Letters, April 5

ENGLAND has a fine tradition in terms of democracy.The power to choose who governs us is very precious indeed.

Over the last few years we have seen other nations across the world struggling to achieve democracy - in fact thousands have died in the cause, Burma and the Arab Spring being two recent cases. Their idea of democracy may differ a little from ours, but they want the choice to choose to the extend that they are dying for it.

What is very sad is to see how we in England are letting our freedom to choose slip away.

It is not obvious perhaps, but with nearly half our law being decided by Brussels, our free vote is counting for less and less in effect, we are slowly being governed by a foreign power. Do we really want this?

But it is closer to home than that.

Right now, you can vote for your elected council representative and you can vote for your mayor. Soon, we shall effectively vote for our police chief.

But wait, we are going to hold a referendum to vote away one of those freedom of choice. We are being asked to vote away our elected mayor.

This should not be an issue about Martin Winter or Peter Davies. It is an issue about democracy and the democratic right of the people of Doncaster.

Think hard before you vote, for if you vote to end the mayoral system, you will be giving up an element of personal power. You may be playing into the politicians’ hands.

You have nothing to lose in keeping your choice, a lot to lose in giving it up.

Guy Aston, Victorian Crescent, Doncaster

We think care home is fine

IN response to your article headed “Care Home is warned to raise its standards” which appeared in last Thursday’s Free Press,

My mother has resided in this care home from the time it was opened four years ago. During this time my family and I have visited several times a week, at varying times, and we have never observed any dereliction of duty from either the care or the nursing staff.

I am kept informed either by telephone or in person at all times if my mother is ill, or suffers a change in her condition, Alzheimers. If I was not satisfied as to the standard of care provided, I would have immediately removed my mother to another care home.

I have never witnessed any incidents of lack of care – indeed, when any of the residents have suffered a fall, etc (as my mother did recently) there was immediately good nursing practice put into effect, and carers immediately summoned nursing care, which was provided within seconds.

It may well be that there have been failings as regards to written documentation, but I suspect this is more due to attention paid to residents, rather than time spent on paperwork.

I personally have witnessed staff spending a great deal of time over form filling and paperwork, and have thought that time would have been better spent on time with the residents, but I do appreciate the red tape is an obligatory requirement.

It does seem to me that the only problem at the Royal is incomplete paperwork, and not incomplete care. As to criticism of nursing care, I can honestly say I have never encountered more committed individuals who always do the best for the patients in their care. As to carers, likewise. I am satisfied that the Royal appoints the best people for the care environment and I have no complaints here.

Mrs C D Brough, Ravenswood Drive, Auckley

Farmers will grow food

WITH reference to Shaun Beal’s letter in last week’s DFP, let me assure him that farmers will be growing food, rather than maize for the power plant as food crop prices are increasing.

So unless the energy plant offers prices for maize above world market prices so it pays more than growing food then local farmers will not be supplying it.

More likely cheap GM maize will come in from South America to fuel it while it runs on green grants paid for by our taxes.

Food prices are going up as the demand for food increases and millions of people round the world are starving. Our government’s answer? They encourage growing crops for fuel instead of food. Genius.

Will Shaw (UKIP), Grange Farm, Old Denaby

Time to end all nighters

OVER the past decades our first class market town, full of a variety of day and evening entertainment that attracted shoppers and visitors from Sheffield, Leeds and other locations has turned into a single-purpose overnight boozing club.

Since National Service was done away with, generations after generations have grown up with less and less instilled discipline, we have long reached a stage where many parents have no idea what discipline is so how can they control their kids.Schools stopped trying after teachers started being threatened by parents, something needs to change and the sooner the better.

I am not advocating bringing back National Service, but it would not harm if personnel leaving the Forces found work teaching personal and social disciplines in our schools.

Teenagers, some of them underage, are going out around 10pm and returning home about 4am and sleeping through till 1pm.

Teenagers with the possibility of a good education, throwing it away because mates who have given up are having a better night life.

Some of the under-aged are not drinking but are just enjoying the night life.

A nightlife that for them is detrimental by beginning too late and going on for too long. Let’s get the evening life back to starting earlier and finishing before midnight, for the sake of the next generation.

Monty Cuthbert, (Liberal Democrat Candidate), Bessacarr Lane

Where were the members?

ON March 27, I attended a meeting of the town’s Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel, the agenda for which listed 11 councillors who would have discussed the subject matter.

As it happened the ‘Keepmoat Stadium’ was discussed by five councillors as six councillors failed to attend this extraordinary meeting whilst retaining their basic allowance.

Are these six councillors not surplus to public requirements and fleecing the taxpayers of Doncaster by riding on this ‘gravy train’?

Maurice Field (taxpayer) Kings Road, Doncaster

Diary is on the wrong track

I WRITE as a Doncastrian born and bred who is still rather proud of this town, its long history, its resilience and its great potential.

I am fully aware of the problems that have arisen in the town over the last decade or so, and pleased by the way we have bounced back with increasing pride in the town.

The Free Press has grown in stature in recent years too, and has played an important part in the town’s increased confidence. It now reflects the professionalism shown elsewhere in the town, and is a great ambassador for its people. I know it is read throughout the country and therefore it carries a responsibility to Doncaster’s people for its content. Your editorials often speak up for the town’s future and growth opportunities.

It is therefore with great disappointment that I read the latest “Donny Diary” offering. Whilst I fully understand that the diarist’s views are not necessarily your editorial views, the column is usually positioned close to your own column and there is therefore a level of association.

The latest column praises the town’s nightlife with these phrases: “rip-roaring night out”, but “ not full of people drinking G&T’s and Pimms”, and most disturbingly “We should be proud of the wild nights in our pubs” and worse of all: “whether or not families feel comfortable walking around is not really a big deal if you ask me”.

Doncaster town centre should be the place to walk around safely at night without harassment. We should all work towards a safer and more family-friendly town centre environment, and not actively promote more rip-roaring nights out leading to more anti-social behaviour as apparently advocated by this ill-considered article.

If I were a potential investor or employer thinking about locating to this town, I would be alarmed to read such an article. It would cause me to wonder whether people in the town was really serious about its future.

Russ Pinder, Cantley Lane, Doncaster

Concern over TB advice

I READ with some concern in last week’s Free Press of a Doncaster schoolchild contracting TB with the possibility of this virus being unintentionally passed on to other pupils.

I understand from information that the advice given to schoolchildren in some schools is not to bring handkerchiefs to school as it is unwise for a pupil to have a contaminated piece of material in his or her pocket.

They are advised if needing to cough or sneeze to simply place the back of their hand over their mouth, or request a tissue from the teacher, unfortunately as sneezes can come on and be over in seconds, such a request would probably be too late to be of any use in preventing the rapid spread of any germs.

I remember the very forceful advice given during the last war, and that was; ‘coughs and sneezes spread diseases’ so trap your germs in a handkerchief. Not please, just do it.

I would imagine if that was seen as brilliant advice then, which it was, the same advice from our teachers to their pupils would still be today.

Francis McKone, The Boulevard, Edenthorpe

I’ll miss these towers

THEY did it on April Fool’s Day. The first cooling tower at Barnby Dun Power Station has gone. I have lived in Barnby Dun for 45 years. The cooling towers were there when I moved into my bungalow. What a blow now the are finally being taken down. How will I find my way home? Be it on foot, bicycle or car, you always knew where you were, as the cooling towers were a wonderful landmark. I will miss my dear friends as from all around my bungalow I could always see them.

I have taken photographs through the years, as the sunsets were phenomenal behind the towers.

On Saturday, March 31, at 8.26pm, I took my last as I walked along High Street, (not knowing they were to be blown the next morning). Farewell my friend.

I am so sad what will I be like when five more go?

On the bright side we are to get a new power station which will do more good than out faithful but obsolete towers. They will be sadly missed not only by me but by lots of our villagers

Ann Matters-Angel, Marlowe Road, Barnby Dun