Free Press readers’ have their say

Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Determined hospital staff are doing a great job but please choose wisely

As I’m sure you are aware many hospitals across the country are experiencing high demand for emergency care due to the additional pressures that winter time brings, and this too has been the case at Doncaster and Bassetlaw hospitals.
As chief executive, I wanted to express my sincere appreciation to our staff, volunteers and partner agencies all of whom have gone that extra mile to make sure that all our patients have been seen and are receiving the right care, by the right team.

The sheer determination of our staff to give patients the highest standards of care under such pressure has been exceptional. I am very proud to be part of such a dedicated and talented team.

The whole health and social care community pulled together and all played their part in keeping services running effectively. Thank you to DMBC social services, Doncaster CCG, local GPs and Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust for all your support to help ease the pressure on our emergency department during this busy time.

I am conscious, however, that winter has many more weeks to run and therefore it remains essential that the people of Doncaster continue to choose wisely and seek advice from general practitioners, pharmacies and the NHS Advice Line 111, which helps our emergency staff concentrate on the seriously ill patients.

Mike Pinkerton, Chief executive, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Pit loan is great news

What fantastic news that Hatfield Colliery has secured £8 million in funding, keeping jobs in the Hatfield area until the summer of 2016. 
Usually mining communities are synonymous the Labour party, so what a turn around for the ConDem coalition government to come to the rescue, not forgetting the help, already gratefully received, from the mineworkers’ own union.

As much as I feel that I ought to thank the current government for this loan, I simply can’t. I remember the devastation that the Thatcher government brought to the mining industry. 
Our country may recover from the short sighted acts on both sides of the miners’ strike, but the wounds may never heal. 
It’s also time for our present government to realise that they cannot simply ‘build’ our country out of recession. You can build as many houses as you like, but if people don’t have jobs how can they afford them? Putting the cart before the horse might be a good yard stick here.

This brings me to my next point. We had a Labour government in power for a 13 year period and you must ask yourselves the question, “During all that time why did that government do little or nothing to invest in the British coal industry?” 
We are now down to our three last deep mine pits, yet we are still importing low grade coal from all over the world. 
You may say it is a lot cheaper than the coal we can mine for ourselves, but is it really when you add in the social costs? 
Also, it wasn’t just the mines that closed, it was also the supporting industries. Who remembers Mining Supplies on Carr Hill, and all the ex-employees who have had to rely on benefits to survive?

Now whenever a new venture opens, be it a warehouse or a factory, we have our three local MPs, backed up by the Mayor of Doncaster, shouting from the roof tops that they have brought wealth and prosperity to our town. 
We are told that there will be an abundance of jobs. Indeed, if plans go through for all the new cinemas that are in the pipeline we might have to start to import people to fill them all.

We were promised thousands of jobs at Robin Hood Airport but they haven’t appeared yet. We were promised thousands of new apprenticeships.
Isn’t it time to stop giving promises about providing work to the residents of Doncaster and get us jobs? Real jobs, not zero hour contracts.

Mick Glynn, Hatfield Town Councillor (UKIP), Doncaster Road, Hatfield

Dismay at cleaning axe

I felt a cultural eagle had finally landed in Doncaster when I read about plans for a new cinmema complex and the possible re-opening of the Grand Theatre.
To my dismay I then read that the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive plans to deter visitors from coming into town by closing the travel centre, scrapping paper timetbales and reducing cleaning at the Frenchgate Interchange.
No visitor will want to wander around a scruffy bus station unable to ask for assistance.
Our interchange should be a bright, clean and cheerful place where there is plenty of friendly staff to help people, providing an attractive service for visitors.
SYPTE should be helping Doncaster and other towns to develop tourism, not ruin it.

Harry Santiuste, Coningsburgh Road, Edenthorpe

Sign our petition

I invite all Doncaster Free Press readers to back the Love the Bus Pass petition, supported by tens of thousands of people, hundreds of local groups, and National Pensioners’ Convention.

Strictly non-partisan, the campaign aims to get all parties to pledge before the general election that, if elected to power on May 7, they will retain the England concessionary bus pass for older, blind and disabled people as statutory universal entitlement, free at the point of use.

If Love the Bus Pass is news to you, please make your voice heard and sign up by early March, when we deliver another 100,000 signatures to No 10 to make 250,000 all told.

To date, no political party has made a clear and unequivocal commitment to retaining the bus pass in its present form.

In fact, high-ranking coalition politicians began to call for ‘reform’ as early as 2011, starting with Eric Pickles’s protégé Brandon Lewis – since fast-tracked to ministerial office – who wrote in Conservative Home that the scheme had never been ‘affordable,’ albeit this was something his party hadn’t wished to come out with before the 2010 general election for fear for ‘alarming’ voters.

Nick Clegg then called for a ban on millionaires joy-riding on buses for free, which would save next to nothing – millionaires making few, if any, bus trips.

We must ensure all politicians understand that they attack the bus pass at their electoral peril. Readers may request petition forms and information either by e-mail (; by phone, giving or leaving name and address, 01922 641084 or 448331; or post 46 Winn House, Walsall, WS2 8NW.

Richard Worrall, Love The Buss Pass petition

Show your support

Many people will be making their New Year resolutions and planning to make a difference, either for themselves or for others.
Whatever the reason – be it getting fit, participating in a sporting event, signing-up for a once-in-a-lifetime challenge, The Children’s Trust would love to hear from you.

We are the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury, helping them to make the best recovery possible after a serious accident or illness.

The Children’s Trust has lots of fundraising activities taking place during the year. We have places available in many famous running events – including half and full marathons.

For those of you who are enthusiastic about taking on a special challenge, an 18-day Everest Base Camp Trek should tick the box. Alternatively, if you are looking for a special event that will appeal to supercar enthusiasts and offer lots of entertainment for all the family, then The Supercar Event, held at Dunsfold Park – home of the famous Top Gear track - on June 20 and 21 - is an event not to be missed.
For further details visit:

Katie Roberts, Head of Voluntary Fundraising, The Children’s Trust

Children need help

I ask your readers to consider volunteering with Barnardo’s in 2015.

Barnardo’s works with some of the UK’s most disadvantaged children whose families are struggling to make ends meet and who will be facing unimaginable hardship in 2015.

We need help from people across Doncaster to make a difference to the lives of these vulnerable children. With your support we can be there when we are needed most and turn young lives around.

Readers can download packs at

Steve Oversby, Barnardo’s Director in Yorkshire