local Age UK office or local Age UK shop.

Jean Elliott, Bellrope Acre, Armthorpe

Public ignored by mayor

As you have reported, Doncaster Council has voted to hold a referendum on the future of the elected mayoral system for the borough. This followed a public consultation exercise which produced a 90 per cent vote in favour of a referendum. The referendum will take place on the same day as local elections on the May 3.

All the Labour councillors voted for a referendum in accordance with the clear wishes of the people of Doncaster. However, the Mayor voted against, totally disregarding the 90 per cent majority vote of the public.

This is an appalling display of arrogance by this right-wing mayor - this from a man who promised in his election manifesto that if elected he would hold a referendum.

Peter Davies was elected under false pretences and has now demonstrated utter contempt for the wishes of the people of Doncaster.

David Holland, Mexborough Labour Councillor

Labour is being disruptive

With regard to your editorial and comments, (Freepress Thursday, January 19) regarding the Mayoral referendum, we write to correct your statement that Peter Davies is the only elected English Democrat, whilst he was their first success, they have since had councillors elected in other parts of the country.

We feel that Mayor Davies has done a good job given the constraints placed on him by the majority Labour party.

Unlike them he has tried to implement his manifesto, for which he had a mandate from the people.

We cannot recall the Labour Party ever being elected on a manifesto to disrupt for the sake of it. To quote the Government report, paragraph nine states ‘Some influential councillors place their antagonism to the Mayor before the needs of the people’.

We would urge the Doncaster electorate never again to give full power to the party that gave us ‘Donnygate’ and instigated the intervention of the national government to run its affairs.

John & Margaret Riggott, Fieldside Edenthorpe