Letters, March 29

ONE of Oscar Wilde’s many memorable quotes referred to “a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. His was a definition of a cynic but it could equally apply to the mayor and many of the councillors in their attitude to the stadium complex.

Most of the focus seems to be on Doncaster Rovers’ occupancy of the main stadium but there are other aspects of the complex which are, perhaps, more important.

For instance the second stadium provides a state-of-the-art home for Doncaster Athletics Club which, before the complex was built, was split into two parts using inferior facilities. Since coming together as one entity in its new home the club has gone from strength to strength with a much improved membership and impressive results at regional and national levels.

It is important to the town and its young people that this continues to be supported.

The small group football pitches again provide excellent facilities for our young people to develop their skills and release their energy in a safe environment.

The main stadium provides a home not only for the Rovers, which is probably the thing which puts the town on the map for most of the nation, but also the Dons rugby league club and the Doncaster Belles ladies’ football club. It also offers impressive conference and hospitality facilities.

The Belles are still the best known ladies football team in the country and one of the elite eight teams in the inaugural FA Womens Super League. Again this has massive implications for the young girls of the area providing a focus for the increasing number of them taking up football.

It is time that the mayor and others focus on the community aspects of the stadium complex and realise that it is in Doncaster’s interests for this to continue to be supported not least for the health and well-being of our young people.

John Molloy, Holyrood Road, Town Moor

Stadium cash probe needed

SO Doncaster Council’s Labour group’s brainchild the “Keep Stadium” looks like it is finally coming to the end of its short life, now the questions must start to be answered,

What consultation took place before such a disaster was allowed to go ahead in the first place?

We know it was the brainchild of the then Labour elected mayor Martin Winter, but who else in his cabinet gave their backing?

Who was in charge of Overview and Scrutiny at that time? Who rubber stamped the spending of £32 million of council tax payers money?

No wonder we are now facing massive spending cuts to essential services, Surely heads must roll this time? How do the thousands of council workers who recently lost their jobs feel?

How better could this amount of money have been spent? Surely the District Auditor should be brought in to look at the failings of the Labour-run fiasco,

Mick Glynn, Doncaster Road, Hatfield

Stadium should make a profit

I HAVE been reading the article in the Free Press about the Keepmoat Stadium. I am a little bemused as to how a management committee has been allowed to run up on going debts year on year. I know also that one can not take what is written in the paper as gospel.

The only people who will benefit from any enforced sale would be Doncaster Rovers.

Could the SMC not be replaced by an independent management company that specialises in running this type of business? They could be set targets so as to make the venue profitable and therefore less of a burden on us the rate payers of Doncaster.

Ian Paul Hutchinson, Eastfield Road, Armthorpe

Rovers deserve a decent pitch

THERE have been lots of poor performances by Rovers this season, lots more by inept officials, but to me the common denominator in Rovers demise is the appalling condition of the pitch. Rovers train through the week on a half decent surface at Cantley Park and come Saturday are expected to turn in a display worthy of Championship status.

It just doesn’t happen. Ball control is difficult, the ball seems to have a mind of its own, judging pace and distance is in most cases impossible. At Belle Vue we used to say the pitch was worth a goal. How we could do with a goal start today?

It wants digging up and replacing with a quality surface, not one done on the cheap. That would be difficult due to the fact its used for rugby league during Rovers closed season. It would probably be ok for first division football next season, playing out in front of 5,000 hardy supporters. I rest my case. Rovers till I die.

Eric Stevens, Ivanhoe Way, Sprotbrough

Is this an April Fool?

WHEN reading that Doncaster Council had won two awards from the Keep Britain Tidy Group the first thing I did was check the calender to make sure it was not April 1.

Reading the letters page almost every week you do notice that someone is always complaining about the state of their area regardless, as to pot holes, fly tipping or litter, so as the weather has been milder over the last week or so I decided to walk into town and to note things first hand, and that is the reason for thinking it was an April fool joke.

Ambling along taking notice of everything it soon became apparent that if anyone from the KBT Group had examined the four mile stretch from The Cecil into the town centre that their eyes and minds must have been on other things.

With the A630 being the main route into the town it is absolutely filthy.

Yes, Doncaster you are in a dirty mess, so you the councillors and council officers don’t take the awards seriously because I can assure you others are asking how you received these awards. Was it a case of ticking the right boxes, or was it just Doncaster’s turn?

Mr R Turgoose, Sheffield Road, Warmsworth

Tourists don’t want eyesores

WHAT undermines tourism in Doncaster are derelict sites similar to the former home of Doncaster Rovers directly opposite Doncaster Racecourse on Bawtry Road. This site has been seriously neglected for far too long.

The site has a negative impact upon tourism and neighbouring residential property values, year on year? Residents could demand that their council tax be reviewed.

Looking a bit further at this scenario, it takes some fathoming as to why the council put so much time, effort, and in particular, expense into creating beautiful floral displays from time to time, at the racecourse roundabout which is completely out of step with the adjacent dump, formerly the home of Doncaster Rovers.

Finally, on a brighter note, it is refreshing that Peter Davies, Doncaster’s elected mayor, has something to be proud about in pretty well restoring normal service at Doncaster Central Library, Waterdale, as from Monday, April 2, when opening hours will be extended. Monday, Tuesday and Friday will be 9am to 6pm. Wednesday and Thursday, 9am to 7pm and Saturday will be open from 9.30am to 5pm. This is excellent news for both library users and hard hit staff.

Ray Nortrop, PO Box 75, Doncaster

More freight by canal

DURING the late 1970s the South Yorkshire Navigation Canal and new junction canal had their banks strengthened, new lock, bridges were built, barges operated by EV Waddington of Swinton, and Tom Puddings pulled by British Waterways tugs carried coal from South Yorkshire Collieries to Goole docks, sadly these days have long gone. Also carried by barges is limestone from Cadeby quarry, and also steel, sand, gravel, bio-fuel, oil, fuel and so on, this could increase as one barge can carry the same as a number of lorries, and with road congestion and rising costs, more freight by land is supposed to be environmentally friendly as well. Sadly the canal system is well under-used and is going to waste.

Tim Robinson-Perkins, Chapel Close, Finningley

Should farmers grow food?

WiITH reference to the bio mass plant at Lindholme. Any chance of the local farmers growing something we can eat? Or are they going for the easy option?

Just how much energy will this plant produce and at what cost? Will it be sufficient for any practical purpose?

Shaun Beal, Hatfield Woodhouse

Turn the heating down

I WENT with someone on Monday to the Job Centre Plus on Wood Street, Doncaster, who had not been paid their benefit for a week, £53. They had out of this had to pay a gas and electric bill of over £300.

When we walked in the heat just hit you. I’m 63 and was told to stand outside in the cold, fair enough.

It really made me mad that while pensioners and people on benefits through no fault of their own are being told to cut back, how many government buildings have workers basking in temperatures of Barbados while saving on their own fuel bills at home? It must be costing the country thousands.

Not even our doctors’ surgery is so hot and you have to maybe get undressed there.

Maybe while out MPs are sat in parliament falling asleep with the heat, this matter should be brought up for the next round of cut backs.

Mrs J Barnitt, Swan Court, Askern

Turbines that aren’t turning

FROM my kitchen window I have a clear view of the four wind turbines at Marr. At first I thought they looked rather magnificent. Bathed in sunlight they are a tribute to man’s engineering brilliance. But then I started to wonder why they don’t actually seem to do much.

When they were at the planning stage we were told that they would provide power for 6,700 homes. All I can say is, I’m glad I don’t live in one of those homes, because it would be very cold and dark for a lot of the time. The turbines don’t turn when it isn’t windy; they don’t turn when it’s very windy; and often they don’t turn when you’d think the wind would be just right.

A few weeks ago they were stationary from the Tuesday to the Friday, and quite often some but not all are operating.

I’m beginning to wonder if all they really generate is subsidies from the taxpayer. I just can’t see how something that only works when it feels like it can be used to provide the nation’s electricity. A tribute to man’s engineering brilliance they might be; but it seems to me they are also a monument to man’s political stupidity.

Bill Wright, Greaves Sike Lane, Micklebring, Rotherham

OAPs hit again

THIS budget was the third lecture to future pensioners of Britain. We, the first generation able and forced to save for retirement have seen Labour confiscate most previous finds. Conservatives skin what little is left. Councils confiscate remaining monies and homes for palliative care.

One oversight was not increasing the 25 pence age allowance to 30 pence so that we could spend a penny at least once a week.

A M Frost, Broad Lane, Sykehouse