Letters, July 7, 2011

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NO DOUBT everyone heard about the public sector strikes on Thursday 30 June in a row over public sector pensions, the raising of the retirement age and what not.

Well, that’s the official reason anyway. The big unions (NUT, Unison etc) seem to find any reason to strike.

I have no problem with the unions that protect their workers and don’t strike here, there and everywhere for no apparent reason.

The unions that I do have problems with are the ones who have forgotten that it’s not the unions that run the country, it’s the government.

I have a problem with the unions whose bosses will get a pension the same size as their workers pay and then have the nerve to stand on a podium and say “I know how you feel.”

Someone needs to remind these bosses that the country doesn’t have enough money to keep paying someone’s pension for 20 or 30 years or so.

People are living longer so it’s only fair for people to work longer. It’s also only fair for people to put more to their pension if they want one. I know plenty of private sector workers who can’t afford their own pension, yet they are funding public sector pensions through their tax, which is completely unfair.

Another thing to take into consideration is, when we are trying to save our economy and we have unions calling for sustained strike action, they are not helping. They are hindering the recovery process.

I dread to think how much Thursday’s strikes cost you, the tax payer.

But the bosses of NUT, ATL the Public and Commercial Services Union and Unison don’t care how much it costs the country as long as they get one over on the government.

Leon French, Gordon Road, Edlington

MPs don’t know real life

IN your article last week, “Jobless figures quadruple in months” Rosie Winterton quite rightly states that more people out of work and on the dole makes it harder to get the deficit down.

What she fails to acknowledge, however, is that it is partly her fault that we have a deficit at all.

The last Labour Government, of which she was a prominent member, spent irresponsibly during the good years, all on borrowed money, and now the new government is having to clear up the mess.

As usual it is the ordinary people who are having to bear the brunt of the new austerity whilst the MPs continue to live their life of feather-bedded luxury.

I have no regard for the Con-Lib coalition at all, but I must admit they have a very difficult task in front of them. One of the problems is that most of our MPs have never had a proper job. They get involved in politics straight from school or university and have very little experience of the difficulties faced by the ordinary people that they are supposed to represent.

This is just as true for the Labour front bench as it is for the Tory toffs who face them.

All three of the major parties have failed the people in one way or another.

I look forward to the time when the electorate realise that the smaller parties have something to offer and get away from the attitude that they must vote in the same way that their parents and grandparents did.

John Brennan, Ravens Walk, Conisbrough

Recession? What recession?

IT would seem the current recession is not affecting the parents of the recent school-leavers as they are able to spend in excess of £500 on the prom outfits and limousines for their off spring (Free Press, June 30).

Let’s hope if ever these young people come upon times of hardship they are able to cope and be made aware that there are times in their lives they may have to accept disappointment due to unforeseen circumstances.

Mrs B Fox, Armthorpe

Thanks to all who saved prom

We would like to thank the Free Press for its coverage of ‘Prom saved by parent power.’ (Free Press, June 30)

Can we also please take this opportunity to thank all of the parents and family members who came to Ridgewood School on Thursday (June 30) to help staff the school’s Leavers’ Celebration. Without these volunteers we would not have been able to make this event happen and it meant such a lot to the young people involved.

Thanks also go to Doncaster Rugby Club at Castle Park, the Scawsby Mill pub and Cusworth Hall who all willingly gave us their support when we needed it to help run this event.

Jacqui Carpenter, Julie Measures and Lynn Hall, Governors at Ridgewood School

Ridgewood youngsters celebrating - page eight

“Unfair” report on teachers’ do

I HAVE children who attend Woodlands Primary School and I feel that the piece that you wrote (Free Press, June 30) regarding Mr McEnaney, the head, was completely outrageous and Mr McEnaney, and all the staff, work very hard to help each child throughout their education and what you have written is incorrect.

You are obviously speaking to a minority of people who do not have the guts to speak to John and cannot even give their names to be published.

Woodlands Primary School works hard for all of its students and the parents.

For those parents who feel that their children are not being looked after properly should take some time to consider whether or not the school is right for them!

I hope that you will print a full page apology to Mr McEnaney, whose name you could not get right, and to the staff and governing body as this event is a one-off and the children are learning about the history of the school so they can see what it may have been like to be there all those many years ago.

You have offended me and the school’s reputation, but whilst there are people like myself around to give our opinions then whoever wrote this piece should come and speak to people like myself and see what actually goes on and not print hearsay from those who are not brave enough to have their names published.

Sally Johns, Happy parent of children at Woodlands Primary School.

Editor’s note: Last week’s story was about some parents unhappiness that pupils were asked to pay for a celebratory meal, while school funds were being used to pay for a staff meal at an hotel. The head has since changed his mind, and the children’s celebration will be free.

The article did not criticise the head’s leadership, the staff commitment or the education pupils receive there.

We’re not upset by school do

I READ your article in last week’s Free Press about my son’s headteacher Mr John McEnaney. Not all parents are upset about having a celebration and using £1,700.

Mr McEnaney is an incredible headteacher and goes above and beyond the care of a headteacher.

All my three children attend, or attended at some point in their school life, and all enjoyed their time at Woodlands Primary School, down to the teachers and Mr McEnaney,

I hope they all have a lovely time and raise loads of money for the charity, they all thoroughly deserve it.

Tracy Curtis, Shaftesbury Avenue, Woodlands

Parents are too quick to judge

I HAVE never felt the need to contact The Doncaster Free Press in all the years I have enjoyed reading your excellent publication, until now.

I write with regard to your story featured in Thursday, June 30, in which Kate Mason paints a less than flattering picture of life at Woodlands Primary School, with the headteacher Mr McEnaney forced into defending the accusations aimed by disgruntled parents.

To say I am astounded by the tone and content of the article is an understatement.

My daughter has been privileged to have spent the last five years of her educational journey under Mr McEnaney’s superb leadership and has blossomed into a very bright, caring young lady.

I am guessing the parents involved in the article do little or nothing to assist with their children’s school education, fail to attend parents evenings or have never joined the inspirational achievers assemblies.

As a parent I only hope that Mr McEnaney rises above the article and continues his outstanding leadership and dedication in what are demanding times.

It seems that people are only too quick to judge and accuse and far too slow to compliment and appreciate.

Many thanks Mr McEnaney from an appreciative and passionate parent.

Mike Collins, The Park,Woodlands

Hospice should get school cash

WOODLANDS PRIMARY School want to spend £1,700 on a centenary celebration meal.

They decided on a few free pizzas for the children when their extravagant costs came to light.

Defending themselves, they say they are hoping to raise £500 for the Bluebell Wood Hospice at their party.

I have an idea...why not give the £1,700 to the hospice instead.

I am sure the charity which cares for these sick children would appreciate it more than the £500 they ‘hope’ to raise.

S Martin, Stainforth

Residents’ voice should be heard

I AM writing to express my concern over Doncaster Council’s constant and unrelenting attitude to drug addicts and alcoholics within the town centre.

There are more than ten agents based in and around Doncaster whose sole purpose is to manage and accommodate addicts.

I completely understand the needs of addicts, having been a volunteer at a shelter several years ago.

However, the needs of the local residents seem to have been completely forgotten and in so doing, is making our lives unbearable as we are living in what I can only describe as a hell hole.

I have lived all over the country and have never seem such utter disregard to residents as that of Doncaster Council.

The planning department is currently considering an application for a pharmacy at the bottom of Thorne Road – there are four pharmacies within walking distance – one of which now prescribes methadone in a residential street (Kings Road), thus causing misery to the residents as the pharmacy is now a beacon to the local addicts.

I implore you to speak with the local residents as I feel that we no longer have a voice and Doncaster Council is exploiting every single person within the town who are trying to live normal and law-abiding lives.

Charlotte Dunn, Business Manager, Karl Storz Endoscopy (UK) Ltd