Report portraying Doncaster a 'hole' unfair says mayor

Mayor Peter Davies Peter Davies said relations at the council were improving

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The mayor of Doncaster Council has hit back at a report which he claims portrayed the town as a "dreadful hole".

Peter Davies said he believed findings by the the Audit Commission "magnified" the council's problems.

The government announced in April it would intervene at the authority after the commission said it was not being properly run. The report was carried out after a series of crises at the council.

It was carried out after the council was criticised over attacks by two brothers in Edlington.

The boys, aged 11 and 12, were given indeterminate sentences last month for torturing two other boys, aged nine and 11, in the South Yorkshire village last April.

Start Quote

I thought it was a very black report without any shade of colour at all”

End Quote Peter Davies Doncaster mayor

A serious case review found the attacks had been "preventable".

The government is already running the council's children's services department after the deaths of seven children in the town between 2004 and 2008.

The Audit Commission report stated: "Those leading the council - the mayor and cabinet, some councillors and some officers - do not collectively have the capacity or capability to make the necessary improvements in governance.

"The council will not improve without significant and sustained support from external bodies."

'Huge advantages'

Following the report's publication, the then communities secretary John Denham said he would use his statutory powers to intervene at the authority.

An announcement is due to be made on what form government intervention will take.

Mr Davies said: "I think that the problems were magnified and in that report there was no mention of anything good in the town.

"I thought it was a very black report without any shade of colour at all and painted the town as a dreadful hole that no one would ever want to come to or live in and that is not Doncaster."

The mayor said relations had "undoubtedly improved" at the council.

He said whatever form government intervention took, the main aim was to improve Doncaster for the people of the town.

"The town has been languishing in the doldrums under Labour rule and it's time that it made use of its huge advantages," he added.

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