Letters January 19, 2012

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I am surprised that your coverage of this issue does not ever complain about all these motorists who have been breaking our town laws, and thus imperilling the safety and convenience of townspeople.

Parking restrictions (and charging) should be part of a total transportation policy. If anything, the charges (and certainly the fines) should be higher in order to drive people on to the buses - with park and ride schemes, free town centre circular routes, and highway priorities for buses. The alternative is deploying scarce public resources to pepper our town centre with ghastly multi-storey car parks to accommodate cars coming into town.

The fewer car parking spaces there are in the centre the better, as far as I’m concerned. We just cannot build our future around the motor car – we will all die of the fumes.

The big issue to my mind is not the scale of the charges and fines, but what happens to the money.

The “proceeds” of parking, charges and fines, should be deployed in subsidising the buses, and the more money we can collect from lazy motorists, the more we can reduce bus fares so that all the townspeople (not just the affluent) can make use of the town centre. All motorists (including the disabled – why are they free – are they automatically poor because of disability?) should have to pay through the nose for a much reduced stock of parking in the town so that the whole community can afford to use the form of transport which is much better for all our futures.

And what of the shopkeepers, you may ask? Will this policy drive those motorists to shop at the out-of-town superstores with their free parking? Yes of course it will – but they do that already for their main shop; so the town centre shopkeepers will need to do as Dan Fell suggested in your article – stop moaning about it and get on “differentiating themselves with new products, services and experiences”; and while they’re at it, compete on the combined basis of price, quality and SERVICE, which a basis virtually unknown at those superstores.

Colin Jeynes, Axholme Road, Doncaster

Rail link query

With regard to the proposed new HS2 rail link between London and Birmingham planned to save 37 minutes in the total journey time.

One has to ask the question which is; how can the saving of such a small amount of time in the day for a rail traveller on a relatively small journey between the two cities be worth the spending; which probably means borrowing, of such a vast amount of cash as around £30 billion, not to mention the possible destruction of some of the most beautiful landscape in Britain?

Surely, if the saving of such a small amount of time in a day is of such paramount importance to an intercity commuter, why can’t the rail company concerned simply rearrange their time schedules to commence the day’s runs 37 minutes earlier in the mornings that every train would arrive at its destination 37 minutes earlier than present, so obviating completely the reason to embark on the mind boggling unnecessary expenditure of around £30 billion.

Cost of this exercise compared to the present one - exactly zero. As Del Boy would have said: “every one a winner”

Frank McKone, The Boulevard, Edenthorpe

Can anybody help?

I am trying to obtain information about a John Herbert Best, a retired clerical officer who died in Royal Avenue, Doncaster in 1954, aged 73.

My maternal grandfather was also called John Herbert Best and was born in Holbeck, Leeds in 1880. He disappeared after 1911 and nothing more is known about him.

I am trying to establish whether he might be the same John Best as the man who died in Doncaster and am hoping that he may have a descendant who can tell me something. According to the death certificate, the person who reported John Herbert’s death was his son, L Best, of 91 Woodfield Road, Doncaster.

Kevin Atkins 1, Parkfield Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire BD18 4EA or at kevinandinger@hotmail.co.uk

Well done Free Press

Well done for publishing facts and figures that we, the citizens, should know about e.g. the incredible, oustanding £12.5 million Doncaster Council tax lost over the past six years.

The Council employees responsible for allowing this to happen have not been doing their jobs properly and therefore should be the first to be made redundant (sacked) before innocent employees. That’s common sense.

I wish there was a common sense political party, I’d certainly vote for them and so would many more me thinks.

Mrs D I Davidson, Armthorpe Lane, Barnby Dun

Post is missing

I read with great interest the report in last week’s DFP concerning Royal Mail post going missing. Up to the run up to Christmas 2010 we received several items of post not belonging to us.

As I had recently lost my job my P45 never arrived nor did my monthly bank statement. I wrote to Royal Mail to complain enclosing a letter addressed to someone else I had found on the street, a letter which I am still waiting for a reply for over a year. Or has this one also gone missing?

Christmas 2011 was little better - we even received mail for an address in Mexborough. My message to Mike Norman spokesman at Royal Mail through the Free Press Freeviews page is simply that this sort of service is not good enough.

P Sampson, Coldstream Avenue, Warmsworth

Theft from cemetery

Between Saturday December 21 and Monday January 2 some mindless scumbags stole a black granite vase from my husband’s grave at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Me and my dad there Saturday morning, everything was fine but when me and my children went on Monday morning the vase had gone.

My children are devastated, it had their names on, it was theirs to leave flowers on. I can’t repeat what I said at the time, I’m gutted, angry, furious and sick to the stomach.

Why it’s been stolen I just don’t know, it of no scrap value, it belongs to my family, I paid for it and some thieving scum think its ok to steal it.

We informed the council community wardens and the police, I hope whoever took it is proud of themselves, they’ve left a family distraught, I hope one day they are caught and made to pay for what they have done and I hope I find out who it is, I want to tell them face to face exactly what I think of them.

Mrs Marie Sykes, Warren Close, Intake

Nice walks around town

I would like, through your newspaper, to thank Andy and Steve, two council employees who lead the heritage walks around Doncaster town centre on the first Friday of every month.

The walks are excellent and Steve and Andy are very knowledgeable about Doncaster’s history and the people who lived here and also the buildings history, they make it light-hearted and friendly as well as interesting.

If anyone reading this is slightly interested in Doncaster’s heritage I would recommend you take a steady, relaxing walk with Andy and Steve one Friday morning, starting at the Blue Building in town, I am sure you will enjoy yourself and be pleasantly surprised about the heritage of our town.

Robin Hickling, Rossington

Council workers duped

The council workers have been sold down the river, but alas not by the coalition government but by the elected members that most of the voters in Doncaster vote for year in and year out, yes I am blaming the Labour party elected members.

Not one of the three MPs (Labour) have spoken up for, or on the workers concerns over the savage cuts in their terms and conditions or on the pensions scandal, but the main culprits are the locally elected ward members of the council (again the Labour clique).

Yes councillors, Holland and Jones you are in the chair and vice chair of the majority group, nothing would automatically go through without your approval, but obviously you will reply with the same old adage “we did it to save people’s jobs”. Well let us see how many people’s jobs it saves in the next two years.

G Connelly, Town Moor Avenue, Doncaster

Baffled

Baffled by the pay cuts

Is anyone else as totally baffled by the situation at Doncaster Council, regarding the 4 per cent proposed pay cuts. Being brought up in a mining village and a staunch Labour household, I always thought it was the unions that funded the Labour party, indeed was it not the Labour party that selected Ed Miliband to be their champion? Now we have Doncaster’s Labour controlled council, councillors voting to cut the pay of the most venerable low paid essential workers by 4 per cent, yet there is no mention of tackling the upper grades of high earning officers some on £50,000 + per year. We now have the ludicrous situation where, the unions are now balloting its members to strike, against the very people they have funding, lets just hope the loyal council workers remember who wheeled the axe on them, when it comes round to voting time, these actions have again brought Doncaster into disrepute, a very angry, Mick Glynn (English Democrat) Hatfield Town Councillor, 78 Doncaster Road, Hatfield

Thanks for your reminder

I read with interest, Monty Cuthbert’s letter in Freeviews, January 5).

At the referendum that we had years ago, in my opinion the people of Doncaster unfortunately voted for an elected mayor. When I say elected mayor, I do not mean just Mayor Davies, I mean any elected mayor, because Mayor Winter was in no way any different.

I voted against having an elected mayor, because I foresaw the problems that could or would arise. Unfortunately human nature is very strange. When we are given the opportunity to make a decision on how our council or our country should be run, on average less than 50 per cent of the people who are entitled to vote, go and vote. Therefore any outcome of a referendum or an election is in fact a minority decision, which is the direct result of the decision by the majority of the people not to be bothered to vote. Therefore no one should complain about the decisions taken by the mayor or by councillors, who were after all “democratically” elected.

When the people of Doncaster decided in a referendum to have an elected mayor, I am convinced that many of those who went to the polling station had no real idea as to what they were voting for. They might have thought, that it was about time we had a change.

I do hope that the people have learnt from their mistake and at the next referendum, they will vote against an elected mayor..

Mr A G Hirsch, Edenthorpe