Mayor’s U-turn on young offender plan

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PROTESTERS have forced Doncaster mayor Peter Davies into a humiliating climbdown over for a centre for young offenders after it emerged they had not been consulted about the plan.

Members of Doncaster Council’s ruling cabinet, which is chaired by Mr Davies, had agreed plans to move youth offending services from the Balby area to a building in the Bennetthorpe area last January.

But people living nearby only found out when contractors moved in to put a 13ft fence around the Carr House Centre, previously a middle school.

Sandy Grimes, who lives in Welbeck Road, which fronts onto the centre, said she and her neighbours were furious when the fencing contractor told them about the young offenders scheme.

She added: “At first we weren’t sure what to do, but then I asked a friend who works for the council how we could check.

“I also got in touch with the local councillor, who asked for a statement, but we were shocked when we found out the deal was done in January and we were not told.”

Yesterday morning, officials were making hasty arrangemenrs for a “drop-in” session on Wednesday which aimed to quell residents nerves over the plan.

But that idea was ditched after the Mayor held a crisis meeting with advisors and decided on a U-turn. In a statement, he said: “I expected this decision to be going out to consultation as all other potential decisions do, and I am appalled that this has not occurred.

“The building where the service currently operates from, Rosemead House, in Balby, is extremely expensive to maintain, and I am committed to ensuring that as much money as possible is going into front-line services.

“However, in light of the concerns I have decided existing proposals will not go ahead. Instead, I am asking officers to review other location options.”