Free Press readers have their say on the subjects that matter to them. Have you something you want to get off your chest? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at Doncaster Free Press, Sunny Bar, Doncaster, DN1 1NB.
Stop moaning about councillors’ workload and stand up for yourself
In response to the letters last week, criticising councillors how much, how little they do - why don’t the critics respond by putting themselves forward to be councillors? The only criteria you need is to be 18 years old and able to vote. You do not need to belong to any political party, only a desire to put the world right starting with the ward you want to represent. Contact the Electoral Office at DMBC and they will tell you everything you need to know. Publishing a newsletter, setting out your plans for the ward would be a good idea and will help keep a high profile in your community. Tell your mates you may need their help with door-knocking, leafleting, telephone canvassing and so on. Well? Think about it. Go on, what is stopping you? Maybe you could do better.
P Thompson, Sprotbrough.
They should work for us
One of our three “local” councillors in the Adwick le Street ward is Mr Mounsey, rarely seen because he resides in Bawtry, which on a good day is a 45 minute drive away. That’s a round trip of 35 miles so that may account for the expenses. I see Mrs Bolton has declined to publish her hours of duty. I am 85 years old and have seen councillors come and go - dedicated people who did the job for the love of it. They were out and about and were easily approachable. In the changing world of politics, I do realise that expenses are accrued when doing a dedicated job of looking after a ward. Cabinet meetings at the Mansion House should be held in the interests of us, the people of Doncaster, regardless of party “loyalties”.
Enid Eborall, Grasmere Road, Carcroft.
Attack on democracy
The Free Press sensational headline ‘What a Rip-Off’ was a crude attack on local democracy. With a claim that an un-named councillor was earning £6.31 a minute I was expecting it to be backed up with some compelling evidence. However, the evidence was merely a snapshot, not gathered consistently over a long period of time. Ros Jones, whose view as mayor should have been taken more seriously, explained the case clearly to you but you put her explanation at the end of the piece. People who just read headlines will have wrongly been led to believe that councillors are crooks. Sensationalism is not good journalism. The article is of a piece with the thinking behind the current government that as council services are privatised and austerity bites local democracy is an increasingly irritating and expensive business. The smoke screen for the attack was provided as ever with the Free Press by the totally unrepresentative Tax Payers’ Alliance. They think that rich people pay too much tax to subsidise poor people who are struggling. Cutting welfare is not about being fair to tax payers, it is about making unemployment so terrifying that workers will work for less and the trade union voice will be weakened. Of course prices and profits can continue to rise from the misery it causes. The Tax Payers’ Alliance never actually tackles the most blatant injustices of the taxation system. For example, the cost of replacing Trident nuclear missiles will cost the tax payers £25 billion. This system is already obsolete, makes us a target and the only people who benefit from it are weapons manufacturers. The Tax Payers Alliance says what? Then there is the question of the Royal family. Leaving aside the fact that between them they have assets worth billions and pay not a penny tax, just look at all the unnecessary add-ons we are paying for. How many horses and polo ponies have they got and where is the value to the tax payer from this? How many royal homes do we maintain and protect? Come on Free Press - let’s hear you sticking up for the tax payers! As the voices of ordinary people are increasingly ignored, Government policies are aimed at enriching the minority. They take our services, libraries, health service and schools and hand them over to profit seekers who care precious little about what effect it has on the rest of us. Instead of cutting democracy down we need to extend it. That is why people across Britain are joining the Peoples’ Assembly where an alternative to austerity, environmental destruction and war is being hammered out. The most inspiring campaigners, like Owen Jones and Mark Steel, are combining with a range of organisations, trade unions and MPs. Thousands are attending rallies and meetings and local and national politics is suddenly looking far more interesting.
John Westmoreland, Hollin Bridge Road, Hatfield Woodhouse.
It’s time for change
So we now again see Doncaster back under the media spotlight over the Coalition Government’s decision to take over the town’s beleaguered children’s services. I believe the Coalition Government waited to see what the outcome of the May 2013 Mayoral elections. I also believe if Peter Davies had been re-elected as Mayor of Doncaster, the Coalition Government would have taken no further action. What bothers me most is the fact that Doncaster has three Labour MPs; one is the leader of the opposition and leader of the Labour party - Mr Ed Miliband - yet not one of these Doncaster MPs have come forward to either defend or condemn the inexcusable state that Doncaster has been allowed to fall into. It’s no good our new mayor, Ros Jones, saying she wasn’t given enough time to put things right because before she was elected mayor she had been a DMBC Ward councillor for seven years so she knew what was happening long ago. When you read the report into the councillors expenses you see the utter contempt that they have for the very people that, at election times, they beg and plead with for their votes. So residents of Doncaster, you have you own destiny at your finger tips. Remember those politicians who have made our town of Doncaster a national disgrace. The residents of Doncaster have the power of the vote to make changes; it’s time for change now.
Mick Glynn, Hatfield Town Councillor, Doncaster Road, Hatfield.
Thank you for event
On behalf of our family and friends, can we say a big “thank you” to the CarolannB Duo for a great night’s entertainment on July 28 at Kenny’s Fish restaurant in Conisbrough. CarolannB was in fine voice and well accompanied by Allan Watkiss. We had some great old style country music and most of the audience sang along. I have been a country music fan for many years and have also listened to Allan on Radio Sheffield’s Country Music show but I never knew that he was a master of the keyboards. Once again, thank you very much for a wonderful night’s entertainment. We’re looking forward to seeing the duo again soon.
David and Pat Harrison, Corn Hill, Conisbrough.
When Peter Davies was in office as elected mayor I had cause to contact him with regard to the dangerous traffic problems caused by bad parking along the A19 from Denby Street to George Street in Bentley - I used photographs to emphasize the problems. I received a communication from Peter Davies explaining what would be done to ease the problem and confirmation it would be done before the end of the financial year. Well, work was carried out last week and things are looking good; there just remains to the junction with George Street and the A19 to be done and a speed warning indicator to be installed. I would like to thank Mr Davies and his excellent coalition team of councillors for their swift proactive response on behalf of the people who live not only in Denby Street, Swan Street, Huntington Street and George Street as well as the good people who live along that stretch of the A19.
Eddie Storey, Huntington Street, Bentley.