Letters, February 23

LIKE everyone I am shocked and saddened by the loss of the poor girl the other day. I also have a 13 year old daughter.

The reason I am contacting you is I think more emphasis should be reported on the lack of mental health support in Doncaster.

I have suffered from depression for a long time, it took me over four months to get to the stage of meeting a therapist for the first time, and that lasted 20 minutes as the building had to close at 4pm.

I think the mental health service should be on trial here also. It was only a matter of time.

Name and address supplied

Distorting the truth? No way

IN his letter last week Mr Brennan accuses me of distorting the truth. What I said was that there had been “a public consultation exercise which produced a 90% vote in favour of a referendum”.

That, Mr Brennan, is exactly what happened. It’s you who is distorting the truth.

And let’s be clear about the mayoral referendum. Doncaster council was legally obliged to conduct a consultation exercise with the public. And 90% of those who participated voted for a referendum.

So what would Mr Brennan have the council do? Ignore the results of the consultation like the mayor?

The mayor who campaigned for election on a promise to hold a referendum to get rid of the job, the mayor who has forgotten that promise now he’s got the job.

The current system is a disaster for the governance of Doncaster. The people of Doncaster vote overwhelmingly for Labour councillors (44 out of 63) but are saddled with a right-wing Mayor because of a ridiculous system of governance.

And it’s an expensive disaster. It costs council taxpayers £400,000 to hold a mayoral election.

I sincerely hope that people go out and vote in the referendum to get rid of this discredited system so that we can get on with the urgent task making the whole of the borough a better place to live.

David Holland, Mexborough Labour councillor

Confused over the referendum

I AM totally confused over the referendum that is going to be held this May in Doncaster asking us the public do we want to keep the elected mayoral system in Doncaster.

The issue of elected mayors is a national one and nearly every town and city in England will be asked to adopt the elected mayoral system that Doncaster already has.

We have the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservatives, David Cameron, giving his full support, we also have Robin Tillbrook the leader of the English Democrat party of which our mayor Peter Davies is a member, giving his full support, and last but by no means least we have our very own, Doncaster Labour MP and leader of the Labour party, Mr Ed Miliband also giving his full backing to the elected mayoral system.

Now this is where I become confused. Are there two Labour parties in England or just one?

Because despite Mr Miliband’s 100% support, it would appear that his own Labour Doncaster councillors are ignoring his views on this matter.

Would this suggest that the Labour party in Doncaster is split from the national Labour party’s thinking?

Why should Doncaster spend what could be up to £135,000 of rate payers’ money voting on a system we already have, and which could be very easily adopted nationwide.

Surely it would make more sense to wait and see how the rest of the country votes on this matter? 2013 is this mayoral election in Doncaster anyway so why not wait another year and incorporated a referendum at the same time.

Mick Glynn, town councillor, Doncaster Road, Hatfield

Let’s not go back to bad old days

SO Labour has finally got its way and we are to have a vote on having an elected mayor (it may cost the voters of Doncaster over £350,000).

Whilst other councils across the country are voting to have an elected mayor the Labour party in Doncaster want to take us back to the bad old days.

No doubt over the next few months they will be bombarding us with leaflets that if the mayor was elected by councillors and he didn’t do his job then the same councillors can remove him, but we all know a Labour council will not remove a Labour mayor no matter how bad they are just look back at the fiasco with Mr Winter.

Yes Peter Davies said we would have a referendum on having an elected mayor but he also said he wanted to reduce the number of councillors loudly opposed by the same Labour councillors who want the referendum.

He also said he wanted to reduce council tax by over 2 per cent what did Labour do they increased it by over 2 per cent.

So over the next few months we will get all the spin about how bad mayor Peter Davies has been but let us remember the reason we have an elected mayor is because of the way the Labour party behaved at the time of Martin Winter, so do we want to go back to the bad old days when DMBC was a laughing stock and we the voters had to pay for someone to come up from Westminster to sort it out - or do we the voters want a democratically elected mayor?

Martin Simpson, Wordsworth Ave, Campsall

Worst road in town is here

THE worst road in Doncaster has to be Tennyson Avenue, Thorne. This road is dangerous to the safety margin has been breached; cars damage springs, rip exhaust off and buckle their steering parts.

The Ambulance Service was called this month to a resident and was unable to use the road due to compacting snow and ice, otherwise the service wouldn’t even try to enter the road. This is due to the biggest pot holes you’ll see in Doncaster.

The council have washed their hands over this road, turn the other way when you speak about this road or laugh at what is being said, they don’t want to know.

The residents pay some of the highest council tax in Doncaster but get the least out of the council. I will not stop working with these residents until something is done.

In 2006/7 there was a programme on un-adopted roads, the residents have got letters to say this road was going to be brought up to standard then adopted - surely this was a contract and should have been adhered to.

Coun Eddie Dobbs, Lutterworth Drive, Adwick-le-Street

Thank you for braving the cold

I WOULD like to thank all the kind people in Doncaster and the children and grand-children who braved it down at Lakeside for the two weeks recently when the lake was frozen over.

I’m sure a lot of the ducks and swans would not have survived but for all the bread they received from the public. I walk my dog twice a day around the lake and I know people get a lot of pleasure from going down there in the nice weather but some days were really freezing and people had made a special effort to go and feed the wildlife.

Food is not cheap now and to go and buy loaves especially to feed the ducks was a really nice gesture.

I would also like to thank the person who came up with the brilliant idea of clearing the Asda/Dome roundabout of all the shrubbery so you can see across it from every angle now.

I am sure it will stop a few accidents and a lot of road rage at busy times.

Cheryl Hill, Langsett Court, Lakeside

Doncaster facts hard to swallow

HOW interesting it was to read all the snippets about Doncaster in th Free Press.

How great it would be if Doncaster was chosen to be given city status in the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

However while the council chiefs are priding themselves on the facts they have pinned their hopes on, it does say ‘little known snippets’.

Why do they not promote and support Doncaster on a continuous basis, not just when their needs are to be met. Remember ‘city status’ will bring in more money for them.

Doncaster with its links to the motorway and rail net work could/should be a boom town.

The deeper facts are, I’ve heard that Doncaster is known to be the worst town for animal cruelty, drug abuse, child neglect and the notorious ‘Donnygate scandal’.

You wouldn’t get a job with that on your CV now would you?

Mrs K E Betts, Station Road, Arksey

Driven barmy by poor bus service

IN order to keep an appointment in Doncaster last Thursday I decided, in view of the adverse weather conditions to use our two hourly bus service.

Being an infrequent bus user I asked at the bus station enquiry office, return times and was told 2.25pm at gate A6. I arrived early for this and watched a bus destined for Wakefield stop at gate A6 at 2.15pm and remain there until 2.30pm.

After a further ten minutes wait I returned to the enquiry office to query the none arrival only to be told that the driver of my intended bus, on seeing gate A6 blocked by the Wakefield bus, had used another gate. As no visual or audible notification of this was used, how could potential users of this service know?

I was then faced with a two hour wait or use an alternative service that would leave me with a half mile walk.

I took the latter option but found that the mobility limitations that 85 years impose made the half mile on untreated snow and ice capped footpaths a nightmare and evoked a huge sigh of relief when I arrived home in one piece. Needless to say, my infrequent user of this services category has now become none user.

John Vickers, Burghwallis Lane, Sutton

Any memories of the RAF days?

I AM recording the history of RAF Finningley and RAF Lindholme. I would like to ask if any of your readers have any old photographs, and air show programmes or any memories of the air bases, that I can use (they would all be returned) to incorporate into the books. Any information would be a great help.

Mr J Harris, 1 Willow Drive, Edlington, Doncaster, DN12 1ST

Maternity wing staffed by stars

I JUST wanted to write a few lines re Doncaster’s maternity ward.

I gave birth to a baby boy on February 15 and was so impressed with the experience that came from this ward. People are so quick to complain when they receive a poor service so I thought I would commend them on such an excellent service.

I had great difficulty feeding my baby, and at a time when a first-time mum will be feeling extremely vulnerable the midwives and staff really gave me the support a new mum needs.

There were a range of age groups in the staff all having different techniques and styles in which I tried all, they were so patient with me constantly reassuring me it was nothing I was doing. There was no pressure, (I had been warned midwives can pressurise you to breast feed) or judgement as we discussed alternative options, just amazing support.

In the end I did leave the hospital breast feeding my little boy and can not thank the midwives enough.

So thanks again, a very happy new mum.

Jo Costello, Epworth

Abandoned horse heartbreak

I FELT I had to write and comment on the story you ran last week about the poor abandoned horse that died.

How someone could just dump an animal and leave it to die is so cruel. Could the owner not have contacted one of the many horse charities who could have given the animal shelter, care and food?

The poor horse must have been terrified and suffered horribly.

How callous of the owner to place such little value on this horse’s life. The image of her lying dead at the side of the road will haunt me forever.

She died alone and frightened - it makes me sick to see such cruelty.

Julie Robson, Glen Road, Branton