Doncaster in the Political Spotlight

The Directly Elected Mayor:

  • is the council’s political leader and is elected by constituents on a four-year term of office
  • has executive powers and is responsible for the effective implementation of council policy and delivering services
  • has eight cabinet members to advise and support her – each cabinet member has a specific portfolio responsibility
  • Ros Jones is the current incumbent ‘before becoming Mayor in 2013, she was a councillor for  for seven years working hard to make improvements in the community and support local residents. She was also Civic Mayor in 2009/10’ She won by 639 votes from Peter Davies.

The Civic Mayor for Doncaster (2016/17) is Councillor David Nevett

History

Doncaster Mayor
English Democrat Peter Davies replaced outgoing Doncaster Mayor Martin Winter  having campaigned for a cut in councillor numbers from 63 to 21. He pushed the Labour candidate into third place winning on the second preference system. The anti-EU former schoolteacher has also called for a referendum on the future governance of the borough and the end to council literature being translated into other languages. He is quoted “We have had a corrupt and spendaholic council and Doncaster is laughed at all over the country. I will get rid of the dreadful political correctness and introduce a refreshingly open regime.” Doncaster was  put into government intervention in 2010. The running of children’s services, was overseen by the government since 2009, has now been transferred to an independent trust.

Rosier View
Rosie Winterton (Minister for Yorkshire and Humber and Department for Work and Pensions at the last count) and MP for Doncaster Central grew up in Doncaster and is proud of the town’s rich and varied history as well as how it has helped shaped the country today according to her web site. ‘Doncaster stands on the site of the Roman settlement Danum. It is the largest geographic Metropolitan Borough in the country with an area in excess of 225 square miles… Transport coal and steel have been the core industries around Doncaster and Rosie reports how it was the first public proclamation that helped create the original Labour Party:
‘Thomas R Steels was a railway signalman working for the Great Northern Railway Company who moved to Doncaster in around 1891. In March 1899, Steels drafted a famous resolution, at the Good Woman public house on St Sepulchregate, on labour representation in Parliament. The motion called on the TUC “That this congress, having regard to its decisions of former years, and with a view to securing a better representation of the interests of labour in the House of Commons, hereby instructs the Parliamentary Committee to invite the cooperation of all the cooperative, socialistic, trade union and other working class organisations to jointly cooperate on the lines mutually agreed upon …….’
So I am left wondering if much has really changed?

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint is now the former Minister for Europe. Well I think least said! Flint was one of 98 MPs who voted in favour of legislation which would have kept MPs’ expense details secret but then decided to work from the back benches.With ‘the house’ expenses scandal maybe we have got a ‘Flippin’ Government’ with lots of fishy smells.

Summary

Doncaster has been badly served by local and national politicians for decades. They are not alone and several venerable northern communities are  in similar circumstances. Changes at Doncaster need time to evolve and it will be interesting to see how the town copes over the next decade.
In business there is a style of management referred to as Kipper Management, ‘Two Faced and no Backbone’.