My View, Ros Jones: Let’s stand up for our wonderful town

Shoppers at Doncaster Markets on Christmas Eve 2015. Traders say even though it looks busy, there are less people than there has been previously and business is the worst it has been for many years.
Shoppers at Doncaster Markets on Christmas Eve 2015. Traders say even though it looks busy, there are less people than there has been previously and business is the worst it has been for many years.

I hope your readers had a great Christmas and that the New Year has started well. 2016 looks set to be another exciting year for Doncaster and I hope it is for you too. What can we look forward to?

Later in January the council’s new street sweepers will be delivered – part of a range of modern, efficient equipment that will help to keep Doncaster clean and tidy.

In February the airport link road will open, with new warehouses at the iPort and homes for local people already under construction.

In March, new flights from the airport to major European cities will start, and by the end of April construction will have started on the new National College for High Speed Rail at Lakeside. At the same time, the new cinema and restaurant in Sir Nigel Gresley Square will start to take shape, and in May some of the world’s best cyclists will grace Doncaster’s roads in the Tour de Yorkshire.

All in all it will be a busy start to the year!

Unfortunately one negative thing that looks set to continue in 2016 is the small number of local people with their own agenda, talking Doncaster down.

In the latest instance, the subject is Doncaster Market.

In 2015, Doncaster market won Best Food Market in the UK at the BBC Food and Farming Awards.

While markets across the country have disappeared, Doncaster Market has been well supported.

The council invested a lot of money to help achieve this, spending £1.5m on the new outdoor markets in Doncaster and Mexborough to improve drainage and electrics, install new street lighting, seats and paving, and enabling additional pop up stalls to be erected. This was done after consultation with market traders, and final designs were amended to incorporate their views.

The whole area looks fantastic compared to the cramped, rusty, bent stalls and battered paving that have been replaced. The council has invested to help keep the town thriving and we will be bringing more plans forward in 2016, after additional consultation with traders.

Not that you would believe it if you listened to some.

They would have you believe that everything is decline, and of course if that is what is reported then it will become self-fulfilling.

When people claim that an award-winning market is in decline, shoppers will start to believe it and stop visiting.

So here is my New Year resolution. I won’t stand by and let the naysayers talk Doncaster down. It’s time we stood up to their negativity, and challenged their lack of ideas and destructive comments about our town.

I hope you will do the same.

The future is bright for Doncaster and its people, and 2016 is set to be a great year.