It’s great that the Town Deal fund provided by central government is now starting to take shape in Doncaster. The Conservative government has invested up to £25 million in Doncaster and £25 million in Stainforth. This investment should “drive long term economic and productivity growth”.
The Mayor and Cabinet have now signed off on the projects to be included in the additional £1 million acceleration funding given to each area. Unfortunately the projects for Doncaster are uninspiring and will do little to drive long term economic and productivity growth.
While other areas are seeing investment in sustainable urban transport, electric car charging points, science parks and improved retail areas Doncaster is getting superficial beautification projects alongside a personal vanity project from the Mayor which they could not finance through private means as was promised.
The lack of scope and vision of these projects show that the current leadership has run out of ideas and that Doncaster needs fresh ideas and a new perspective. We should be focusing projects that meet the objectives of the Town Deal fund. Projects that bring people into the Town Centre like express ways, more affordable parking, covered shopping areas, EV charging points and re-zoning.
The worrying thing about the Doncaster Town Deal is the lack of consultation and transparency. Google Town Deals for other areas and you’ll see board member lists and minutes along with proposed plans. Go to Doncaster’s page and you get empty pages and no information. Totally unacceptable.