Letters, February 9

THE last week has seen fat cat salaries in the headlines again and the ever-present debt crisis.

However, it is worth remembering why we are here. The banks didn’t fail on their own. The Government allowed them to make money in an environment of ignoring risk and encouraged them to lend more, and we, the people were encouraged to borrow and spend.

It seems ridiculous that in order to get out of the situation, we are being encouraged to spend and borrow and the banks encouraged to lend.

So how do we fix it? The fix starts at a local level and starts with local government and the community. We are told that we need to move away from everything being run by the state, employed by the tax payer and move more people into the private market, and it is here, that Doncaster has a history of thriving.

I spent nearly 10 years rebuilding one of Doncaster’s most famous businesses - Parkinson’s Butterscotch until selling it last year. Doncaster typically loses its talent, they move out of the area.

I returned to Doncaster last year. I came back because Doncaster needs its talent to return home.

It is infamously rubbished for Donnygate, a reputation that is difficult to get away from, but respected for a mayor that appears to talk common sense but more is needed,

Doncaster is dominated by councillors who have not been in the working environment for many years, who are rooted in politics and have been sat at the table for too many years, out of ideas, and meeting in the day because they have nothing else to do.

To many councillors the council work is an easy job they only have to turn up to a couple of meetings per year and they paid more £12k for it; no wonder they were happy to take a small cut. There are some councillors who earn their money and do a wonderful job, but not many.

If you want to change Britain, if you want to change the world, start in Doncaster. If you have the talent, then don’t sit around moaning, stand in the next election and be counted and if you don’t stand then make sure you vote.

The turnout at the last local election was about 35%. This year do something and make a difference and put Doncaster in the fast lane to being a world beater.

Glenn Bluff, former chairman Parkinson Doncaster Butterscotch

What do we get for our money?

WOULD it be possible for you to do a survey and publish it when completed, on the services given by DMBC directorates to the rate payers of Doncaster?

The ratepayers of this town are being conned and deceived by the elected mayor, cabinet members, elected members and the council officers.

All the media hype on both the radio and tv and the press on what the services are supposed to be delivered, and to what public services they actually receive, is complete and utter nonsense.

The collection of fines, from car parking to the fines for dropping litter in the town centre, has now become Doncaster Council’s main task.

Street cleansing, footpath and highway repairs are a thing of the past, and to phone the 763000 number is just a complete waste of time and money, as these people have now been sucked into the vacuum and pass you on to someone or somewhere else, as they cannot or don’t want to even help.

Where are the neighbourhood wardens, safety wardens, street cleaners and enforcement officers?

Of all the ratepayers monies that’s been used to pay out the redundancies, we are left with the same sickness; too many idlers sitting in offices, not enough workers.

Mr Mayor I don’t know whom your advisers are, but for our sake get out and talk to the people who put you there.

City status is someone taking the micky?

Mr B Lester, Cemetery Road, Woodlands

Editor’s note: City Status bid latest - see page 10

The left hand doesn’t know..

IN your weekly paper there is always a column that is done by Coun Ransome, the cabinet/portfolio member for the neighbourhoods directorate.

Last week’s topic was on reporting areas where rubbish, garden or other, was causing a local problem to others that live in the same vicinity, and if this being the case to ring the Doncaster 736000 number.

This I did, but to my surprise, the lady on the end of the telephone did not know anything about this,

I replied ‘well, it is in the Free Press today that is why I am ringing’, her response was even stranger when she replies:’I wish someone would tell us when things are changing, this is happening regular now but everyone keeps us out of the loop’.

So what I, and I should think many more are asking is, @are we wasting our time and money ringing the 736000 number’ or if it is just a fantasy that the cabinet member has, because travelling around on the bus there are many people’s gardens, both front and rear, needs rubbish removing, old furniture, car parts, plastic bags and building rubble.

So come on, let’s have some co-ordination from the people that’s in charge.

Mrs D Lockwood, Aintree Avenue, Cantley

Have they not learned?

I HAVE been a resident of Doncaster most of my life. Headlines in Doncaster paper Friday, ‘Council to get it right about snow and gritting roads in the borough’ I see did it again.

I travelled from Warmsworth to Barnby Dun at 8.10pm and returned at 11.15pm. There were no gritters to be seen and gritting or snow ploughs to be seen. All major roads in and out of Doncaster were a disgrace.

What will the excuse be this year.

Christopher Golding, Coronation Gardens, Warmsworth

Act now to save countryside

I AM increasingly concerned about the Government’s planning reforms.

They’re right to talk about protecting green belts, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty when decisions are made about where development should take place, but what about the 60 per cent of England’s countryside that is none of these things – like a lot of our local countryside?

Since 1945, successive governments have protected the countryside for its own sake – which means thinking carefully before building in the countryside, and ensuring it is an option of last resort.

For almost 20 years there has been a requirement that land that’s been used before - brownfield land - should be developed before green fields. The Government is proposing to abandon this policy, yet a new report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England demonstrates that the supply of brownfield land is increasing.

Protecting the countryside and building on brownfield land go hand in hand.

If something is not done soon to get them to change their plans, much of our countryside will be at risk.

Readers can use the action on the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s website to write to their MP: www.cpre.org.uk.

Mrs J Tate, Gatesbridge Park, Finningley

Home has improved

I WAS heartened to read Sandra Crabtree’s letter (Freeviews, January 26) highlighting that a number of problems have been rectified in her mother’s care home, following the family’s request for a full inquiry.

At Irwin Mitchell we represent a range of clients in similar situations and our main aim is to ensure that instances of negligence and medical errors are never repeated.

Cedars Care Home in Doncaster has also made a number of changes and improvements as a result of an initial review by the Care Quality Commission. This would not have happened had it not been for resident Michael Shorthouse’s family bringing the state of the home to our attention.

As a result, the home has since been taken into new management and was found to be compliant in each area of concern at its most recent review in October.

Michael Shorthouse was entitled to be compensated for the terrible neglect that he suffered at Cedars Care Home, and a damages claim is one of several ways in which care homes like this can be made to account for their actions.

Sarah Rowland, Associate Solicitor in the Medical Law team, Irwin Mitchell

Praise for DRI heady hedy

All too often, we hear negative comments about Doncaster Royal Infirmary. I recently had to attend for a colonoscopy - not a pleasant experience at 8.30am or any other time.

However, I cannot praise the staff too highly. I was greeted by a young man with a wonderful smile and a very bright ‘good morning’. The staff who looked after me and the sister who performed the procedure were wonderful. (I did tell them that I normally watch ‘Frasier’ on TV at that time in the morning).

I cannot thank them enough. If anyone has to attend DRI for a colonoscopy I would say ‘do not worry - you will be in very good hands’.

Name and address supplied

Plans for homes

AS a Friend of Quarry Park, like many residents I’ve walked my dogs there over the years and helped to fund raise to improve facilities on the park. But I also have an open mind about new homes, which are badly needed in this area, so that young adults don’t have to move out of the parish to find a home. 

The plan outlined in the publicity leaflet from a local developer is not on Quarry Park, it is on a field adjacent to the park, which has been privately owned for at least 40 years. Quarry Park is not under threat.

The field does have trees on it, but it is not ancient woodland and is not marked on any map as woodland.

No Planning application has been submitted, but if and when it is, it will be dealt with in the usual professional manner by council officers and the Planning Committee and there will be an opportunity for residents to have their say.

I do hope that we can have a mature debate about this and listen respectfully to differing views.

As a ward councillor, I welcome hearing residents’ views eithe, for or against any plans to build new homes on this field and would urge those who wish to comment to get in touch with me by emailing me at pat.knight@doncaster.gov.uk

Coun Pat Knight, Hatfield Ward

My guilty pleasure

IT’S a great relief, at last, to be able to confess and clear the air.

For years, I will, when possible, join with others with the same condition, sometimes travelling many miles to be with them, trying to satisfy our demands.

My wife has tried her best to help me.

When I return from some of my trips unsatisfied, she will console me and try to lift me up.

It`s at times like these that you find out the meaning of “true love”.

So there you are, it`s out now and I feel much better for being able to tell the world, it`s an urge I will never be able to let go, my wife and I will have to live with it, probably for the rest of our lives.

I am a Doncaster Rovers fan and I can`t help it.

ROVERS TILL I DIE.

Doug Blyth, Poplar Road, Skellow