Letters, May 26, 2011

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Have your say

WHAT a shambles the council is in. Not a month after the elections and despite all the promises made by the candidates normal service is resumed.

“Give us your vote now and we are going to change things for the good of the town and the resdients” . We all know now it was just Fantasy Island garbage.

Bickering and falling out in all the political groups and the Labour group is setting up a shadow cabinet. If this was not so serious it would be a joke.

Why? Because it is a known fact that the Labour group is split down the middle with the militants still ruling the group and the three MPs sitting back and letting it happen, as they always have done since the first mayoral election in 2002.

The Tory members are now in disarray; the LibDems always have been.

What I and other people would like to know is what the highly-paid chief executive and the other Government team members that were brought into Doncaster are doing.

Residents of this borough deserve better and should receive it, so isn’t it about time you, the elected members and the council’s hierarchy, started delivering? If it’s too much for you, resign immediately and let some others have the chance, and the payments that go with it.

M Williams, Warmsworth Road, Balby

Angry and disillusioned

I WRITE to express my anger and disillusion at the attitudes of the Labour arm of the local council concerning their refusal to be part of the Mayor Davies’ cabinet.

Had that been expressed prior to voting they perhaps would not have had so many votes. Is it not time that the warring local politicians swallowed their prejudices and began to work together for the benefit and reputation of Doncaster and its rate-payers? No one party has all the answers.

I fear a return to the bullying, dogmatic and dictatorial methods of the past.

Please councillors of all persuations, get your acts together and give the people of Doncaster a responsible, working together council.

I, as an old Doncastrian, am sick of the town being a national laughing stock. A city? I don’t think so as things stand. I doubt what we have could run a village well.

A M Hill, Bruce Crescent, Intake

If you can’t all get on, get out

SO our beloved council spits its dummy out again.

Can’t - or won’t - work with the elected mayor. Well, wise up DMBC, we, the public, voted Mr Davies in, so live with it. We don’t need 69 or so bodies on the council. It is time it was trimmed down. Twenty-one, as suggested by Mr Davies, is enough.

And to waste more money on a referendum to remove the elected mayor position will show the public that DMBC has no regard for the electorate, only themselves.

Jim Wilson, Bawtry Road, Hatfield Woodhouse

Focus on folk, not ideology

IT seems as though Councillor Holland is more interested in ideology than uniting to help Doncaster citizens through the financial plight, partially brought about by the Labour government’s weak handling of the banks and some £50bn (Taxpayers’ Alliance figure) wasted on cost-ineffective schemes.

The Labour Party seem to be enlisting their minions in local councils and the unions for a summer of discontent in an attempt to bring down the government.

Glad I am no longer a voter. It disgusts me.

John Lawrence

Ex-pat from Doncaster borough, Masstricht, The Netherlands

People lose out in the fighting

CONGRATULATIONS to the Personalisation Forum Group and Rebound, two groups who are putting the welfare of people with mental health issues first.

They won an award in the Regional Care Awards and in the National Care Awards, all of this in only nine months.

Why will DMBC not work with us instead of against us all the time?

We want to save the local authority money and help with the mentally ill and the disposessed in our community, giving something back, in fact, being what David Cameron’s Big Society is supposed to be about.

We know we are more than capable of doing this. We aim to work with, not challenge current service providers. We feel discriminated against and this is so unnecessary.

If Doncaster is trying for the absurd title of a city then it needs something good to shout about; we are that good.

All this local political wrangling means the service users, whoever they use, lose out. For far too long things have run their usual, tedious, often inadequate course. Now is the time for change and improvement. We believe it can be done. Our door is open, why not give us a try?

Chris Barber, Lawn Road, Doncaster

Doncaster has been run down

IS this man real? (Freeviews, May 19) DMBC can’t run a town. Look at what we’ve lost under Labour control.

For Mr Croft to think it fitting that we need more colleges and low-paid jobs is unrealistic. Under Martin Winter’s control we saw the shutting of the southern bus station to kick-start the decline of our shops, and the move to an educationalised Doncaster.

A Doncaster roamed by out-of-work students who think taking a course in beauty therapy is their key to success in life.

My own daughter got offered beauty therapy, child minding, tourism or events management as choices.

Mr Croft writes of moving on from our past of industry. Thank God for councillors such as Terry Wilde who stand up for the people of Doncaster against overwhelming opposition from Labour, but regardless, stands up and says no to these idiotic public-funded ever-increasing white elephants.

C Judd, Grange Lane, Rossington

Things a city should have

WELL Mr Griffiths, I agree with your comments about Doncaster and its sorry tale of mis-management over the past 50-60 years (Freeviews, May 19).

To the list I would add a city should have a cathedral at its centre, not a big church isolated as a result of outrageous planning decisions made 50 years ago.

A city should have at least one “proper” theatre. I assume we are to get one in the Waterdale development.

About 30 years ago Ian Nairn, a highly respected architect/writer wrote “Doncaster, a town only its sons could love.”

Doncaster’s over-riding problem has been its political control by a cabal of NUM-sponsored party apparachiks, none of them having any long-term vision for the town.

To promote Doncaster I see cited the Lakeside shopping centre (sterile), Robin Hood Airport (over-priced and mis-named), the Frenchgate shopping centre (separating in-town shopping from the much degraded market),

Of course Doncaster does have much to be proud of despite the best efforts of its political masters to destroy its historic legacy, but it is not a city.

Ken Atkinson, Station Road, Hatfield

Unions are run by the book

HATFIELD town councillor Mick Glynn believes unions should lead by example and blames them for costing Doncaster council tax payers money.

He is of course referring to the cost to the council of providing time off and facilities to elected trade union representatives.

Both in the public and private sectors, trade union representatives are entitled by law to paid time to attend to their trade union duties.

The law is supplemented by a code of practice published by ACAS - the national organisation which promotes strong industrial relations - which helps to define the duties covered. This code underpins the arrangements within DMBC, where the situation is no different to that in any unionised workplace within the UK.

Union representatives work tirelessly day in day out with the employer to ensure improvements in working practices, safe and productive workplaces and initiatives to safeguard services for the people of Doncaster.

Robin Symonds, Regional Organiser UNISON Yorkshire & Humberside

Thank you for heart story

THANK you very much for running the story about my family’s history of heart surgery and the Free Press support in keeping heart surgery in Leeds, but I feel I must right about the letter from Jeremy Glyde safe and sustainable programme director on May 5, asking people to fill in the response form.

I totally agree that as many people as possible should fill in this form to let our views be known but please, please, please read the questions very carefully especially question one which asks are you prepared to travel for your child to have heart surgery?

Most people would say yes but if you do, this is the same as saying you don’t mind if they close heart surgery in Leeds and you would travel to Leicester. Further information can be found at www.chsf.org.uk

Martin Simpson, Doncaster

Well spotted, I got sums wrong

MAY I congratulate B Newbold (Freeviews May 19) for spotting my deliberate mistake from the previous week. No only joking.

Well spotted, this goes to prove that local people do scour the Freeviews page, and I stand by what I said, it is the public’s soap box in Doncaster, so give us more of it - Hatfield town councillor but, now, ex financial wizard.

Mick Glynn, Doncaster Road, Hatfield

Schools are not about finance

WHY the speed and mystery about this drive to turn all our Doncaster schools into academies?

Are they tempted by the mythical promise of more funding? Because they are not likely to get more money, except to pay for necessary services which the local authority now provides free.

“Improvments” may include new rules, new curriculum and new contracts for staff from top to bottom. Expert financial managers and heads will probably get more. Some are already!

But the rest of the teaching and support staff will most likely get less in order to pay for that.

Managers are good at cutting costs, that is their specific expertise, to look at the bottom line. Will this make for a better educational environment? Who will lose out? Our chidlren.

Automatons can pass exams, listing facts without reasoning or debating their significance and without creativity. Education was meant to be a broader experience than this, not just an initiation into business acumen and the power of money.

Lois Hubbard, retired teacher, Apley Road, Hyde Park