Letters, December 15

MY name is Zoe and I am one of the veterinary nurses that work at Beechwood Veterinary Hospital.

I am writing to inform you of a new initiative that we are currently running and we were hoping that you could help us spread the word.

Our practice has recently started a campaign called “feed a stray this Christmas”.

We aim to encourage our clients and members of the public to think about the animals that unfortunately won’t be with a loving family this Christmas time.

We are asking people to donate items such as food, blankets, bowls, toys, clothing, lead/collars, newspapers etc.

These items will then be distributed between Mayflower Sanctuary and the Cat Action Trust in Doncaster.

If we receive enough support and much needed donations from the kind people of Doncaster, then hopefully we will be able to keep this campaign running throughout the year.

A huge heartfelt thank you in advance from the animals of Doncaster.

All the staff at Beechwood Veterinary Hospital, 51 Bawtry Road, Doncaster. www.beechwoodvet.co.uk

National plan for war memorials

Although wars still make the news, armed conflict on a truly global scale has today been experienced by so few of us that the question arises: how do we keep our respect for all those who laid down their lives in two World Wars meaningful and relevant?

To answer that we must turn to the only part of our heritage that reminds us as a nation of those dark years, our war memorials.

Whatever form they take, most war memorials were erected between 1918 and 1925 with almost no formalisation in terms of financing, design, construction methods or siting.

In 1923, the War Memorials (Local Authorities’ Powers) Act gave Councils the power to direct public money at war memorial upkeep should they choose.

However, the act, which to this day remains the key piece of legislation, never compelled them to do so.

Today, not only do war memorials have to dovetail with the demands of 21st century living but the prospect of coping with their sheer numbers in terms of establishing some kind of priority of work required, including establishing precise ownership, is a nightmare scenario for most councils.

More so in the current economic climate.

The forthcoming centenary of the “Great War” in 2014-2018 is beginning to focus minds on how this can be marked.

If war memorial upkeep was made a national issue with finance, possibly in the form of a “National War Memorial Restoration Fund”, from Central Government, we could work toward the Centenary of the Armistice in November 2018 by creating the ultimate tribute; a national collection of pristine, safe and readable war memorials.

The fund would of course be taxpayers’ money but I believe that, for once, most taxpayers would be happy to see planned and sensible investment in this part of our heritage.

Visit www.clean2018.moonfruit.com for more details of my ideas.

Ray Thompson, South View Avenue, Brigg

Are councillors doing their job?

ON Tuesday, November 29, 2011, I personally attended a public meeting in the Doncaster College organised by the South Yorkshire Police Authority, at 6.30pm, at which only ONE councillor of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council attended.

As none of the other 62 councillors could not be bothered to attend this important public meeting, does their lack of community interest prove they are surplus to public requirements and not fit for the purpose for which they were elected, i.e. to represent the electorate who elected them!

Maurice Field, local government elector

Cheap crackers from the council

THANK you to the staff of the Mansion House for providing a lovely afternoon tea on the 6th.

I attended with my mother-in-law who is in a wheelchair. The staff could not have been more helpful.

However, we were a little disappointed with the room provided for this tea. Very little Christmas decoration was visible and very cheap crackers, bah humbug DMBC. Maybe my expectations were a little high.

S Munro, Hatfield

Has electorate been duped?

THE response by electoral services to my letter published last week requires further comment.

Is the council’s “What’s On” newspaper actually read by the electorate, if in fact received, or is it regarded by them as another piece of junk mail that they seem to be inundated with these days?

Also it would be interesting to know what percentage of the electorate actually visit council offices or the website?

More to the point, was the statement that calling a referendum ‘is not within the elected mayor’s power’. If this is the case why was it a manifesto pledge?

Regarding other pledges, is it within the mayor’s power to:

Reduce the number of councillors from 63 to 23? Surely the Electoral Commission’s responsibility?

Ensure police concentrate resources on catching criminals? The local police authority’s responsibility surely.

DMBC employees facing a potential 4% pay cut and the hundreds made redundant will be dubious of his pledge to ‘end malpractice and mismanagement in the council.’

His pledge to conduct a review of the A638 Quality Bus Corridor? The outcome of which is?

He states, ‘idiotic schemes like the civic and cultural Quarter will be abandoned’. Hmm, right.

He also states ‘councils should exist purely to provide key services efficiently . . . not to pursue costly, ill-conceived and misguided schemes at the constant expense and frustration of tax-payers’.

Town Moor, racing and felled trees spring to mind in light of the closure of many local libraries.

Why do I feel the electorate has been duped?

Martin Johnson, Meadow Croft, Edenthorpe