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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Our Safe Standing Campaign Gathers Pace

Daily Echo Front Page
The Daily Echo has put our Safe Standing Campaign on the front page today.

The online version of the article is here.

Councillor Andrew Pope
Councillor Andrew Pope says:
"PLEASE VOTE YES in the Daily Echo Survey to support Safe Standing.  
It isn't dangerous. It's safe! 
That's why it's called Safe Standing! 
And that's why the Sports Grounds Safety Authority has authorised trials at League 1 and League 2 grounds.
Now we want them to authorise it for the Premier League and Championship. 
So if you haven't already, please sign our petition."
If you want to help our campaign, please get in touch via email at sotonindies (at) gmail.com or by phone on 07580715687.

More updates to follow soon...

Once again, Southampton Independents are about actions, not words. We listened. We acted.



Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Sign our Petition: Safe standing for Southampton fans at St. Mary's Stadium

St. Mary's Stadium*
Stand with us and sign our petition!

Thousands of Saints fans want to stand at the match, and they must be able to do it safely and without being persecuted by stewards.

We want trials of Safe Standing using rail seats at St. Mary’s Stadium, for example in the more vocal parts of the Stadium such as the Northam and Itchen stands.

The Football Supporters Federation says:

"Every week thousands of fans stand in front of their seats for the duration of the game while following the team they love - attempts by the authorities to end this practice have failed. Surveys regularly show the vast majority of supporters back the choice to stand or sit."

Rail seats have a rail all-along between rows, with seats that can be locked in the up position for safe standing, or down if seating is required (e.g. for European matches).

Safe Standing would immediately remove conflict between stewards and fans that want to stand and those that want to sit. It would also free up stewards to focus on protecting fans and players in other ways.

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority recently authorised trials of Safe Standing to clubs in League 1 and League 2.

Rail seats allow cheaper admission prices and a stronger atmosphere in supporting Saints, as has been done at Glasgow Celtic and Borussia Dortmund.

The trial of Safe Standing in lower divisions must be extended to include the top two divisions, and include Southampton FC.

We ask that Southampton FC publicly supports trials of Safe Standing and informs the Premier League, Southampton City Council and the St. Mary's Stadium Safety Advisory Group that they intend to do so.

The petition is at this link.

Send us your photos to sotonindies (at) gmail.com and why you think Safe Standing is important. Send us a photo of you at St. Mary's (although perhaps not standing as that might annoy the stewards)!

Thanks for your support!

---

Southampton Independents pays tribute to the Football Supporters Federation and Jon Darch of the Safe Standing Roadshow. More information on Safe Standing and Rail Seats is on the following links, courtesy of these stalwarts of the Campaign:

Football Supporters Federation - Safe Standing Campaign

Safe Standing Roadshow using Rail Seats

---

* Image By David Ingham, used under CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10652798

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Labour Council: The Filth and the Fury

Since the Labour Council and Labour councillors voted for cuts to bin collections in February 2017, they have created filth across our City.

Hands up who is guilty of voting to put up your Council Tax and cutting bin collections?

The Labour Group of Councillors
They are.

Angry residents have contacted us with fury about the state of Southampton since Labour introduced fortnightly bin collections - residents didn't want it but Labour voted it through anyway.

Here are some examples of the filth that has led to residents' fury...

Overflowing bins

More overflowing bins


And more overflowing bins


Leader of Southampton Independents, Denise Wyatt, says:

Denise Wyatt


"Let's not forget.

Labour repeatedly told Southampton residents that they would 'keep weekly bin collections'.

So Labour have broken another promise.

Labour pretends that they care about Southampton residents. But they are no better than the Tories, who also failed to collect our bins during the bin strikes."

Council staff are complaining about the state of Southampton to Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope. They say they do not have the staff to get the job done.

And now the Labour-run Southampton City Council faces the threat of bin strikes too.

Councillor Pope says:

Councillor Andrew Pope

"I've been told by bin men that they are considering following the lead of the bin men in Labour-run Birmingham City Council and going out on strike. 

Information about Birmingham has been doing the rounds amongst Southampton's bin men.

Recruitment is proving difficult.

Retaining bin men is proving difficult.

And bin men have told me that agency workers now make up around a third of the bin men.

Bin men are unhappy with being undermined by agency workers, with their pay and their hours.

Bin men are unhappy with the health and safety issues caused by Labour councillors moving to fortnightly bin collections.

And if they do go on strike, that would mean Southampton residents get an even worse service than they are getting now - if that is possible. 

The Labour Council needs to stop them from going on strike by dealing with their complaints.

If they do strike, Southampton will face more filth and more fury - not just from residents but from Council staff too.

I will be making enquiries with the Labour-run Council and speaking with more residents and more Council staff.

I have signed the petition asking for the cuts to bins to be reversed.

It's time for change on Southampton City Council. 

In the Council elections next year, VOTE LABOUR OUT in May 2018 and Vote Southampton Independents in!"




Thursday, 17 August 2017

We Stop Labour Bid to Remove Park Land and Annoy Residents

Redbridge Wharf Park

VICTORY: We Defeat Council Bid to Sell and Remove Redbridge Wharf Park Land Near You and Increase Light, Noise and Diesel Train Pollution 


Another victory for Southampton Independents, working with residents who objected to the Labour Council's plans with Network Rail and ABP. We opposed their plans and have defeated them.

The Labour councillors for Redbridge McEwing and Whitbread did not stand up for you. Labour supported the Labour Council proposals. They said in emails to Council officers:

“I’m happy to accept the proposal” (Labour Councillor Cathie McEwing)
“I second the comments from my colleague Cllr McEwing.” (Labour Councillor Lee Whitbread)

If you saw our previous letter that we delivered to residents of roads near to Redbridge Wharf Park, we warned that Network Rail and the Council’s plan to increase rail freight, remove park land and to increase light, noise and air pollution for residents. It is bad enough already.

Around 180 trees would have been removed. No noise barrier would have been erected. Network Rail wanted 24-hour working during construction. And the Council ignored our suggestions for improving heritage and park land nearby.

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope
Southampton Independents Councillor for Redbridge, Andrew Pope (above), objected to the plans.

He ordered the plans to come before a public planning panel so that Southampton Independents and residents could speak up. Otherwise the Labour Council would have approved them against your wishes.

Southampton Independents Leader Denise Wyatt
At the public meeting on Tuesday 1st August, Councillor Pope and Leader of Southampton Independents, Denise Wyatt, spoke up for local residents who objected.

We won! It was refused. 

The Council, Network Rail and ABP wanted to ignore residents. We didn’t let them ignore you.

Be warned – Network Rail are likely to COME BACK with another plan.

Tell us if you hear anything and we will keep you informed.



Thanks for working with us to win, working with you.

Vote for Denise Wyatt to become a Redbridge Councillor in May 2018. Vote Labour out! It’s time for change.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Council STILL Failing on Fire Safety in Tower Blocks


Research and evidence gathered by Southampton Independents shows that despite:

1. the fatal Grenfell Tower tragedy in London on 14th June 2017, which killed around 100 people but for which the investigation has not concluded, and
2. the fatal Shirley Towers tragedy in Southampton 5th April 2010, in which two firefighters were killed and the Coroner making recommendations to the Council and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), and
3. the Redbridge Towers fire in Southampton on 9th April 2017, which thankfully killed nobody

that fire safety in the Southampton City Council’s tower blocks is lacking in several ways, including a lack of sprinklers, a lack of adequate signage and a lack of standard cabling. 

Leader of Southampton Independents, Denise Wyatt, says:


Southampton City Council claims to have fire assessments done “regularly”, and that its fire assessments are up-to-date.  
Yet these flaws in fire safety are very clear to residents and Southampton Independents has provided evidence to the media this week. 
Southampton Independents is calling for fire safety in tower blocks to be properly and independently assessed in the City’s tower blocks, NOT by the Council and NOT by 3SFire which is not “independent”, as claimed by the Council. 
More evidence on the lack of fire safety will be published by Southampton Independents in the near future. 
It seems that Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council are not the only Council to fail on fire safety. Southampton City Council has failed to take action, whether under Labour or Conservative control since Shirley Towers in 2010. 
Why did it take pressure from Southampton Independents and public opinion following the Grenfell disaster to make the Council take action? That is totally wrong.”

Monday, 24 July 2017

Dangerous Motorbikes

Rogue motorbikes in Millbrook

Rogue motorbike riding illegally in Millbrook

Residents have been complaining for us for years about rogue motorbikes in Millbrook, Maybush, Lordshill and Redbridge.

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope says:


"Report them to 101, or via Crimestoppers.  
Police have confiscated bikes and raided houses when they have information from local residents.  
And I've told Tory head of Police Michael Lane (the elected Police and Crime Commissioner) he needs to ACT now. 
This has gone on for long enough. 
The Police need to be given the resources and equipment to get it sorted before more people get killed or injured, like they have in other parts of the country."



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Labour Council Closing Another Care Facility

The Labour Rose is Wilting Again
The Labour-run Council is closing another care facility.

How can this be, when Jeremy Corbyn claims that Labour Councils look after the vulnerable?

Is Jeremy Corbyn a liar? Yes.

People have been conned into thinking he is honest. But Corbyn isn't. You only have to look at the Labour Manifesto from the 2017 General Election to see this.

Corbyn had no hope of delivering his promise to vote down the Queen's Speech. And he didn't.

Corbyn has no hope of ever delivering his promise on student loans, as admitted by his own Shadow Cabinet colleague, the clueless Angela Rayner.

Corbyn has no hope of delivering his promise to nationalise the water companies. Where would the money come from - it would cost tens of billions if not hundreds of billions? And for what gain to the public?

Corbyn's promises are worth nothing more than the paper they are printed on.

Does the Labour-run Southampton City Council look after the vulnerable? No. They are as bad, if not worse, than the Tories because of these lies by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Council.

Leader of Southampton Independents, Denise Wyatt, says:

Denise Wyatt, Candidate for Redbridge Ward
in May 2018

"Kentish Road is a respite facility that has proved to be a vital facility by offering a life-line to carers of people with a learning disability by providing them with regular breaks.
Southampton Independents has been working with parents of disabled children. I know what it is like for those parents, because I have a disabled son who is now an adult and receives care.
Parents Amanda Guest, Clare Parsons and Lisa Stead will be making a deputation to the Labour run Southampton City Council on Wednesday 19th July 2017 to stop the Kentish Road respite facility from closing. Please support them by signing the petition at the link below. And come along to see them speak to the Council!
Southampton Independents will be there!"
The petition is here.

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope says:

Councillor Andrew Pope

"The Labour-run Council has closed Brownhill House care facility on Lower Brownhill Road.
It should be re-opened.
People who worked at Whitehaven Lodge were transferred to Brownhill House when the Tories closed Whitehaven. Now Whitehaven Lodge is flats and houses.
Labour is repeating what the Tories did, because they want to sell off Brownhill House for housing. And people who worked at Brownhill have been transferred to Kentish Road.
Labour is closing Kentish Road as well!
It's yet another case of Labour or Tory, same old story.
Vote for Denise Wyatt as the Southampton Independents candidate for Redbridge ward in May 2018."