Council rivals battling to win support as Doncaster goes to polls

Doncaster Council's election team are returning officer Tony Machin (front), and, from left, Katie Oliver, Sharon Cope, Joanne Cawthorne, Mathew Robinson, Simon Davies and Andrea Oxley.
Doncaster Council's election team are returning officer Tony Machin (front), and, from left, Katie Oliver, Sharon Cope, Joanne Cawthorne, Mathew Robinson, Simon Davies and Andrea Oxley.
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LEADERS of the parties on Doncaster Council which are fielding candidates today told why they deserve public backing.

The borough goes to the polls today at 189 polling stations across the borough, open from 7am until 10pm.

Four parties currently represented on the council are fielding candidates.

The Star invited each to put their case for support for their candidates.

Labour was the biggest party in the last council with 36 seats. Labour group leader Coun Sandra Holland said: “The cuts imposed on us by this Tory/Lib Dem Government are too deep and too fast. They are far worse than anything Margaret Thatcher ever did.

“The English Democrat Mayor and his Cabinet of Tory, Lib Dem and Independent councillors proposed withdrawing council support to 14 libraries. Labour councillors were able to stop this.

“Only Labour will stand up for you and your community by maintaining frontline services - putting jobs and local services first, cutting crime not policing, tough action on anti-social behaviour, helping young people get on. Tory cuts to the Education Maintenance Allowance and tripling university fees are a betrayal of our young people.

“Labour will stand up for Doncaster – the North has been hit much harder than the South. Join us in sending this Government and their supporters on Doncaster Council a strong message by voting Labour.”

The Conservatives were the second biggest party with nine seats.

Conservative group leader Coun Allan Jones said: “Conservatives in the council will continue to address the value for money issue, for services within the council and throughout the borough.

“Provision of a sound economic base in the local economy will provide the springboard for the future prosperity of Doncaster.

“Working with local police, fire, health and transport authorities partners, and the use of combining these resources more effectively together, can continue to provide the level of service people should expect.

“Local issues such as litter and antisocial behaviour are always at the top of the list.

“Conservatives have continued to support action against those that create these problems, fines for littering have been at the no tolerance level, never before seen within the council.

“Support for children and the more vulnerable in our communities is still a priority for Conservatives in the council, providing efficient and effective services is a priority for these areas.”

The Liberal Democrats had five seats. Group leader Paul Coddington said: “Local Labour candidates are encouraged to criticise the coalition for the local cuts. But, before last year’s elections Labour’s Chancellor admitted that if Labour won their cuts would be worse than those in the Thatcher years.

“In February Labour councillors voted for the cuts proposed by Doncaster’s elected Mayor!

“Local Liberal Democrat councillors have an excellent record of striving to achieve results from which the people of Doncaster will benefit - the forthcoming airport link-road, improving living accommodation, retaining leisure amenities and libraries, opposing wasted spending on Labour’s outdated systems.

“Much more could have been done locally by Labour and Conservatives.”

The Community group had three seats.

Leader Martin Williams said: “The Community group is a group of councillors that speak their mind without fear or favour. We are putting up four candidates in the election.

“The three main political parties have let us down badly. The last Labour Government made this country nearly bankrupt and the Lib Dem/Conservative coalition is cutting public services, jobs and the money in people’s pockets.

“It is important in the council chamber in Doncaster to have a group that can stop the excesses and the dominance of any one particular group, so that there is real opposition and scrutinising of policies by councillors who are independent and seek no positions of power.

“The Community Group does what is says on the tin and serves the community and puts people first.

“A vote for our candidates on election day is a way of showing that people have had enough of mainstream politics, and want councillors to stand up and speak their minds on their behalf.”