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Budget meeting was just a concocted waste of time
On February 20 I, along with other members of the public, attended the council meeting of which the agenda was the setting of the 2014/15 budget. This meeting turned out to be the biggest waste of time and the most concocted meeting that I have ever attended (and I have attended a few over the last few years). Why is the Doncaster Council chamber filled with so many puppets, almost entirely Labour members, and not one of them had the guts to vote against the three year budget, nor even had a word to say. Whatever happened to the promises that were made in the Mayor’s manifesto, where many people voted for her because of the statements made? Never again should voters listen to the Labour puppets. Mayor Jones, you certainly have looked after yourself now that you have a free run for the next three years, and the Chair of the Scrutiny Management Committee, Councillor John Mounsey, must be in a world of make believe when he stated that there were no objections in the scruntiny meetings. Of course there weren’t; it is overloaded with Labour councillors and they have to nod things through or their seats go ASAP. What a pity the Labour party councillors haven’t got the brains or guile of Councillors Martin Williams and Jonathan Wood. And as for the statements made by both the Mayor, plus her Deputy, at the meetings that have been held at the different council run homes, that “private care homes are as good or better than council run homes”, you must live in your own dark and dreary world. I am not a Labour party supporter but it will be interesting to hear what spiel you are going to churn out to the voters come the elections in May.
Mr M Chappell, Manor Drive, Bennetthorpe
There is a solution
I would like to salute and thank the volunteers who work in the Holmescarr Centre in Rossington, and for those people who complain and protest at the possible closure of libraries, I would like to say that with some organisation and dedication, volunteers can make it work. Rossington Library is testament to this remark. Although I am just an occasional library user, the people who work there are very pleasant and happy to order any books you require if they don’t have them and, if you want, you can go round the corner into the cafe for coffee or lunch. Take heart protestors, the Council (as we all know) need to make considerable savings and solutions are out there.
S Foster, Rossington
Support was missing
A protest at Askern Library on Saturday against the Council Cuts was well attended by Askern Town Mayor Howard Connell and Ward Councillor Alan Jones. Conspicuous by their absence though were eight other Askern Town Councillors and two more Ward Councillors, all of them are Labour. I thought they were elected to assist the community? Well come on, we need to pull together on this.
Martyn Bevan, Ex-Askern Town Chairman
It’s easy for you to say
Reading the DFP (page 31, 06/02/14), I was appalled by the heading “Council in health warnings, keep warm this winter”. How patronising of Councillor Pat Knight, who just happens to be a member of Mayor Ros Jones’ cabinet (her remit being “health and adult social care” and who is paid £24,000 per year for the privilege) telling the most vulnerable in our communities how to make ends meet. Most of the elderly, some of whom live on their own and many others who survived living through World War II and only receive a pittance of a state pension, don’t need to be told what to do by someone who is clearly organising “Winter Warmth events” purely to try and justify their position in the Council. This is the same caring Council that is considering closing day care centres for the elderly, as well as old peoples homes and libraries where many go to pass an hour or two. Maybe Councillor Knight, if the most vulnerable in society all received £24,000 a year like your good self, they too might be able to keep the heating turned on to keep warm. This article just goes to highlight and prove that DMBC has far too many Councillors who are being paid far too much for what they do.
Mick Glynn, Hatfield Town Councillor (unpaid), Doncaster Road, Hatfield
Importance of learning
Peter Davies, in his ‘Straight Talking’ column, is correct in describing Ian Brew of Trinity Academy in Thorne as “an excellent headteacher”. The Academy has been an immense asset to its community, with positive OFSTED reports prior to the recent one. All heads fear an OFSTED inspection on an off day, or with a present agenda, or a focus on some current PC variables. However, Mr Davies should avoid suggesting that young people are “victims of comprehensive education”. 90 per cent of education is comprehensive and few parents would relish selection by 11-plus if their offspring were to be in an old style sec. mod. Comprehensive schools seek to do their best for all pupils across the ability spectrum, provide a stable learning and pastoral environment, and a wealth of extra curricular experiences. Of course their catchments vary in the degree of parental support available and social context - some have more difficulties to overcome than others. Doncaster has 17 secondary comprehensive schools serving very disparate communities. They are not clones of each other and face differing problems. Contrary to Mr Davies’ view, academic standards have been improving, teaching is more imaginative and pupils enjoy a more stable ethos. Good teachers (and all strive to be) seek to promote acquisition of knowledge, skills and intellectual curiousity, whenever appropriate seeking to relate to career progression, cultural interests and social cohesion. It’s a complex learning environment. Every pupil cannot be A/A* but they can maximise talents, develop a healthy lifestyle, participate in sport, drama, music, dance, enjoy residential experiences and seek to empathise with others of all ages, devoid of phobias and add value to their community.
Tony Storey, Ex-Head of The Hayfield School (1971-2009)
It’s so ungrateful
The board of directors at Trinity Academy in Thorne should consider well the words of William Shakespeare, who wrote “blow, blow thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude”. Not one word of thanks was expressed by them to the retiring Principal, Ian Brew, whose efforts led to the “outstanding” report for their school in 2011. Whatever has led to the damaging OFSTED report two years later does not justify their inadequate response. Let us hope parents and staff express more appreciation, in this newspaper, for someone who deserves better treatment than that of some unfortunate Premiership football manager.
H Santuiste, Coningsburgh Road, Edenthorpe
What about Doncaster?
Ignoring for a moment that the HS2 rail project is likely to turn out to be a gigantic waste of taxpayers money, even if not even a foot of track is laid, what effect will it have on Doncaster? The answer is that no one really knows but, as Peter Davies has suggested, if it is ever built by providing another route to the north it could well take investment away from us, and other east coast route towns and cities. What do our local MPs say? As the Labour party supports HS2, unsurprisingly, nothing. And that is the problem. What are politicians to do when party interests conflict with the hope, wishes and prosperity of the people who put them in parliament? Perhaps they ought to reflect on who is where in the pecking order of those they serve? First, the sovereign, second their constituents and only third the party which put them on the front bench.
Guy Aston, Doncaster