Don Your Way column: Doncaster is great – but it isn’t perfect either, so quit moaning!

Doncaster sometimes needs a bit of a kicking to bring it into shape, says Darren Burke
Doncaster sometimes needs a bit of a kicking to bring it into shape, says Darren Burke

I’m not one for revisiting old ground in my column on all things Doncaster, but sometimes, just sometimes, it is the only way to hammer home a message that doesn't always sink in.  

If you are a regular visitor to this very newspaper’s Facebook page, you will be well aware it is more often than not a lively hotbed of debate, criticism and more often than not, a torrent of abuse aimed at yours truly.

I can deal with that. Don Your Way quite often has some strong and controversial viewpoints and ones which I know not everyone will agree with.

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But there’s one thing that truly winds me up. And that’s the line which gets levelled at me time and time again.

“You’re always dragging Donny down,” “write something positive,” “stop knocking our town,” are the usual comments hurled at me by incensed readers.

There seems to be a little band of people who can’t bear to hear a bad word said about Doncaster, the town that I love and live in.

But sometimes, the truth hurts. It ain’t perfect and never will be. And pretending it isn’t and brushing issues under the carpet serves no-one any good.

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Yes, I’ve written plenty of stuff that doesn’t always show Doncaster in its greatest light. But I’ve written far more over the years praising it. Those are the articles and stories conveniently overlooked by the critics when it comes to having a go.

And there's only one thing that makes me even more irate – and that’s reading the readers’ comments as they flood in on the new developments for Doncaster, the projects, the initiatives, the business openings, the new shops and restaurants.

Lo and behold, more often than not, the exact same people berating you for not praising the town’s positives are the same to pick fault in whatever new business is coming to town.

“This will never last,” “what do we need one of those for?,” “what a waste of money,” “It’ll be shut within a month” – you can guarantee you’ll find those words under virtually any story championing a new scheme or shop in Doncaster.

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The truth of the matter folks, is that you can’t have it both ways. There's plenty of good in Doncaster – but sadly there's bad too.

Sometimes, you have to take off the rose-tinted specs and realise that the rough very often comes with the smooth.

Don’t ask for positive stories and then complain and wish businesses ill when we bring them to you.

Whether good or bad, me and my colleagues at the Doncaster Free Press will continue to bring you stories which show both sides of the coin.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Doncaster is great – but if it needs kicking to knock it into shape then I’m not afraid to do it.