Letters, February 24, 2011

THE mayor announced recently that any changes to the library service would be deferred for 12 months.

I believe that this decision was mainly due to the 15,000 strong petition to stop the library closures.

A big thank you to all the shops in the communities and town centre who helped with the petitions and putting up supportive posters in their windows.

Five Labour councillors and the Great North Road independent councillors also asked for a special meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee, to discuss the library service.

The communities need to ensure that Doncaster residents are not faced with the same problem in 12 months time. If you are interested in joining the ongoing libraries campaign, please contact John Sheppard at johnshep50@talktalk.net

Doug Wright, Chantry Close, Cantley

Time to kill off the sacred cows

I AM afraid that the ‘sacred cows’ of the Labour party throughout the country, are being given support before the traditional local government services which are funded locally, for the benefit and needs of the local indigenous population, by their consent.

It is convenient to forget that the authority has two separate sources of income: the community charge and the government grant. Therefore, the first call on the community charge should be to support the local established services which do not attract a government grant. The community charge continues to increase. If the government grant is reduced, then the services maintained by that grant should be cut or at least managed within the grant available.

As most of the government grant is in support of ‘sacred cows’ for political advantage; it is wise publicity to divert attention onto libraries and care of the elderly which are local initiatives and paid for locally. To do otherwise would be an admission that the politicians are not doing their job properly and only supporting their ego and pockets.

H L Marshall, Muirhead Avenue, Doncaster

Have you seen my lost bags?

LAST Friday, whilst in Doncaster town centre, I dropped my spare shopping bags between the market and TJ Hughes. I retraced my steps but could not find them. The outer one has fuschia pink owls printed on it. Inside was a Redwings bag. They are of sentimental value to me as my daughter bought me the owl bag. I would very much like to have them returned to me by any person who may have picked them up,

Liz Dobbin, Pinfold Lane, Fishlake

Editor’s note: Anyone who can help Mrs Dobbin can contact her via the Free Press.

Another view of public meeting

RE ‘Unsatisfactory public meeting’ (Freeviews, February 17).

The event was advertised as a meeting of people who are interested in starting a group with aims of improving the natural environment in and around the Lakeside, promoting a habitat suitable for breeding birds and other wildlife and enhancing the environment on and around the lake in the Lakeside area.

A small group has already had several meetings with DMBC employees who have a responsibility for the Lakeside area. They have been extremely helpful and supportive of the group. They kindly offered the meeting room at Nether Hall because it was available until 7pm and there would be no charge incurred for the group, which currently has no funds.

The aim of the meeting on February 10 was to formally set up the group, elect officers to form a management committee and to agree a constitution in order to be able to apply for charity status and set up a bank account. Following the essential administration part of the meeting, those present were asked if there were any more ideas of what we could do in future to improve the Lakeside. These were discussed, noted and will contribute to be our action plan.

It must be stated that the group, now called Doncaster Lakeside Action Group, is action for rather than against. Our promise is to look forward to, improve and to add to the planting in the area in order to attract increased numbers of invertebrates, butterflies, etc, as well as to provide nesting material and sites for nesting birds. We plan to monitor and record flora and fauna around the lake in coming years. It is also hoped to develop the area for educational purposes too, with information boards for Lakeside users and maybe visits from school groups etc, so that they can see what a fantastic wildlife haven we have within a short distance of Doncaster Town Centre.

It is planned to have regular social walks around the lake on the second Sunday of the month. The first one is on March 13, meeting at 10am at the steps near the Keepmoat Stadium and Lakeside Outlet.

Christine Mattinson (Chairperson).

Tourism? Get real, councillor!

IN reply to Coun Ken Keegan regarding the benefits of proposed 500 boat marina in Stainforth. Get real, councillor. Are you expecting an Armada of tourists to come down the canal? Don’t make me laugh. A pub? Just have a walk round the village, Ken, most of the pubs and clubs have shut down. Housing? These will probably be town houses well above the cost local people can afford. Shops? In the main street in Stainforth, out of 27 shops, ten are now fast food takeaways with another on the way. What will you allow to become another takeaway next, councillor – the recently closed Midland Bank building, perhaps the Library when it closes? One councillor at a meeting I attended said it is better to have another takeaway than an empty shop. No it isn’t, councillor, Doncaster has one of the highest obesity rates in the country, enough is enough.

What about the discarded litter these premises create?

I am ashamed when I walk round the village and see the filthy streets. Also what a disgrace that dog droppings are all over the pavements on Thorne Road past two schools and along Church Road past the school. Litter bags are very cheap.

Finally, Coun Keegan, can I say that Stainforth is a lovely place with lovely people and we need some regeneration and the creation of jobs, but a 500 boat marina is not the answer.

Out of the 400 men and women working at Hatfield Colliery, less than 100 of them are local.

Tommy Chappell, Measham Drive, Stainforth

Marina comes at a cost for us

WAYSTONE Ltd have now got the green light from our councillors for the new marina at Stainforth. Also Yorks Construction and development states that it’s good for us. The marina, yes. Shops, pub, entertainment, no.

Have these so-called council leaders considered our well-established shops and the adverse effect it will have. Not forgetting the dying pub trade.

The traffic? The pollution? The loss of countryside?

Regeneration, no, degeneration - yes?

Mr B Doane, Coronation Road, Stainforth.

Traffic is making me despair

ANOTHER morning trapped in traffic on the A1, even though there are no roadworks on the A1. It took me 40 minutes to get from the Marr junction to the slip road with the M18.

I work in Sheffield so this is every day for me at the minute. I am losing the will to live.

I came to the realisation months ago that the cost of driving will impact the other things in my outgoings per month and, unfortunate for Doncaster, it means that I will not be spending my money in the shops and restaurants that are left in the town. I really like living in Doncaster but this sort of problem does make you think of moving!

This is not the first job I have had that required me to drive to other areas of Yorkshire but compared to Leeds, York and Grantham (55 minutes to do 49 miles as told by the ‘dot matrix’ sign on the A1, even though I was sat for 40 minutes before the sign) this is by far the worst mess I have ever seen. I only need to do 30 miles, so why does it take me 40 minutes to get out of Doncaster every morning?

Do our councils and governments not realise how far reaching these problems are?

Paul Stevenson, Cusworth

You can’t force workshy to work

WITH hundreds in our area likely to lose their jobs through cash cuts and no fault of their own, the government comes up with “if you don’t accept a job, you get no money.”

OK, just look round Doncaster alone. The workshy brigade who stick out like a sore thumb, not a day’s work in them, for a start would you employ them? And then who is going to get them out of bed around 7am, and then let them clock off to go to their four-pack?

I think this is just another cuckoo idea. They will get their money somehow.

Ah well, back to the drawing board!

Mr Lionel Overson, Childers Street, Hyde Park

Thank-you for coming to show

THE Rotary Club of Doncaster would like to express their gratitude to the kind people of Doncaster who supported the Tom O’Connor evening at the Civic Theatre.

The event proved to be a great success both entertainment wise and financially.

The money raised will aid local needs and charities, and for that we thank you,

Stephen Atkinson, President, Doncsater Rotary Club

Atheist? Say so on the census

I WOULD like to encourage all readers to think carefully about the question on religion in the up coming 2011 Census. The results of the question are used by government, local authorities and service providers to decide how to run services and create policies. Many people in the last Census ticked the ‘Christian’ box because they were Christened when they were children at a time when they had no choice and now as adults do not hold Christian beliefs, go to church or identify as Christian in any meaningful way. By ticking ‘Christian’, rather than ‘No religion’, this has influenced central and local government policy. This has led to an increase in divisive and discriminatory faith schools, (which the majority of the population are against), huge amounts of money for ‘faith groups’ in local areas and the appointment of ‘faith advisors’ to government departments.

I strongly urge readers who do not practise or strongly identify with any particular religion to tick the ‘No Religion’ box in the Census in March 2011. In the 2001 Census, 11.34% of residents in the Doncaster local authority area identified themselves as non-religious. However, countless other surveys show that there are many more non-religious people in the UK that are not being properly counted. As the 2011 Census may be the last one ever held it is doubly important that policy can be based on accurate statistics. More information is found at www.census-campaign.org.uk

Chris Robinson, Sprotbrough