Letters, October 27

HAVING been a victim of cable theft myself and basically cut off from the rest of the world, my heart goes out to the poor pensioners in Bentley who were left unable to use their emergency alarm pendants as well as their telephones (Free Press, October 20).

I fail to understand the way of thinking of those responsible for the welfare of these, and many other poor old pensioners, by using such old and out-dated methods to safeguard their health and security.

Cable theft has started to flourish since the beginning of the recession and it will not stop, because, due to all the do-gooders and civil liberty activists, these heartless thugs will never be punished appropriately, not for the theft itself, but for the hardship and suffering that they cause with their action, they might be even responsible for somebody’s untimely death.

Therefore they will carry on without blinking an eye lid, inflicting hardship and misery to thousands of law abiding citizens.

What about the rights and personal liberties of the old and the frail? Aren’t they entitled to any?

To replace new underground cables is a costly and time consuming process, which undoubtedly will repeat itself and having got rid of the wardens as well. I would like to ask. Why has nobody ever contemplated to use a remote controlled system for this purpose, this kind of system has been used in South Africa 25 years ago already? Such a system is much safer and by far more secure; it will be a one-off investment which will be much cheaper in the long run and by far more efficient.

Mr A Hirsch, Hartland Crescent, Edenthorpe

Cold winters will lead to profit

THE greedy energy providers are bumping up the prices even though they are making huge profits and this caring Government of ours is slashing the winter fuel payments, the Met Office is predicting a harsh winter, I predict that next year funeral directors and crematoriums will also be recording record profits.

Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster

No to council control

DONCASTER Council to take over children’s centres? Oh dear.

Disaster? No way.

The mayor and Donny Council have made a good job at...hmmm. Oh, what about that... er? What have they done right?

To be truthful, when Donny Council takes over anything they manage to make a mess of it then close it down.

Since they have taken over community woodlands or nature reserves ponds have dried up, trees have been lobbed down, shrubs have been cut and debris left. They are just left to decay instead of maintainign them as they pledge to do.

They don’t like spending money where it is really needed. They are good at spending on “white elephants” though.

Mrs K E Betts, Station Road, Arksey.

What about a Free Press book?

HAVING read the Free Press for a countless number of years, which I have enjoyed reading, would there be any chance that you could do a hardback version of the Free Press in book form containing cartoons/jokes, sport, days gone by, best pubs in and around Doncaster, coach trips, school photos, photos of villages and the people who live in them etc?

Robert Gerrard, Galsworthy Close, Balby

More memories of Hayfield

IN a recent edition the DFP gave excellent coverage to The Hayfield School 40th anniversary dinner dance for current and past staff.

Ex-students, former staff and parents can obtain a short booklet, with a nostalgic recall of Hayfield from 1971-2011, compiled by myself as its long-serving ex-headteacher (1971-2008).

Copies can be obtained from The Hayfield School, Hurst Lane, Auckley, Doncaster DN9 3HF, by enclosing a cheque payable to the school (to cover costs of postage) and an SAE (A5 size).

A booklet of the school’s annual Easter Ridley Hall field course for Year 7 pupils is also available at £3 ( £2.50 plus 50p p and p) - some 2,000 students spent a week in Northumberland over 40 years!

Tony Storey, The Paddocks, Lound, Retford.

Explore options for vulnerable

A REPORT by Circle Housing Group and the LGIU reveals widespread concern within local government about the impact of cuts in housing related support.

The vast majority of local authorities say that cuts to housing-related support - that help vulnerable residents to live as independently as possible - will place many people at risk.

The challenge is significant but there are actions that central and local government can take.

Councils must recognise the importance of preventative support services. Cutting them will only put more pressure on other services and cost councils considerably more in future years. The report shows how local, innovative approaches are both securing services for vulnerable people and saving money in the long term.

Government departments across Whitehall must take an active role in promoting ‘community budgets’ which pool local funding to support vulnerable people.

With more than four in 10 authorities saying they are reducing the level of frontline services for vulnerable people they can offer, we urge them to explore all their options to ensure that those in need of most support are protected.

Mark Rogers, chief executive, Circle Housing Group, Andy Sawford, chief executive, LGiU, David Orr, chief executive, National Housing Federation, Grainia Long, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

What caused train trouble?

FOLLOWING the incident involving locomotive 30777 ’Sir Lamiel’ on the East Coast Main Line in Doncaster on September 2 in which lineside fires were started in the vicinity of Rossington and Bawtry, there does not appear to have been any formal news as to the causation of this incident.

Subsequent to this, the locomotive was taken off at Newark and later hauled away by road. The cause of the fires has been the subject of an exhaustive investigation which the 5305 Locomotive Association fully supports. What safeguards are now to be put in place? What action is to be taken to ensure that the risk of an incident of this seriousness is not repeated?

In the interests of public protection, it is vital that the findings of all the investigations are made known immediately. Network Rail, the British Transport Police and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council should produce all of their findings to date.

Doncaster Council Watch are keen supporters of Britain’s heritage and wish the owners and operators of all steam locomotives continued success with running them in their intended environment on the main line railway which gives great pleasure to many but remind everyone that public safety takes precedence and is of paramount importance.

The ‘Sir Lamiel’ incident will be an agenda item at the Doncaster Council Watch public meeting, to be held at the Large Meeting Room at Doncaster Central Library, Waterdale, Doncaster, on Thursday, December 8, at 11am.

Ray Nortrop, on behalf of Doncaster Council Watch

Why not try vegan diet?

I am just one of the hundreds of thousands of people throughout the UK who has chosen to follow a vegan diet and will be celebrating that compassionate choice this November, which is designated National Vegan Month – an annual initiative that promotes the benefits of an animal-free diet.

By going vegan, each of us can help to end animal suffering, reduce our carbon footprint and boost our health. What other diet has such overwhelmingly positive benefits?

Animal products are not essential for a healthy diet. In fact, a large number of studies show that a balanced and varied 100% pants-based diet is ideal for optimum health and lowers the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other diet-related illnesses. I am healthier and happier knowing that my food choices have not caused animals to suffer.

As a vegan you can still have all of your favourite meals and treats. I love lasagne and certainly couldn’t go without a bit of chocolate each evening! These days, just about every food made from dairy products or eggs has a cruelty-free alternative that can be found easily in high street shops and supermarkets, making the transition even easier.

Animal Aid has a new, FREE Vegan Guide that is ideal for anyone who, like me, would like to eat more compassionately. It contains simple vegan recipes, nutritional information and shopping tips. Tel: 01732 364546 or visit www.govegan.org.uk.

Kelly Slade, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent

Make sure you get benefits

As we head into the winter months, sharply rising fuel bills play on many minds and the prospect of an additional expense seems almost too much to bear at a time of such immense financial pressure.

And it is so often the vulnerable who find themselves facing the most extreme conditions at this time of year, including the nations 6 million carers.

Over nine in ten carers surveyed recently by Turn2us have concerns about how they are going to manage to pay growing fuel bills through the coldest months.

The research also reveals the disturbing fact that over half of carers are not claiming carers allowance, and one in five are not claiming any benefits at all. This is the case despite the fact that carers offer an unpaid contribution of 119 billion every year to the UKs economy.

In these increasingly difficult times, it is more important than ever to ensure that everyone, especially those who need help the most, are aware of their potential entitlement to welfare benefits.

I would urge all carers to access the benefits checker at www.turn2us.org.uk, and discover what they might be entitled to, how much and where to claim.

Spread the message and let’s get those who most need financial support claiming what they may be entitled to.

Lynda Bellingham, Ambassador, Turn2us, Shepherd’s Bush Road, London W6 7NL