Opinion: “What the hell is happening to our town?”

This letter sent to the Star was written by A Barlow, Hyde Park, Doncaster, DN1

Friday, 24th May 2019, 12:41 pm
A beggar pictured at Doncaster Market Place.

I and my wife just got back from a long weekend in Skegness and boy do we know we are back in Doncaster.

After three days of being able to walk around a town centre without a single person asking "got any spare change" or the stench of someone smoking weed every few hundred yards, what greets you as you arrive at "The Gates of Doncaster", (aka the exit of Donny train station)? A pair of chavs asking for money. Obviously barred from the concourse, they are there, as always. Yep, the first words you hear, before you've even got fully through the main exit... "spare any change"? Welcome to Donny folks!

Then it just gets worse. The walk home from the station means going through the subway, just after The Flying Scotsman health centre, across to the town centre flats area. As you walk down towards the subway entrance the stink of the urine soaked subway hits you. The middle of a warm, sunny day and the floor/walls are already evidently covered in urine. You then have to walk carefully through the pieces of broken glass, cans, discarded food and faeces, (dog, human, who knows?), that also is strewn across the subway floor. The overpowering stench is soon replaced by a different foul odour though, as you reach the other end of the subway. Two chavs, can of extra-strong lager in hand, sat on children's bikes, smoking what obviously are NOT ordinary cigarettes. The obligatory "chav uniform" of grey tracksuit bottoms, branded trainers and chunky gold neck-chains in tow, (staffy optional), means they're not just enjoying a lunch break from work.

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Skegness station has a large logo of "The Jolly Fisherman", with the words "Skegness is so bracing". Why can't Donny station have a large decorative, appropriate, mural? I suggest a large logo of a spicehead, draped semi-conscious over a bench, with the logo "Doncaster is so disgusting" under it.

ps. Please can somebody explain to me WHY, with so many retail outlets boarded up and longtime closed within it, some bright spark decided to build a huge new block of retail space in the middle of Waterdale. How long have they been available "To Let" now? and surprise, surprise, still not a single taker? What the hell is happening to our town? Hmmmm.