Letters, March 15

MANY people are taking to the push bike to save money on bus fares and parking fees. There are some who are sensible and are very aware of the dangers around them, then there are the others who seem to be oblivious to everything, including their own safety.

I would like to address those cyclists who ride from the Cantley Lights.

They ride on the footpath on the right hand side of Bawtry Road, heading into the town. When they get to the Rose Hill Rise junction the ‘death wish’ seems to kick in.

Many times there are vehicles at this junction, waiting to join Bawtry Road. The driver is looking right, waiting for a gap to join the traffic coming from the town.

Time and again these ‘death wish’ cyclists drop down on to the carriageway then cycle against the traffic, passing in front of the vehicle waiting to join the traffic.

It is a highly dangerous manoeuvre. Some drivers will not be expecting a cyclist to be on the carriageway, going the wrong way.

Though it is only a short length before they veer back in to enter the cycle path on the last part of Bawtry Road, this short length is enough for a cyclist to be nudged by a car on this junction.

It is surprising these cyclists haven’t the sense to go to the rear of the vehicle waiting at the junction.

J Hunt, Rose Hill Rise, Bessacarr

It’s the wrong time for revamp

HAVING read the Free Press of March 1 and all the cost cutting measures DMBC are making to our services, it’s alarming to read on the same day that they are to revamp the Mansion House both inside and out with some of the money coming from council funds and borrowing.

No matter what the cost is, the message it sends out is we don’t care what the people of Doncaster think.

Most people would agree with essential maintenance on public buildings and any revamps should wait.

Ray Jones, Nutwell Lane, Armthorpe

When will the voters learn?

WHEN will Doncaster voters ever learn?

The Labour group in Doncaster will never agree with anybody or anything that is put forward by the mayor and executive.

They think that they are the party that can do the best for the town and the people, but just hang on before you give them your vote in May.

Are they not the ruling group that has sold the employees down the river on their terms and conditions and redundancies, only changing their tune after being called in by the regional party chiefs, but now they are voting against the 2012/13 budget for a paltry £61k.

Take a reduction in your councillors pay to cover it, £3,000 each will do it.

They will not be satisfied until they get rid of Mayor Davies and his executive and take control again, regardless of whether it is a mayoral-led authority or leader with cabinet, returning to the circus that was in control from the start of the Donnygate era until 2010.

Labour group members you are the same as the opposition party in Government, a lot to say on what you think is wrong.

You have not one of your own policies, and remember it was people in your party that stated that they never wanted to be re-elected in 2010 because they knew what problems were in the pipeline whichever party won the General Election.

Mrs L Butler, Carr Road, Edlington

Labour didn’t make it better

I READ Mr Cawkwell’s letter (Freeviews, March 8) with amazement.

Has he forgotten that it is this sort of pro-active thinking by Labour’s Blair, Brown and Darling that got us into this mess?

And when Labour were in control of Doncaster Council, under the old system we had Donnygate, Labour councillors and one Conservative councillor were convicted.

They destroyed the faith that people had in councillors and the people who represent them. Also, we had a Labour councillor who was chairperson of Children’s Services when the Government had to step in to sort things out.

Yes P J Cawkwell, the left are the best in the world at spending other people’s money and getting us up to our necks in debt.

Left to them our country and town would be in a worse state than Greece. I bet you’re not as free with your own money.

P Watson, Thorne Road, Doncaster

Questions about the new theatre

HAVING just thoroughly enjoyed Doncaster Amateur Operatic Society’s production “The West End Tonight” at the Civic Theatre, I find myself asking the following questions.

Will it be financially viable for amateur companies to use the new Performing Arts Centre?

Will it be large enough to invite touring productions from the West End to perform there?

Will there be an opportunity to view films, ancient and modern, there instead of travelling to distant parts of Doncaster?

If the answers to my questions are all in the negative, may I suggest that the Civic Theatre be declared a listed building for use as a cinema and cultural venue and that the council plan for “The West End Tomorrow” at the Grand.

H Santiuste, Conisbrough Road, Edenthorpe

Where is our Minster flag?

WHENEVER Doncaster Minster (St George’s Church) comes into view I always look for the flag of St George, flying in all its glory from the flagpole.

For some months now the flag has not been seen at all.

St George is our patron saint and should be respected, especially by the Church of England.

What really moved me to write this letter was the fact that we did not fly the flag at half mast after those brave soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment lost their lives recently in Afghanistan.

I would also like to remind the church that it is the Queen’s Jubilee year and the flag should be flying continuously, not to mention we are also hosting the Olympic Games.

I cannot see any reason why the church refuses to fly our flag or fly it at half mast for the reasons I have mentioned.

I hope all businesses and official buildings in Doncaster with flagpoles fly our flag this year.

I know Peter Davies, our elected mayor, will always fly the flag of St George from the Mansion House and hope others will follow suit but the church must lead by example.

Keith Hewitt, Howden Close, Doncaster

How things used to be

IN reply to Buck Jones and the Lone Ranger, me and my pals also played cowboys and indians with our wooden guns and knives and imaginary horses for many a long day.

I remember the wasteland in question - it was never part of the quarry, it was a shortcut to the quarry and newt pond and was fenced with barbed wire. A horse called Beano roamed there, owned by Roy Holt.

But wasn’t it funny when you were a six or seven year old boy? Every day was a summer’s day and all we had to do was fight the imaginary enemy. But alas, we grew up and went to work at the mines.

Then, just like one of those stories we played out as kids, the mines closed, the stores and saloons shut, robbing and thieving was everywhere. They still had their guns and knives but they were not made of wood.

Then one of our villages comes up with an idea - Save Our Village - to build new houses and create jobs for the young of the village so they can work and try to buy their own home, just like we did.

But what do the old cowboys/girls sitting in the saloon say? Save the waste ground for the dog walkers so their pets can foul all the footpaths and drug users leave their dirty needles everywhere?

I wonder what those six and seven-year-old boys would have said?

Would they want their beloved village turned into a ghost town like the real wild west? Who said the older you get, the wiser you get.

B Rigby (alias Roy Rogers and Trigger), Milcroft Crescent, Hatfield

We all need the libraries

IN Doncaster we have an elected Mayor who has had the benefits and largesse that a good education brings.

Integral to this will have been superlative library facilities staffed with professionals, because that’s how it was for me and many others.

To undermine this opportunity locally will do incalculable harm to our townspeople; the young, the students, the silver brigade, avid readers et al. Our local MPs are deafeningly silent on this extremely important issue.

The response from us all needs to be vocal and loud.We need caring representatives at the highest level.

Fortunately, we have a chance at the ballot box to save these institutions and make living in Doncaster a better experience through the personal enrichment that libraries give to us.

David Byrne, Checkstone Avenue, Doncaster

It’s time to quit Afghanistan

OPINION polls suggest 55% to 25% of the British public believe we should leave Afghanistan now.

However we do not need to read opinion polls to come to that conclusion, we just need a Government to read history.

We make no apologies we should have left the Afghans to decide the future of their country and not directly intervened

The sooner we bring our troops home the better

Cllr Steve Radford, President of The Liberal Party

It’s time to chop the chuggers

HAVING read the news that Gloucester City Council are planning to ban chuggers (charity muggers) from the city centre, following Burnley Town Council’s decision to limit chuggers’ town centre collection activities to Tuesdays and Thursdays only, maybe it’s time for Doncaster to follow suit?

These chuggers are becoming a real nuisance in Doncaster.

Last week, whilst walking the short distance from Market Place to the Frenchgate Centre, I was waylaid - harassed would be a better word - by no less than six chuggers, four of whom operated for the same organisation.

I got so fed up with one persistent chugger the other week that I spoke to him in French. He paused and then carried on his spiel.

I give to charity regularly but now I make it a rule that any charity which employs chuggers to collect aggressively on its behalf will not get a penny from me, no matter how deserving their cause may be.

Besides which, these people are not ‘flag day’ volunteers - they’re salespeople out to earn commission on each person they sign up.

B Radford, Belle Vue, Doncaster