Row erupts after £1.3m markets funding put on hold again

A POLITICAL row has erupted after a plan to pump more than £1.3 million into Doncaster’s markets was put on hold for a second time.

Mayor Peter Davies is spearheading plans for a massive refurbishment of the town centre market totalling nearly £1 million, as well as plans to plough more than £300,000 into markets at Thorne, Rossington and Mexborough.

Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies

Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies

But at a stormy council meeting at the Mansion House, the plan was voted down for a second time by Labour councillors who claim the proposal still lacks detail.

An angry Mr Davies hit out at his opponents, accusing them of playing party politics and stifling Doncaster’s redevelopment.

He stormed: “I am absolutely appalled. These disgraceful delaying tactics are beyond belief.

“If someone from the Labour Party would come and see me, we might be able to sort out a compromise. Surely we all want money to be spent on the markets - the jewel in Doncaster’s crown?

“They are just playing politics with jobs and investment and hindering economic development, like they have done for the last 40 years.”

The plan first came before the council in September but was deferred by Labour councillors until Thursday night’s meeting after they had requested a more detailed report of where and how the money would be spent.

But amid heated scenes in the council chamber, Labour members again thwarted the proposal for another two months, claiming the new report put before the council was still inadequate.

Labour group leader Glyn Jones said: “This report is the most shambolic I have ever had the misfortune to read in a council meeting.

“The report, while marginally better, does not reflect the amendment we put forward. There is no detailed analysis. Labour have offered advice but it has been ignored or rejected.

“We don’t want to vote it down out of hand as there is the potential to regenerate Doncaster. But we need a thorough and detailed plan of the proposal before we can progress.”

Fellow Labour councillor Richard Cooper-Holmes said: “We want to know more about what will happen. Rossington Market wasn’t even looked at until after the report was written.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Eric Tatton-Kelly also slammed the delay tactics, describing Labour as putting ‘party first, town second’ and was involved in an angry exchange with councillor Andrew Bosmans who was forced to apologise after the two traded verbal blows.