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How can a cabinet of nine members cost the same as one of six or seven?
Ros Jones’s feeble and disingenuous attempt to justify more Labour Party councillors profiting from Doncaster taxpayers (Freeviews July 18) defies belief. The notion that nine cabinet members come cheaper than six or seven will fool no one. Mrs Jones is correct that her cabinet costs £129,000. My first cabinet in 2009-2011 (mayor + 6) cost £105,000 per annum while my second from 2011-2013 (mayor + 5) cost £93,000 pa. The £6,000 she bizarrely mentions for the role of group leader went to the Labour Party and was certainly not sanctioned by me. I did indeed employ a political advisor, instead of adding to my cabinet, but not until three years and four months into a four-year-term of office. That employee earned £18,000, still bringing the total cost to only £111,000 in the last year. Mrs Jones’ oft heard claim that she is a wizard with figures as a former chartered accountant appears to be flawed, or perhaps she is more suited to advanced trigonometry than simple arithmetic. Many people may also be wondering if Mrs Jones would have reduced her salary without my example. There is no evidence from previous Labour activities over the decades in Doncaster, or from her own term as civic mayor in 2009-10, that this would have been the case.
Peter Davies, Checkstone Avenue, Bessacarr.
Robin Hood best on price
I’d be grateful if you would allow me to comment on two letters in DFP 18 July. Firstly the one from Sue Richards, concerning the price of flying from Doncaster, and secondly the one from Mr Doane about the Vulcan. Fair play demands that I point out that when my wife and I flew from Doncaster on a fortnight’s holiday to Cyprus (with Thomson) in May, the identical holiday, with comparable flight timings, would have cost us a total of £112 more from East Midlands, and £128 more from Manchester. Nevertheless, people are always going to make such a comparison before booking a flight, and will obviously choose the best price. As regards Mr Doane’s letter, please assure him that he wouldn’t have heard the Vulcan cracking the sound barrier, as even when new, it was only ever capable of Mach 0.96.
Jeff Vernon, Park Drive, Sprotbrough.
Terrible thing to say
As a 14 year old I was disgusted to read the letter about the last flying Vulcan, which stated that it should be “put on a low loader and scrapped.“ (Freeviews, July 18) How could he say that this important piece of British aviation history should be scrapped? As a young person I admire this awesome piece of history and consider that we should be conserving and supporting its preservation. I am very angry about these comments and wonder what kind of example this sets for other young people who were not born when this aircraft was operational.
Jack Barratt, Wheatley Hills.
Please mind pedestrians
This is to the young lady who swished past me today, at speed on her bike, while I was standing musing on the Thorne Road pavement. You came from behind me making no sound at all. I happen to be blind in one eye but there is, as yet, nothing wrong with my ears. Ignoring for a moment that riding a bicycle on the pavement is an offence punishable by a fine of £10 to £50, if I had taken one step forward you would have smashed into me causing untold damage to my ageing carcass while you could, quite easily, have been diverted into the stream of oncoming cars. Yes, I know that roads are scary and many drivers have little regard for cyclists, but if you must ride on the pavement please do these three things. One - keep the higher speeds for sections clear of pedestrians. Two - invest in a bell or develop a very loud cough. Three - if you are coming up to an old codger like me, unless you can see at least one panic-stricken eyeball, give us some space.
Mick Andrews, Thorne Road, Doncaster.
Hold banks to account
Many of us are making real efforts to combat climate change by cutting our own carbon emissions and working to make our local communities more sustainable. But the banks and pension funds in which most of us invest our money are pouring billions of pounds into dirty coal, oil and gas around the world – yet we have no say in how this money is spent. The fossil fuel extraction financed by UK banks and pension funds is pushing the planet to the brink of climate catastrophe. It is also destroying the lives of the people who have to live with giant coal mines and oil wells on their doorsteps. Often these projects are in poor countries, and far from benefiting local people, they pollute the land and water people rely on and sometimes even evict them from their homes. We have very little say in how banks and pension funds spend our money. So as part of a campaign by the World Development Movement, I’m calling on the government to make banks and pension funds publish the carbon emissions from the fossil fuel projects they finance, so that we can start holding them to account and make them change their ways.
Paul Sidle, Park Road, Doncaster.
Words for new theatre
Doncaster Performance Venue Ltd, or DPV for short, are the organisers for the new theatre. What experience they have we do not know but they seem very adept at causing controversy. First they snub the amateurs and professional people who have, for many years, filled the Civic Theatre, saying “we are not that sort of theatre” so does this mean you will not have a pantomime? Oh yes you will, say the Doncaster Racecourse. Fear not, our Fairy Godmother will bring you Cinderella. Oh no you won’t,say DPV; we will do a U-turn - again - and bring you Cinderella, but we only know one pantomime. Secondly, on September 6, they announce that the new Doncaster Theatre, Cast, will unveil a major gay and lesbian arts project - a workshop for 16-25 year olds that will, and I quote, “explore themes of love, acceptance, joy and loss” and that is only part of this “puffball project - a unique workshop residency.” Want to know more? Well contact firstname.lastname@example.org It is time we had a new script so here goes: “On Friday, September 6 the doors of our new theatre will be opened and we hope everyone will come to a day of exploring and learning what has been accomplished, to be able to see what is on in the future with our interesting programme to suit all ages, and of course, the most important thing is to be able to book your seats. We look forward to seeing you.”
Marianne Downing, Lowfield Road, Doncaster.
Nominate your hero
There are many older volunteers in the North of England who do amazing but often under-recognised work helping others in the community. Older people’s charity Royal Voluntary Service has launched the 2013 Diamond Champions awards, sponsored by McCarthy & Stone and supported by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as President of the charity, to celebrate the work of volunteers aged 60 and over. Sixty Diamond Champions will be chosen including ten from the North of England; 12 people from across Britain will be invited to a reception in the autumn. We want people in the North of England to nominate their volunteer hero and celebrate the difference they make to the lives of others. Nominations can be made at royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/diamondchampions and the closing date is September 15th – so get nominating!
Carol Nevison, Royal Voluntary Service head of operations for the North of England.