My View, Peter Davies: Don't keep falling for the same old tricks

There is currently a strange approach to party politics in Doncaster where the usual rules of engagement no longer seem to apply.

Friday, 26th February 2016, 1:56 pm
Updated Friday, 26th February 2016, 2:00 pm
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband

The mayor and Labour Party are in thrall to Cameron and Osborne, who clearly have no interest in or knowledge of Doncaster.

This has to be the worst Prime Minister and government in the post-war period. Yet Doncaster Council falls in with their policies, apparently unconcerned that our local democracy, our status as a major transport crossroads and our economy are all in serious danger of being undermined.

The latest wheeze is the arrival of asylum seekers in the borough as a response to the PM’s decision to invite thousands to Britain.

Doncaster already has problems with homelessness and other social issues and there are more prosperous areas where immigrants could settle.

It has always been part of this country’s moral stance that genuine asylum seekers should be accommodated and made welcome and rightly so.

But in the current financial climate there has to be an element of fairness.

When it was disclosed that Cameron’s council in West Oxfordshire has offered to take no asylum seekers while the poorer parts of the Northern Powerhouse take them all, it is surely time to protest and refuse to accept this one-sided outrage.

This affair follows hard on the heels of the continuing scandal of HS2 and the sop of half a high speed rail college for Doncaster, accepted with great excitement by the council apparently unaware of the potential damage to the town’s economy and its status as a major rail interchange.

Now, to add insult to injury, the council is to use £18.3 million of public money to invest in the college with still no certainty that HS2 will ever be built. The PM’s largesse apparently did not include paying for this ill-conceived educational offshoot.

Our MPs have never once spoken up for Doncaster on this most important of issues. On the contrary, the member for Doncaster North publicly announced his active support for the project.

Finally we have the disgraceful kowtowing to Osborne and Cameron on the subject of the combined authority and a South Yorkshire mayor who, based in Sheffield or Barnsley, will make decisions affecting Doncaster; this without any referendum or voter consultation. Local government becomes even more remote, unaccountable and unpopular.

And so our political leaders have caved in to supporting all of these damaging policies for Doncaster.

Falling foul of a snake oil salesman once can happen to any one of us but falling for the five-card trick every time from the same duo is totally unforgivable.