Letters, 18 September 2014

Sharon Revill, a volunteer with Riding for the Disabled Association,  and her horse JoJo, who won several rosettes at the Open Horse Show.
Sharon Revill, a volunteer with Riding for the Disabled Association, and her horse JoJo, who won several rosettes at the Open Horse Show.

Free Press readers have their say

If we want fracking then make the firms partly owned by the public

Although hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom has been common in North Sea oil and gas fields since the late 1970s, and has been used in about 200 British onshore oil and gas wells since the early 1980s, the technique did not attract public attention until its use was proposed for onshore shale gas wells in 2007.

The European Union has also issued an approval for fracking under certain conditions from January 2014. It recognises that it can be an economic boost but there is a need to not repeat the pollution incidents that have occurred in the USA.

The process was suspended in the UK between June 2011 and April 2012 after triggering minor earthquakes, but a report into the incidents concluded that earthquake risk was minimal, and recommended the process be given nationwide clearance. This doesn’t mean there won’t be any further earth earthquakes or no gas contamination of our aquifer water supplies.

Doncaster’s MPs should call a meeting to listen to their constituents’ concerns and act on their wishes as to whether or not fracking should or shouldn’t take place in and around Doncaster as a whole.

If it’s a no to fracking then our MPs must openly object in Parliament espousing their constituents’ wishes and if not they should not be in office.

If fracking goes ahead then the Government should take a minimum 45 per cent share of the fracking companies, money gained should go into a UK sovereign fund to help maintain our essential services and reduce National Insurance payments.

Eddie Storey, Huntington Street, Bentley

Listen to our views

I read with amazement the article on Fracking, DFP September 11, and in particular the remarks made by two Labour MPs, John Mann and Caroline Flint, regarding the possible effects fracking may have.
They stated that “the wishers of residents must be paramount”. 
I would like to take Ms Flint back to when the residents of Lindholme village, Red House park, Hatfield Woodhouse and Hatfield along with other surrounding areas, were seeking her support when they were opposing Scottish Power’s plans to store massive amounts of natural gas underground beneath Lindholme village.

Ms Flint pre-empted the planning application by appearing in a newspaper article wearing a hard hat and declaring her support for the proposed gas field. This was before residents had the chance to ask for her help in the matter.

This now brings us to what support our three Doncaster Labour MPs, Miliband, Winterton and Flint, gave to the 27,000 residents who signed the Care home petition? They stood back and let it happen. 
What have our MPs done regarding the influx of Roma immigrants who are taking over Hexthorpe and making it a virtual, no go area? They seem powerless to help anyone, yet coming up to a general election you can bet they will once again promise the residents of Doncaster the earth.
People of Doncaster take a look around, for the last four years while our three MPs have been in virtual hibernation the number of immigrants in our town are now at record levels. If at the next general election you want your “wishes to be paramount” vote with your head.

Mick Glynn, Hatfield town councillor, Doncaster Road, Hatfield

We’re doing our jobs

We feel that after numerous letters to your paper within the letters pages where constant bombardments of unfactual accusations are printed, on many occasions from a member of the community, we need to respond.

Mr Storey, of Huntington Street, states that the Bentley ward members are invisible and that we do not carry out our duties.

We are in the community, we are working hard on projects to make a safer, healthier community. We do wish to be seen, so if you see us say hello as we may not always see you.

People whose complaints we have undertaken, or are undertaking know of us, pople who we deal with in community-based meetings and groups know who we are. A lot of people within the larger community know who we are, therefore if issues are arising please do feel to let us know. We will deal with all concerns.

Should residents within Bentley have issues that they feel they need to discuss with us we are also available within Bentley Library for people to make appointments.

We hold monthly surgeries on the last Saturday of the month. Our contact information is on the Doncaster Council website.

We undertake weekly walk rounds on estates, attend events and meetings.

With all this in mind, we find that Mr Storey is doing nothing but his own electioneering, trying to discredit the work we do for his own political gains.

Should Mr Storey wish to view our diaries, I’m sure we could oblige as we are accountable to the community and take great pride in our commitment.

Charlie Hogarth, Frank Jacksion and Jane Nightingale, Bentley ward Labour councillors

Councillors are visible

Politics doesn’t bother me much, what does is the truth, and I have to stand up in response to Mr Storey’s letter last week and the accusation that we never see Labour councillors in Bentley and that they are hard to contact.
I work in the centre of Bentley, and to get to work I walk daily past Bentley Library, were I see both of the long-term serving Bentley councillors, Charlie Hogarth and Jane Nightingale doing voluntary work in the library to keep it open.
On my return I see them again at the library doing a surgery. I see Charlie down at the miners’ welfare regularly where for many years he has given up his time for free, supporting the good causes that the welfare supports like kids cricket and football teams.
I also know how much hard work went in to their heroic defence against the unsuitable traveller site planning application next to Cementation pond, which despite planning office support, they got refused. To knock holes in the planning office support for the application, which is written and supported by full time professional planners takes hard work and substance, and it will be a good lesson to learn for Mr Storey if he intends to stand again next May for which ever party he hasn’t already done for.
I can’t help feel that maybe his letter was more political mud throwing then substance. It is easy to get the councillors’ numbers from the council site or the switchboard, and they respond to such enquiries.

If you wish to criticise their political party policies then please do so, with substance, argument and openness. Not with untruths and alternative agendas.

Dean Morling, Truman Street, Bentley

We’ve heard it all before

In last week’s DFP letters B Newbold’s comments on DMBC implementing landlord licensing - ‘forget it’.

As far back as 1996 this was on the agenda from New Deal for Communities’ days when the council asked us what we would like to see. This was raised again in 2003, 2009 and now again in 2014 – and where are we now? This landlord scheme is that it will never get off the ground.

Whileever we have a total Labour cabinet the voters of Doncaster have not a prayer of any help. The landlords could help without being prompted. Just get your houses painted and tidied up that would help us. 
Where’s our councillors when you need them. Forgot not voting time yet. If the council had listened to the people who voted we would not have a friction Hexthorpe and other areas with the touch paper ready to be lit.

Lionel Overon, Doncaster First Independents group, Childers Street, Hyde Park

Thanks for the support

On behalf of the Rossington Hall Riding for the Disabled Association, I’d like to thank firstly, Arthur Reeve and his band of merry men and women for raising the fantastic sum of £1,400 for us at their annual charity angling match at Sykehouse Fisheries Ltd. 
Secondly, the trainers, volunteers and judges who organised the Open Horse Show at the RDA, Northern Racing College. Not only did they provide a great day out for the riders and horses, but they raised over £1,200 for our funds. 
Together these amounts will pay for most of our horses feed bill for the year. As the group is totally self-sufficient we rely on fundraising to keep the facility running - so we are grateful for every penny raised. 
Further details of how you can help can be found at www.rdarossington.co.uk

Sandra Crabtree, RDA trustee/volunteer


Rises will harm trade

I have just returned from Diss in Norfolk where the council have reduced parking charges and made the first hour free. The result? A once declining town centre is now buzzing.

Anti-car DMBC’s plan to on how to attract more visitors seems to be an increase in parking charges of between 25 per cent (£1.60 to £2.00) and 38 per cent (£2.90 to £4.00) It makes the MPs’ nine per cent pay rise look reasonable.

I feel very sorry for our local traders. The owners of Meadowhall must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Brian Newbold,

School Walk, Old Edlington


Drugs the real issue

Doncaster’s health chiefs need to sober up and step into the real world following their fictitious claim that alcohol related incidents contribute 2,000-plus A&E admissions to DRI.

These incidents are recorded on circumstantial evidence, and on people’s say so. The fact is that alcohol is masksing a whole cocktail of reasons for the admissions. From everything from steroids, the epidemic that is cocaine and legal highs, to social breakdown and a distinct lack of moral fibre and personal responsibility, it is more socially acceptable to blame just the alcohol.

Now you are either very naive, or are deliberately ignoring the other factors that contribute to A&E alcohol admissions, namely because they are not taxable.

Behind these statistics is an unconvenient truth, a fact, that cannot be ignored, although pen pushers try too, to carry on justifying the 40 per cent tax hike on alcohol that we’ve seen since 2004, and probably their high paid jobs.

Britons have been drinking less every year since 2002. Binge drinking is also falling and, 50 per cent more is consumed in the off-trade (supermarkets/shops) then the on-trade (pubs/clubs), so more and more stop at home drinking.

Bruises, cuts, head injuries and sprains sound like Saturday night fight night around town, not the mid-week wino’s enjoying a cheeky glass.

I’ve been a landlord all my adult life, and if you did a survey of the borough’s landlords they will say the same as I do - the biggest factor that causes trouble, fights, arrests and A&E admissions is without a question the drug epidemic we have which is cocaine use. It is that widespread amongst young males it’s freighting, and it’s use is spreading.

This is backed up by stats, as personal drug consumption is at an all time high, whilst alcohol consumption is at a decade low.

If you take a blood sample off everyone that gets admitted to A&E from alcohol, let the police do the same for drunk and disorderly and arrests. I will bet my right arm on it, that 50 per cent plus, will have more than alcohol in there system.

Ryan Morling, Danesway, Scawthorpe

Don’t wash with me

After some 50 years of reading UK newspapers, I would occasionally come across this same message by the left-leaning newspapers: ‘It’s the sign of a decent country that cares for the elderly and infirm’, or words to that effect.

Since last autumn though, this old homily has suffered a complete reversal. It was then that we heard of the planned closure of care homes in Doncaster.

Why, I ask myself, would a Labour council, do this and why now? The only answer that immediately came to mind was that as they were making cuts decreed by a ‘Tory-led Government’ as the socialists call the coalition, they were willing to use the elderly and infirm in their plot to be within budget and then blame the ‘Tories’ in a despicable ‘double-whammy’.

I don’t really know, but it’s a far cry from the moral high ground we are accustomed to a Labour party taking, usually admonishing the ‘evil Tories’.

But whatever the reason it doesn’t wash with me.

Pete Day, Denaby

Our Leger operation

The policing of the St Leger Festival 2014 was a 10 day operation which started the Doncaster Live music event.

It was an operation involving many officers and support staff from both the police and local authority.

Anti-social behaviour has been one of the main complaints received by police. In particular, we have had reports of people urinating in gardens along Bennetthorpe and the surrounding streets, something which causes great distress to residents.

In response, additional resources patrolled the area this year.

And while it is accepted the police alone can’t totally stop anti-social behaviour of this type, we are aware of it and tackling it accordingly to achieve a reduction.

Each evening a street briefing was held between the police and licensees to discuss any incidents that occurred during the day’s racing and to monitor the crowd dynamics.

The Doncaster Racecourse itself works closely with South Yorkshire Police and all key partners to ensure the event was safe and successful for all involved.

And planning is already underway for the 2015 festival.

Sgt Steve Butler, South Yorkshire Police