Letters, 31, March 31, 2011

RE: the ‘Decent Homes’ scheme and the renovation of my flat on the St James Estate in Balby, I have experienced four weeks of discomfort,

The renovation work that has been carried out is very good.The process involved has been way below what any civilised human being should be expected to endure.

The building work involved my having to either cover up, box, bag or have my possessions removed to storage and sit in my flat, which had been made almost uninhabitable, for hours on end until the workmen designated to do a job - be it either plumbing; tiling, window replacement, re-wiring, painting or some other small task (which, because of my boredom and stress, I have now forgotten due to the fact that my whole being had been so outrageously invaded) turned up.

Although I must point out that the workmen on the site, who are under a great deal of stress themselves, did their best to accommodate me, I still have to ask: why was such a colossal amount of work carried out in one go?

Why, I have to ask, was this work not staggered so that it could minimise the large amount of inconvenience and stress that I’m sure the people who planned this mass renovation must have known it would incur? As anybody will agree any renovation on their home brings with it a lot of inconvenience which, although irritable, has to be endured,

However in this case, given the amount of work that was carried out in my flat, that involved every room in my home being gutted, and as a result, made almost inaccessible, I can only say that I found the strategy that the building firm employed intolerable and intrusive.

The reality is that I have been living on a building site for the last four weeks and it has cost me a lot regarding certain things which I cannot go into in this letter, but as far as I’m, concerned when it comes the decent homes scheme, I, without any doubt whatsoever, wish that they hadn’t bothered.

Timothy Neylan, St James Estate, Balby

My kind of care home

I HAVE just returned from a wonderful day spent at a private nursing care home in Thorne, Bennfield House. I was invited to a concert there arranged for residents, relatives and friends and I was entertained by the antics of an actor from the professional ‘Frantic Theatre’ group, a one man new-time music hall performer.

What a joy watching dementia patients become totally involved, singing and moving to the music, being encouraged by a man who certainly knows how to bring out the best in those less privileged. Wine, cordials, tea and coffee were available throughout the day and a scrumptious buffet was served for lunch. I emptied my purse buying raffle and tombola tickets before finally winning a prize, but it was all worth it for an unforgettable day.

Until today, care homes have left a bad taste in my mouth, and I have visited several. A recent Panorama special report highlighted the unhappy state of affairs within the care system.

I am a pensioner and worry that one day I might have to rely upon someone else when I lose my independence, a thought I do not relish, but after spending a day at Bennfield House, surprise, surprise- I have changed my opinion.

Jean Elliott, Serendipity, Bellrope Acre, Armthorpe

Thank you to helpers

I WOULD like to thank all the kind people who helped my husband and I on Friday, March 18, in the Frenchgate Centre.

He fell whilst on the escalator and the prompt attention of everyone who came to our aid was second to none. One lady immediately stopped the escalator, which was very quick. It saved a lot of worry about other people getting hurt. The security staff were there immediately to help.

Once again, thank you to all concerned, I am pleased to say he didn’t have any after-effects.

Mrs Gilligan, Common Lane, Auckley

More good Samaritans

MAY I take this opportunity to thank the retired A & E nurse and the three gents who came to my rescue on March 8 at the front of the Corn Exchange after I fell down the two steps that go down to the public seating area.

They helped, under the guidance of the ex nurse, to lift me off the ground to a sitting position to help relieve the excruciating pain in my left knee, which was a replacement knee some 16 years ago,

May I inform these really good people that at x-ray the knee was ok. I was taken to Tickhill Road hospital, the Hawthorn ward, where I was given expert attention from a very dedicated staff. No one could have wished for more. After ten days I am now at home having physiotherapy.

My many thanks to all the people I have mentioned

Mr W Batty (address supplied)

Sir David was good journalism

MY partner and I are regular visitors to friends living in the city.

One of the highlights of any visit has always been the pleasure of reading Sir David Danum’s column.

You can imagine, then, what a disappointment it was on our most recent visit to find no sign in the paper of our favourite old curmudgeon, and to be told that he seems to have vanished without trace.

Sir David’s column was blazingly good journalism – intelligent, witty and incisive. He always had us laughing out loud, as well as nodding our heads vigorously in agreement with his spot-on snipes at the less savoury aspects of Donny life and his penetrating appraisals of wider issues.

If a topic needed a sound thrashing, Sir David was always the man to give it one it would never forget.

The replacement “Donny Diary” has, sadly, none of these qualities. By comparison, its subject matter is lacklustre, its conclusions insipid and its style bland and colourless. It is, quite frankly, lame.

Please ditch this sloppily-written mush immediately and bring back Sir David – he is sorely missed!

Judi John, Fairfield Gardens, London

Rabbit attackers are scum

AFTER reading the appalling story about 12 rabbits being stamped to death (DFP March 24, 2011), I really hope they catch the scumbag who did this.

As a rabbit lover it sickens me to imagine their terror and suffering. My heart goes out Mr Lanelly and I hope he manages to get over this terrible shock. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like the chance to stamp all over the culprit, preferably in hobnailed boots.

Alison Vainlo, Dorset Crescent, Intake

See how MPs vote on Europe

IN a week in which the long-suffering British taxpayer was dragged closer to paying out up to £3.4bn of money we haven’t got to bale out Portugal I discovered a useful tool for local readers with internet access, called The People’s Pledge www.peoplespledge.org

This (very) cross-party movement supports only voting at the next election for prospective MPs who agree to work, and themselves vote, for a binding referendum on our EU membership. By clicking on the tab “How Your MP Votes”, and entering your post code, you can see how the person whose job it is to represent you has voted on EU issues.

I have the pleasure of being represented by Labour’s Chief Whip Miss Winterton. Miss Winterton’s voting record shows that she is consistently, even slavishly, in favour of the EU. Given the terrible mess we are being dragged into as the euro sinks slowly into the west I wonder why?

Perhaps she would like to take a moment to explain why she thinks Doncaster’s taxpayers should be forced into borrowing extra billions only for it then to be given away to profligate euro-club members?

Mick Andrews, Thorne Road, Doncaster

Do we need a mayor?

I AM a 15 year old boy from Danum School and I am a member of Doncaster Town Moor Golf Club. I am writing to inform you what Mayor Peter Davies is doing.

He is spoiling beautiful land on the golf course.There are some lovely trees that are great for golf and he is just cutting them down, turning Town Moor into a football pitch.

The club house, that has been standing for over 100 years serving Doncaster Rovers Football Club and Town Moor Golf Club, has had its day and we would like a new club house. Mayor Davies and the council get their land to build on and we get a new club house in a better location.

I am not a big fan of libraries but I’ve borrowed a few books in my time and you don’t realise how useful and important public libraries are until you use one. Do we actually need a mayor?

Andrew Mee, Wheatley

A chippy in our back yard

I WAS horrified to see that No 7 Bass Terrace is being converted into a Fish and Chip Shop.

This is a conservation area and the last thing I am sure anyone wants to see is a fish and chip shop. Surely there are more than enough takeaway shops around without adding to all the smells and litter that now line our streets at night and early morning?

This is extremely unfair to all the surrounding properties which will have to suffer oily, greasy smells when sitting in their gardens and the degrading of what is one of our existing conservation areas.

Margaret Herbert, Edenthorpe

Death knell of the unions?

ON reading the minutes from various committees on Doncaster Council internet over the last three months, it seems to me that the union membership can no longer rely on the socialist group for their support any more.

If the same thing is happening in other authorities across the country the question is, ‘is this the death knell for the trade union members in the public service arena?’

Doncaster is now contemplating cutting their terms and conditions, holiday entitlement, sick pay and even wage reductions.

Large numbers of the high-earners have left by voluntary means with fat pay cheques, and now that they have been sorted, the low to middle-earners are having to take the brunt. If I remember rightly, was it not the trade union movement membership that started the Labour Party and is it not still the unions that plough millions of pounds of members money into its coffers to keep the party afloat?

If I were a member of any trade union in Doncaster Council then I would be looking seriously at what my monies were being spent on, and it would certainly not be going into Labour Party coffers.You should help the people that help you.

Brian Oxtaby, Aintree Avenue, Cantley