Free Press readers have their say on the subjects that matter to them. Email us your views: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Why I have quit the Lib Dems in support for my party colleague’
Freeviews in the Doncaster Free Press on January 16 carried a report from Councillor Monty Cuthbert detailing the reasons why he recently left the Lib Dems and became an Independent councillor. I want to announce that I have now also left the Lib Dems for basically the same reasons although, unlike Councillor Cuthbert, I was not ordered before a disciplinary committee by the Regional Lib Dems as he was, for allegedly not backing the Lib Dem candidate in the last Mayoral elections and supporting a candidate from another party. For some time I had been attempting to find a way of mediating in the situation between both the local Lib Dem Executive and the Regional party on the one hand and Coun Cuthbert on the other. Unfortunately, despite my efforts, it appeared no-one was listening and my correspondence was ignored. For the Lib Dems to be prepared to rid themselves of such an excellent hardworking councillor such as Monty Cuthbert amazed me. Monty has spent over 20 years working hard for the town and especially the residents of Bessacarr and Cantley. There are many people in the Ward who would agree that they have got Monty to thank for all he has done, both for the Ward and for them as individuals. Unfortunately my concerns came at a time when there were national disciplinary issues within the party and those obviously were of greater importance. I wrote to the party indicating that I could no longer be a member of an organisation which treats its members so shabbily and with such disdain. So, I am now an Independent councillor working alongside Coun Cuthbert. We both remain dedicated to working for the community, especially the residents of Bessacarr, Cantley and Lakeside.
Our commitment will not change.
Coun Paul Coddington, Independent Councillor, Bessacarr and Cantley Ward
Preserve our history
I have just read the article in this week’s Free Press about the possibility of the Grand Theatre re opening, and I am so pleased that after all this time, the building will be saved and may re-open. Doncaster has lost so many historic buildings over the years that should have been saved, such as the Gaumont/Odeon, and to lose another would be such a shame. Other towns, such as York and Leeds, have kept their old theatres and they are very well used. I for one love the theatre and would like not to have to travel so far to go to one. That is not to say I haven’t been to Cast, because I have, and enjoyed the experience, but an old theatre, with all its history and character would be so much better.-
Sarah Jones, Gregorys Leather Ltd, Doncaster
Don’t close libraries
The closure of Cantley Library and others is a big mistake and I am sure there are other ways that the Council can save money. I can only comment on Cantley but I believe this is a vital link in the community. Not only does it lend books but there are four computers that are used, local schools meet there for projects and lessons, and local/national newspapers are available for those who cannot afford them. If this library does close, the nearest one would be the Central Library in Waterdale. I am sure that older customers will not make the effort if this involves a bus journey. For car users, this will add to the traffic problem, plus the cost of car parking to attend the library. I would urge other library users to contact their MP and local Councillor (via email, letter or phone) to protest about the closures.
Tony Heaton, Ellers Lane, Auckley
A better way to save cash
Doncaster’s Labour controlled Council has been given an exercise to solve, and low and behold they are approaching it in their usual manner of “let’s throw loads of council tax payers money at it.” It has been suggested that Doncaster has too many councillors - at present it has 63. We have 21 wards, with three councillors per ward and most of the 63 councillors are Labour. It has been suggested by the Boundaries Commission that a more realistic figure of 54 councillors should suffice, so what does our inept and totally incompetent Council, in all their wisdom, decide to do? To change all the ward boundaries and order the remapping of whole of the borough of Doncaster, costing the tax payers hundreds of thousands of pounds. And in doing so they will be merging some very affluent areas in with some, shall we say, less desirable ones. Bearing in mind that DMBC is a Council so deeply in debt that they are cutting funding to the most vulnerable in society, by closing care homes for the elderly and infirm in our communities, they have just borrowed £2.8 million to build a new bowling alley at Adwick. May I suggest DMBC start with a fresh sheet of paper and for once try and think logically? We have 21 wards with three councillors per ward - reduce each ward by one councillor giving us a total of 42 councillors, thereby saving even more money than is suggested by the boundaries commission. I believe the problem DMBC have is not the quantity of ward councillors. I believe it is more about the quality of the existing councillors. Take the village of Hatfield for example. We have three Labour ward councillors, two of whom live in the Hatfield ward, and one that lives in the Cusworth area. What local knowledge of Hatfield does this person have? And for that matter, what interest do they have in our village? This is what is wrong with Doncaster, so people of Doncaster, when it comes to voting time, start and vote with your heads and not with your hearts.
Mick Glynn, Hatfield Town Councillor, Doncaster Road, Hatfield
Address the problem
After yet another spell of loose horses roaming the streets of our village, I feel compelled to write this letter. It appears that the issue of black and white horses running freely in the streets, grazing football fields and parks, and occupying public land is on the rise. And I do not feel this problem can be ignored any longer. This week alone I have, on three separate occasions, witnessed groups of horses running in the streets, causing a great deal of disruption to traffic, not to mention the danger to the public as they run along paths and near the local playground. I find it difficult to understand why this growing problem is completely ignored by the local constabulary and council. Surely the safety of the public and the welfare of the horses is of a high enough priority for a system to be put in place whereby the council or the police can lawfully operate in the rounding up of these horses. Britain prides itself on being one of the world’s most forward thinking countries. Yet a simple system whereby the breeding and keeping of equines is completely lacking. Surely it is not difficult to copy the system we have in place for passporting and eartacking sheep, cattle and pigs. A system like this would enable the authorities to keep track of and identify any loose equines, and should an unmarked equine enter the system, this should be either appropriately re-homed or euthanized. This is, after all, no different to the way a dog warden would handle a stray dog.
Anne Sorensen, Almholme Lane, Arksey
This can’t be right
I have a relative with Dementia in a council run home in Doncaster. Upon visiting recently I was told by the staff that they were not allowed to speak with anyone about these proposed closures. Is this Doncaster or Soviet Russia? These people are under threat of losing their jobs and they are not allowed to speak about it. What happened to free speech and human rights? I think this is something that this newspaper should be investigating and publicising as soon as possible.
Mr E.Mead, Doncaster