After yesterday’s announcement by Mayor Jones on the woeful state of Doncaster MBC’s finances I feel that several things need to be stated.
The current financial problems of Doncaster MBC pre-date the Mayoral system and have not been improved under the 2 previous mayors. Indeed the problems grew under by Mayor Winter then compounded by Mayor Davies.
Winter was far too exuberant in the good times, in fairness a charge that can be levelled at many authorities. With Winter though this seems to have included out of control vanity projects leaving Doncaster with some nice buildings.
With the election of Davies, there was a huge opportunity for change. Instead he put off all the difficult crucial decisions and lacked the nerve or knowledge to put in place long term strategies. The most obvious being the overhaul of children’s services that he delayed and then failed to employ new staff. In fact the Davies strategy was to starve departments of money instead of reform; this was too short-term to solve Doncaster’s problems.
Unfortunately Mayor Jones appears to have also adopted this stratagem and with 8 months into her term of office we have had no indication of the future direction of Doncaster. Could it be that the Labour administration does not have a vision clear of Doncaster and plan to get there?
Now is the time to revolutionise public sector provision in Doncaster. We can reinvigorate services. By blaming ‘the Tory’s’ Mayor Jones is been disingenuous with the electorate at the same time as letting them down.
Over the next few weeks we will be posting a number of articles on the individual problems highlighted this week.