Letter: Future of Doncaster will only work with best of the past

Apprentice Star and local business woman Fran Bishop pictured with Jessica Shorthouse, eight, of Intake and Mia Heath, six, of Carcroft, during the Free Family fun day she organised at Waterdale. Picture: Marie Caley
Apprentice Star and local business woman Fran Bishop pictured with Jessica Shorthouse, eight, of Intake and Mia Heath, six, of Carcroft, during the Free Family fun day she organised at Waterdale. Picture: Marie Caley

On Saturday September 1, 2018. I had reason to be in Doncaster early, 9.15am to be precise. I walked from the Odeon car park to Priory Place via Hallgate and High Street.

The first thing to strike me was the lack of people, activity and atmosphere, Donny was dead.

What was obvious was the number of deadbeats huddled in doorways. In the short distance from the Danum corner to the Mansion House I encountered no less than seven, smoking whatever and drinking alcohol. Three of which had congregated on the Mansion House steps.

It was a pleasant morning so I decided to visit the Frenchgate and market areas, not much change except for a couple busking in the early sunshine.

All in all I remained in the area for two hours or so (had lunch in Marks) but did I ever see a bobby, PCSO or a council employee? No, and yet they trumpet their endeavours to clean the town up, encourage business etc.

Maybe they were not on the same patch as me, so make allowance.

I can only think that anyone who visits Doncaster town centre as a tourist in its present form won’t be back any time soon.

Let’s have brave words turned into actions and bring back the Donny that we once enjoyed. Not so many years ago Saturday morning in Doncaster even at 8am. Was a bustling lively place, the market was alive, full of enthusiastic traders and shoppers.

Now it has almost all been consigned to the indoors with a pathetic few stalls on the outside. Indoor markets have their place but in Donny they have swallowed it all.

To the powers that be I say this, “scale business rates for new business, lower parking charges and adopt zero tolerance on the streets”.

Things that are needed to bring Donny back to Doncaster. I have said it many times the future will only work if you adopt the best of the past, and we have a wonderful, stimulating past with a thirst for life. Let’s do it, let’s do it together.

Bill Morrison

by email