Reader Derek Crunkhorn sent this picture of an overgrown footpath in Hatfield.
Reader Derek Crunkhorn sent this picture of an overgrown footpath in Hatfield.

Free Press readers have their say

Airport link road is great but lets follow that up with a railway station

In the DFP on July 10 it is mentioned that the FARRRS road from the M18 motorway which previously was due to stop at Parrot’s Corner will now continue to the airport.

In this day when the Government is trying to get everyone onto public transport, isn’t it about time that Finningley got its railway station back?

You only have to notice the number of people with suitcases boarding the Manchester Airport train from Doncaster to see how many people use that service.

If they could do that to Finningley how many more people would use it? Of course there are still stumbling blocks even if Finningley station does re-open. Passengers would still have to change to a bus for the final mile or so to the airport unless some sort of rail link is built, or even a small tram system.

This is the ideal follow up to the tram-train trial which is being carried out between Sheffield and Rotherham in the near future.

But then there is Network Rail who would no doubt want a few million pounds just to renovate Finningley station and probably well over hundreds of millions to put a rail link to the airport, not to mention finding a path for a train which stops at Finningley, and all this on a line that has perhaps half a dozen passenger trains a day on it.

Adrian Foster, Hall View Road, Rossington

Great news but one snag

Great news to hear thousands of jobs are being created with the multi-million pound regeneration cash windfall and the high speed road to the airport.

One slight problem when the new link road is open and all the extra traffic is flowing - what will happen when it reaches the A1?

At times even with the present traffic the A1 is a bottleneck. Will some money be made available to finally widen the Doncaster stretch of the A1 prior to increasing the traffic flow?

K Murray, 25 Howden Avenue, Skellow

Maintain footpaths

I regularly use the way marked footpaths alongside fields etc.

The footpath between Mosscroft Lane and Main Street had become so overgrown that you could no longer walk it. The footpath between Main Street and A614 Bawtry Road was almost impassable in places.

The footpath had not been usable for between three to four weeks so I called Doncaster Council’s public rights of way and explained the situation.

They informed me that they had a “Programme of Maintenance” ongoing and it would be three weeks before they are in the area.

My reply was that it is not good enough I can’t use the footpath. I explained to maintain something you keep it working. The footpaths are not usable therefore it’s not maintenance they need to come and fix it. If the council had maintained the footpaths I would still be able to use them.

It seems the council are not very good at maintenance.

Derek Crunkhorn, Hatfield

Care home closures - Following party whip

The decision by Ros Jones and the Labour controlled council to close the care homes and ignore the 25,000 plus electorates who signed the petition has absolutely nothing to do with local politics, this is the Labour minions of Doncaster following the party whip, blaming the coalition Government for cuts to spending, to point out to the electorate of Doncaster that the big bad Government have removed the money so desperately needed to help our elderly and we would have been able to stop the closures if Labour had been in power.

Well in Doncaster they are in power and the fact that not one Labour councillor had the courage to stand up and be counted as a servant to the Doncaster public and reject the proposition should be ringing out loud and clear, Doncaster you and your feelings don’t matter to Labour.

Anne Rutherford, Dunscroft

Nothing but a betrayal

At a time when there is so much media coverage of abuse, neglect and ill trained staff in care homes, Doncaster’s mayor and cabinet chose to close the last remaining council run care homes in our borough.

These are superb quality homes run by dedicated, long serving, well trained staff who provide a safe, happy, homely, friendly and family environment for the fortunate who live, work and visit these homes.

Since October last year the mayor’s budget proposal to close all remaining council run homes and three SEC centres caused shockwaves around Doncaster.

This mayor’s budget proposal has subjected Doncaster’s elderly and vulnerable to unimaginable misery, panic, stress, instability and distress that they can well do without at the most vulnerable time in their lives.

The mayor’s election manifesto has proven to be nothing more than a betrayal of trust. Yes these are very difficult times, but it is the responsibility of each local authority to choose where and what cuts they make in order to set a balanced budget.

These closures are happening all across the country and it has to stop. Good quality care homes with excellent well trained staff have never been in so much demand and will be in even more demand in the future, yet local authorities are closing excellent care homes as a short-term solution and creating a long-term disaster for future generations.

It appears our mayor and cabinet have jumped on the bandwagon and are following the lead of other local authorities. It would have been brilliant if Doncaster proved to have been bigger than this.

Christine L Blacham, Stainforth

Not robust, just weak

Doncaster Council says it has taken ‘robust steps towards a strategic solution’, when current circumstances are a result of their actions.

I became chair in 2011, when the council had withdrawn governors’ powers. In July 2011, Wakefield City Academy was chosen as sponsor for the academy conversion.

Application for academisation needed a governing body with legal powers. I was advised signing an application would mean acting outside of legal powers. I refused.

The school made rapid improvements but the council bypassed the governors and succeeded in forcing conversion by portraying the school as failed rather than improving. We were not happy with this, and asked the secretary of state to review the decision.

This he did and academisation was suspended. Governors began a process to investigate who the best sponsors would be. We decided to invite Wakefield back as our sponsors. It emerged that the school was facing a financial shortfall.

Governors worked with managers on a restructure that would make savings and provide a foundation for growth. We received a warning notice over ‘failures’ in financial management.

We met the council and were reassured our plans were good ones. At Easter 2014, the head and I met the council and were told that they were replacing both the governors and the head.

To delay academisation by not following due process, to have no constructive engagement with the school, to condemn without support the actions of the leaders and managers of the school, to take arbitrary action to remove the governors and the head and to accept with resignation a damning OFSTED report without any positive representation adds up to a failure of duty to the school. For ‘robust strategy’ read ‘weak indifference’

Nick Lugg, Mexborough

Tackling landlords

In response to the letters from P Dawson and Mrs Housley regarding landlords in Doncaster, the reason we have not set up a mandatory register to cover the borough is because doing so would not meet the legal criteria for selective licensing that we must follow.

However, we are working hard to use the powers and resources that we do have to tackle bad landlords and disruptive tenants both in Hexthorpe and elsewhere.

I take my duties as a ward councillor very seriously. My colleagues and I regularly hold surgeries, attend community meetings and undertake neighbourhood walks. If residents wish to contact me directly they can do so by email or telephone and the details are on the council website.

Coun Glyn Jones, Deputy mayor