Nick Fletcher, Conservative MP for Don Valley, announced via a video message that he was petitioning Doncaster Council and Network Rail to remove a worker’s cabin alongside Doncaster railway station, saying that the building ‘didn’t say positive things about Doncaster.’
Sharing the video, he wrote: “Let’s start to clean up Doncaster! I have contacted Network Rail to get this derelict graffiti ridden cabin removed. It’s an eyesore.”
But the clip, shared on the same day that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak faced angry calls to resign after being fined over lockdown parties at Downing Street, met with a furious response from constituents who accused him of failing to focus on ‘real issues’ such as crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
One said: “Are you taking the p***? The town centre’s in free fall and you’re on about a shed. You’re a joke.”
Another stormed: “Seriously? More s*** going off in town centre - smackheads, beggars. Try telling me that you haven't noticed and you’re going on about a shed. Jesus. It’s a joke.”
Another commented: “Nick - resign!!!! We need someone to sort the town centre out before a bloody shed,” while another added: “Is that your priority? Try venture into the town centre and see where the real work is needed.”
Another posted: “A tiny shed out of the way from everyone, try walking through the Frenchgate Interchange on a Saturday afternoon/evening and you'll see why people boycott the town.”
The cabin, adorned with Sheffield Wednesday football club graffifit, has sat alongside platform eight at the railway station for a number of years.
In his video Mr Fletcher said: “When we were fortunate enough to have the rail minister Wendy Morton come up to Doncaster, I met her at the station and one of the first things that I saw was this cabin here.
"It looks dreadful and I’m not sure how many years it has been here but the first thing I did, I was straight onto the council and Network Rail to see if we can’t get this removed.
"That’s not what we want to see in Doncaster – that doesn’t say positive things about Doncaster. Let’s really clean up Doncaster and start with things like this – it’s so important.”
But residents have called on Mr Fletcher to tackle rising gun and knife crime in Doncaster and one said: “How about clean the crime rate up, sort the knife crimes out. Get more police on the streets. Sort the robberies and street thefts out as Doncaster is in ruins.”
Another wrote: “That cabin with the Wednesday owl has been there years - it’s an iconic part of Doncaster.”
A further comment said: “What a joke – there's kids causing havoc round town and being violent and people begging in the street and this guy thinks a cabin needs sorting.
“How about focus on the actual issues of the town, other words do your job and see the state of the town in the day and night with constant muppets causing trouble and social services and police not pulling finger out.
"All you are bothering about is a f****** cabin next to tracks that’s been there that long no one cares anymore as trains usally park in front.”
Another added: “Concentrate on more important matters than a bloody shed!”
And another fumed: “You’re bothered about a f****** shed?
“The town centre is full of homeless people, spice heads, beggars, and you’re bothered about a f****** shed?
“Get a grip. Politicians don’t have a clue.”
And anothe ranted: “Is that it Nick? Is this “levelling up”?
“How about telling your bosses not to be having parties when we’re in lockdown and people are dying.
"How about asking them not to raise taxes rather than dodging their own? How about an enquiry into their Russian links? How about a proper climate change plan? How about jobs? What about DRI? It’s bursting at the seams! Where’s the funding?
"Where’s the apologies and reparations for people not being able to heat their homes? For having to use food banks? For the years and years of cuts and lies?
“But that’s right Nick, make sure you put something on social media that makes you look like you’re doing something. When what have you and your party really done? Nowt, except left our communities for dead, then tricked us into voting for you.”
It is not the first time the MP who replaced Labour’s Caroline Flint at the 2019 General Election has run into controversy.
In November last year, he admitted it was a ‘mistake’ to share the same selfie photo three times after he was accused of faking constituency visits while he was also riducled over a speech in which he said that a woman playing the role of Doctor Who was responsible for young men committing crime.