Letters, May 3, 2012

IF there is one thing that people are good at it is blaming.

Although this sounds negative, in local politics it can be a good thing.

With an elected mayor making policy decisions you get someone to publicly carry the can if things go wrong and, having voted them in, four years later you can and should vote them out.

Every candidate for mayor knows that if this happens they will have to find another way of making a crust.

With a councillor making policy decisions as council leader, having been selected by the biggest party of councillors in a back room somewhere, if they make a mess of it the party will simply shuffle them out of the spotlight to go on drawing their allowances and select a new leader for you.

At the end of a potentially disastrous four years you only get the opportunity to vote out one of that party.

Today you get the chance to vote for, or against, keeping a system of having directly elected mayors. Use it. If you don’t vote at all if you don’t like what happens next you will only be able to blame yourself. And that’s no fun at all.

Mick Andrews, Thorne Road, Wheatley Hills

Why not spend money on Civic?

MY daughter recently performed her yearly dance show at the Civic Theatre.

I was extremely proud of her and all the pupils at the Step Up School of Dance for putting on an excellent show.

As usual when the last show came to an end we were all filled with a little sadness. But this year, the emotion and sadness was much deeper and touched the hearts of those that had not only performed that night but those that had danced in past performances at the Civic Theatre.

Having performed myself in the late seventies and eighties as a pupil of the Pye School of Theatre Dance School, I have such wonderful memories of the Civic Theatre as I am sure many people of the Doncaster area have.

Why is it then, that Doncaster Council would rather spend millions on a new theatre instead of restoring such a much loved Civic Theatre.

Miss Roberta N Clark, Orchard Grove, Dunscroft

It’s time for a change

I WAS prompted to write this letter after comments form Dianne Abbot a panellist on last week’s Question Time.

She asked if anyone had ever tried to get a doctor’s appointment in East London.

Well have you tried to get one here in Doncaster?

You telephone up, talk to the receptionist, tell her all your business, she decides whether or not you’re getting an appointment, then tells you a nurse will phone you back sometime and talk to you.

Eventually, the nurse phones, you tell her what’s wrong with you, and she says give it a few more days, .....keep suffering and if no better then phone up again and repeat all once again to the receptionist, wait for call back from nurse, who then allows you an appointment with the doctor.

The doctor examines you, immediate diagnosis of chest infection and prescription for antibiotics - which you could have had a week earlier and not been suffering for twice as long.

It’s time the procedure was changed and when one asked for a doctor’s appointment you should get one.

Name and address supplied

Did you train on Collingwood?

IF I say HMS Collingwood, many of your readers will show an interest.

Commissioned in January 1940 when things were getting tough in World War II, Hitler was to have claimed to have sunk it four times over the next few years.

However H.M.S. Collingwood is a massive shore training establishment, and still going strong.

Many of your readers are amongst the thousands of people who served there at some time or other. Electricians, seamen, cooks, Wrens, writers, stewards, radio and radar mechanics, stores branch etc.

Who did they serve with? Would they like to meet up with them again? There is now an association standing by to reunite them with their old shipmates, as hundreds of others have found out. Newsletters, reunions, membership lists. Start the ball rolling by contacting me at the address below.

Mike Crowe, 7 Heath Road, Sandown. PO36 8PG or mike.crowe1@btinternet.com

These matters were enforced

MAY I please be allowed to comment upon two letters in the DFP of April 26?

Firstly, Mr Eddie Storey refers to problems caused by motor vehicles displaying foreign number plates.

Although such vehicles are allowed to display their foreign plates for up to six months whilst ever the owner is a bona fide visitor, they must be registered in the UK, and be fitted with our pattern of registration plates as soon as the owner ‘becomes resident’ here.

I suspect many of the vehicles referred to by Mr Storey belong to foreign nationals who do, indeed, reside here, and are therefore using them unlawfully.

In the same issue, Mr Maurice Field refers to pedal cycles being used unlawfully in the town centre and states that this has been against the law since 1835 (no doubt referring to the Highways Act of that year which did indeed control the use of ‘vehicles’). He is, however, misguided in thinking the authorities are only just acting against them.

It’s not my place to comment on the present operational priorities of the police and others, but I can assure both correspondents that, during my time with the local constabulary (from 1966 - 1997) both of the matters subject of these letters were vigorously enforced.

Jeff Vernon, Park Drive, Sprotbrough

What about rogue traders?

RE your articles about the Solar Panel company who seem to have gone.

Deciding to go green I signed to have cavity wall insulation fours years ago, I will not bother now.

Near fifty years ago we commissioned a plumber for a complete bungalow installation. It left serious faults which he refused to put right, so a year later we went to court for a return of one thirtieth of the cost to put it right. He simply wrote to the court agreeing a price was asking for a cheap job and that the two men he asked to help were not his employees, case dismissed.

Point is, has a local court in those years ever convicted a rogue trader?

Oh the plumber mentioned went on to become very prominent.

A M Frost, Broad Lane, Sykehouse

Council doesn’t control it all

IT is important for local people to realise that the Doncaster Council does not controls the budgets for front line policing or NHS staffing.

Thus, a person running for election and making such claims either does not understand the remit of a local councillor, in which case they are not up to the job, or they are misrepresenting the truth, in which case they cannot be trusted.

To avoid being taken in by campaign propaganda one can view the council budget on-line (see Doncaster Council on-line and search for mayor’s budget).

By being informed about the areas that a local councillor can influence, we can elect candidates who can actually deliver on their campaign promises, that is, rather than those who merely say what they think people want to hear. Councillors do indeed control budgets for items such as bin collection, street cleaning, street lighting, highways, drainage, planning, housing benefits, social services, leisure services and museums.

Those are the sorts of areas where a councillor can have an impact.

If a candidate doesn’t discuss such areas within their campaign flyers, then they might not have any workable ideas or plans to implement in the event that they are elected.

Doncaster needs action, not words, to put it on the path to reach its full potential.

R L Clarke, Tickhill

We all deserve to have work

I WANT to encourage our MP to support the National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Undiscovered Workforce campaign to help adults with autism into employment.

The campaign is calling upon MPs across the UK to work together with local authority services, as well as local businesses and employment providers to improve job opportunities for people with autism in their own constituencies.

For many, employment is a crucial factor in living a happy and independent life.

However, NAS research indicates that only 15% of adults with autism are in full-time employment, despite the fact that 79% of those claiming out-of-work benefits told us they want to work.

Research with university leavers has shown that 26% of graduates with autism are unemployed, by far the highest rate of any disability group. One in 100 people living in [area] has autism and it is therefore vital that more is done locally to support these adults into work.

With the right support, people with autism can overcome the barriers to work that they often face.

I hope the local MP will agree to work with other organisations in our constituency so that adults with autism living in the area have access to the same employment opportunities as others.

Mrs Michelle Cresswell, Whiphill Lane, Armthorpe

We don’t all like sport

AS there are millions of men who like football, I am a man who doesn’t like football, rugby or other sports, because watching football, rugby and other sports makes me absolutely bored.

I have talked to a few men before and when they brought up the subject of football when they spoke to me,

I told them that I don’t like football, then after I told them that, they told me to watch the next football match that is on.

It makes my blood boil when these sorts of people won’t keep their hobby of their favourite sports to themselves and rams them down my throat boundlessly,

I don’t even want people to talk to me about football, rugby or any other sport.

Dick Appleyard, Lingfield Close, Saxilby, Lincolnshire

Help for blind people

ACTION for Blind People has produced a free guide called Getting On,

It’s designed to help local people with sight loss to access services and support from voluntary and statutory organisations best placed to give them a helping hand.

Action for Blind People is a not-for-profit organisation.

Readers can order a free copy of Getting On and find contact details of Action for Blind People’s local team by phoning 0303 123 9999.

You can download Getting On from http://www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk/about-us/downloads

Elizabeth Percy, Action for Blind People, Head of North East Teams, Fairfax House, Merrion Street, Leeds, LS2 8JU