Letters, May 31, 2012

DONNY Diary is indeed being a real misery guts when he/she says (Free Press, May 24) that the Olympics offer nothing to Doncaster.

May I just put forward a few words that might suggest that Doncaster has a lot to be proud of at London 2012.

If you look in your own paper, Mr or Mrs Misery Guts, virtually every week there’s mention of Sarah Stevenson - a genuine gold medal contender on home soil and who we can all be very, very proud of.

How amazing would it be if Sarah were to get the gold in her own country after the time she has had? How many other people from Doncaster have won Olympic medals? Not many, I’ll wager.

I also understand the brave Ben Parkinson will be carrying the Olympic torch when it comes through Doncaster - another inspirational person from our town we can all be proud of. Ben’s achievements are remarkable and I don’t think there will be a dry eye in the house when he carries the flame.

And I do believe that a good old Doncaster firm Bridon were responsible for helping to build the Olympic stadium too - that’s three reasons and I am sure there are many more.

So stop being a grump and cheer on the likes of Sarah - and then you’ll see what Doncaster has got from the Olympics!

Trevor Hughes, Thorne Road

Take your litter home

AN OPEN letter to the gallant anglers who use the little pond on the old tip at Armthorpe.

I would just like to congratulate you on the amount of rubbish and disgarded tackle some of you have managed to leave around this little beauty spot over this last week.

In this special year your efforts truly are of Olympian standard, and a credit to your fellow anglers.

In particular thanks for the yard of fishing line I had to cut from around my dog’s legs today, and the way your old line bobbins float across the pond is inspirational to us all.

How do I know its anglers? Well, a jogger is hardly likely to leave fishing line, a biker wouldn’t leave real bobbins, - oh and I watched two of you throw your sandwich wrappers and crisp packets in to the grass just yesterday.

Sadly, we don’t live in a society where I dare approach these chaps, so, I write this letter to you all.

Now many of you will cry out “ It’s not us” well prove me wrong. Get together this weekend, get down to this pond with your bags and clear the other anglers mess up.

L Wright, Cantley

Clone him, not stone him

THE Vicar of Doncaster, Rev Canon Dr Paul Shackerley, has been done a great disservice of late, by a so-called Facebook ‘friend’ and by assorted media outlets who gave oxygen of publicity to an anonymous complainant - who clearly had his or her own agenda.

Three-month old postings couched in the vernacular among Paul’s Facebook friends were ‘exposed’. How heroic! It may be true that Dr Shackerley is a man who enjoys private ironic humour (a feature of most professions, not least journalism except when tabloid hacks get a whiff of a cheap assassination) and he may not be every Donny parishioner’s cup of tea but he is a genuine human being and an excellent priest.

It was largely thanks to him that I returned to faith a few years ago.

Had I encountered unction instead of his spiky humour, wisdom and candour about his own life experiences, I would not have sought Confirmation.

I urged the Bishop of Doncaster last week to by all means counsel Dr Shackerley in more discreet use of colloquialism, but equally importantly, to speak out publicly against anonymous do-badders.

The latter, sadly, does not appear to have happened, though rightly enough Paul has apologised and a ‘line has been drawn under the matter’.

The whole unfortunate episode says more about the odious machinations of Paul’s faceless detractor(s) than it does about the man himself, a forthright, engaging, streetwise cleric who should be cloned, not stoned.

And in haste to avoid its own blushes, the diocese has given tacit approval to faceless whispering. Could do better.

Geoffrey Daniel, Sheffield S10

More Right to Buy

THE Coalition Government is giving council tenants in Doncaster the chance to buy their homes under our re invigorated Right to Buy scheme.

Householders who have worked hard and done well can now get a discount of up to £75,000 to help achieve their dream of home-ownership.

And for the first time, our intention is that every extra home sold under the scheme will be replaced by a brand new affordable home to help meet the housing needs of other hard-working families in the area.

We are determined to ensure every eligible tenant has the information they need to decide whether taking this life-changing step is the right choice for them.

I’d urge anyone who wants to find out whether they have the Right to Buy to contact their landlord.

Tenants in council properties should contact Doncaster Council on 01302 862043 or email housingoptionsteam@doncaster.gov.uk. Other social housing tenants may have ‘preserved’ Right to Buy and should contact their landlord to find out more, or visit www.facebook.com/righttobuy

Grant Shapps MP, Minister for Housing and Local Government

Why do we pay so much to fly?

I RECENTLY went on the Internet to check return air fares for my wife and I to fly from Robin Hood Airport to Alicante with Thomson Holidays.

I was gob-smacked when the pricing came up, this was including £60 reduction by booking online. It was an astounding £570 this was for the June 2-9.

Needless to say I turned my thoughts on flying from Leeds or East Midlands airport with either Jet2 or Ryanair. I was offered better flight times both on departure and return and with paying the car parking fees I was still saving over £200.

I can now understand why people are saying that the link road to the airport, which is in the planning stages, is a complete waste of time and money and how much longer can the airport be an affordable commodity for people such as we.

Thomson, you may be the only airline which is on the doorstep for many air passengers in South Yorkshire but you are putting the airport into oblivion, unless the whole thought from the start by Peel Holdings and others by opening up Finningley again, was to use it as a cargo only airport.

It is now time for the management of Robin Hood Airport to give some honest answers to the public and passengers just what the intentions are for Finningley,

I look forward to hearing a truthful response.

J Hartshorne, Goodison Boulevard, Cantley

What are we paying for?

MAY I ask through your newspaper, the powers that be at Doncaster Council, who is responsible for the upkeep of our footpaths and walkways at Barnby Dun?

I have to unfortunately use an electric scooter to get around. The trouble is the footpaths in Barnby Dun especially the ones on both sides of Stainforth Road going towards the doctors’ surgery have never been serviced for as long as I can remember.

When I go to the doctors’ I frequently stay on the road as the pathway is in dire need of resurfacing and the drops on the curbs past drive ways are not wheelchair/electric scooter friendly.

So come on Doncaster Council take a hike get from behind your desks and look at what a poor state of repair these footpaths are in.

Also, on Stainforth Road when we go to our allotments we have to walk or ride our wheelchairs on one of the busiest roads in the area as the footpath has disappeared.

What do we pay our rates for surely this area warrants a footpath? There used to be one there before the road was widened.

G J Sears, Barnby Dun

Things are going to get worse

Re: Community in Crisis letter, Free Press May 24

WHAT a heartfelt letter to read, though it could be a new script for the TV programme ‘Shameless’.

This is beginning to be the future though because kids are having kids and the pattern goes on, breeding juvenile delinquents, however is it their fault?

Introducing sex education in schools was to try and prevent teenage pregnancies. Some kids at a certain age hardly bother going to school.

They are encouraged by the powers that be to have, or experiment with sex and it’s ok if contraception is used, whether it be the pill or carry condoms with them (unknown to some caring parents).

There are a lot of explicit programmes on the telly, including adverts of a sexual nature. It has to have some impact on young minds.

They don’t have to work. They are free agents to live how they choose. No respect for anything, themselves or anyone.

I thought drug dealing was against the law. I thought causing criminal damage was against the law. Threatening behaviour follows close.

Doncaster Council, social services and police are all paid for from council tax payers.

This community, or any other, should not have to live in fear and tread around on eggshells in case they upset these bullies and unsavoury characters.

If this neighbourhood was to take the law into their own hands and deal with the situation they are in, it would turn it around, and the law would probably come down heavy on them.

I hope that the letter is a wake up call for the authorities and police to take responsibility and have an action plan, not patches here and there to help get some order for all these people.

If not, things are only going to get worse.

Mrs K Betts, Station Road, Arksey

Find out the rules for events

WITH the Jubilee and Olympics nearly upon us, I would appreciate letting your readers know about a new opportunity for community volunteers who find that regulators and rule enforcers are making their lives difficult.

The Volunteer Events theme on the Focus on Enforcement website presents an opportunity for ordinary people to speak out against uncaring officialdom, but also to give credit where credit is due if someone has been really helpful.

The Government wants anyone involved in volunteering – from a jumble sale, to organising a Jubilee street party, to a three-peaks challenge – to feed in their experiences, good and bad, of dealing with local authorities and other

So I urge you to go to the Focus on Enforcement website and let us know your views. This is your chance to make a real difference to the way regulations are enforced.

Mark Prisk, Business and Enterprise Minister.