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Thursday, 11 April 2019


Southampton Independents was formed by Southampton residents for Southampton residents.

Co-founder of Southampton Independents, Councillor Andrew Pope said:

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope on the BBC

"People told me so many times that they have had enough of Labour or Tory and the same old story.

And they still do.

Both of those Westminster parties have let our City, and our Country, down for decades.

I am proud of the fact that we took the initiative to form Southampton Independents and register it as a political party.

I am proud of the thousands of Southampton residents who have supported Southampton Independents when I stood in the General Election in 2017 and when our candidates stood in the Southampton City Council elections in 2018.

To do things as Independents is very hard, takes a lot of personal time and money, but it is worthwhile and rewarding, because it comes from the people for the people.

Southampton Independents achieved many great things, as shown on this website and in the Daily Echo and other local media.

And I am particularly proud of Denise Wyatt, who through hard work and dedication, almost took a safe Labour seat in Redbridge in 2018.

I would like to thank Denise, our volunteers and and all of our supporters, and all those people who helped Southampton Independents achieve what it has.

Southampton Independents have shown that there is an alternative to Labour and the Tories.

I urge the people of Southampton to grasp the opportunities that Southampton Independents has proved are there."

Co-founder of Southampton Independents Denise Wyatt says:

Denise Wyatt

"By working with residents, listening to their concerns and acting on them, Southampton Independents has worked for the people of Southampton, and for a better Southampton for its people.

Thanks again to all those who voted for me, and to those who helped me to help you. And a special thanks to Andrew Pope.

By working together, people can make a better Southampton and break away from the failing Labour Party and failing Tory Party.

Even Councillors and MPs of both those parties are realising that both parties are a failure. The recent resignations of MPs show that we were right to form Southampton Independents. They have been recently saying what we said all along.

The alternative to Labour and the Tories has to come from the people of Southampton, if it is change the City for the better.

It is now over to you..."

Monday, 26 November 2018

3 YEARS ON Are People Safe at NHS Southern Health?

3 years ago, we heard of the Mazars Report into the unexplained deaths at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which is supposed to care for people in the South of England.

We were astonished at what we discovered. So we did some work to contact those affected and to find out more.

As a service to the public, to patients of the Trust and their families, we updated this website with our work to expose the failures in care, and what we found out.

The more that we worked to expose the Trust's failures, the more concerned we became at how people had been put at risk by the failings of the Trust -  and we held those responsible to account - the Trust Board, its executive and non-executives directors and the then Chief Executive, Katrina Percy.

We pushed for the BBC and ITV, and the local Daily Echo, to report on the failings.

The then Chair of the Trust Mike Petter, and the Trust Board tried to stop the media from attending meetings. He also refused the recording of meetings. We continued to push and now the meetings are recorded.

After we had forced them to allow the media in to their meetings, Mr Petter told us when we challenged him in public, despite the unexplained deaths and the Mazars Report that: "There would be no resignations".

The media then reported on the failings. And resignations followed.

Only one of the then governors, John Green, had the guts to ask the questions that mattered to the Trust Board. That is, to do what governors are supposed to do and hold the Trust Board to account. And he resigned.

The public were told by Katrina Percy via the media that "lessons would be learned".

But then we heard of more unexplained deaths.

We were sceptical as to whether lessons had really been learned. Also sceptical were the families of those who were let down by Southern Health.

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope asked the Labour and Conservative councillors on the Southampton City Council Health Scrutiny Panel (there were no independent councillors on the Panel) to hold a vote-of-no-confidence in the Trust Board and Governors. The Panel is supposed to hold the local NHS to account.

Andrew says:

"All Labour and Tory councillors refused to hold a vote-of-no-confidence, with the Chair of the Panel Labour Councillor Sarah Bogle, leading the refusal.

I had urged them to do this. Denise Wyatt attended the Panel with me. But all councillors on the Panel refused the vote-of-no-confidence.
Why did they refuse when the Board and Governors had presided over such dreadful failures?"

Then we heard of the prosecutions of Southern Health. And fines for deaths and the suffering of families, that could have been avoided.

With the Chief Executive gone, with the Chair gone too, and then more directors resigning, we questioned whether the Trust really had changed.

Denise Wyatt

So in July this year, the Leader of Southampton Independents, Denise Wyatt, stood and was elected as a governor of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, representing the Southampton area on the Trust's Council of Governors.

Denise has been asking questions internally at the Trust and is now even more alarmed at the answers, as well as the lack of answers to important questions.

Denise says:

"As a Governor representing Southampton residents, I will continue to ask the questions that Southampton people and NHS patients want answers to, and to try to hold the Trust Board and Chair to account. I am pleased that some other governors also appear to want to do this, but I am disappointed that others seem to want to ignore their responsibility."

Monday, 10 September 2018


Is this another part of
Labour's Highway Robbery?

Victory: As reported in the Daily Echo, the Labour Council has been forced to climb down from their plans to charge vehicles. and the so-called "Green" Clean Air Southampton campaigners, have failed in their bid to make Southampton residents pay.

Update: At Full Council on Wednesday 19th September, our Councillor Andrew Pope repeatedly asked the Leader of the Labour-run Council, Councillor Chris Hammond, to rule out charging private cars.

Councillor Hammond repeatedly refused to rule it out.

Southampton Independents to Campaign for a Referendum on Charging

Councillor Pope announced that Southampton Independents will be campaigning for a referendum. He says:

"Southampton Independents supports residents in their opposition to charging.

No Southampton resident should be charged as part of a Clean Air Zone, congestion charge or any other similar charge.

We totally oppose charging Southampton residents.

So if the Labour-run Council want to introduce any charging, they must allow Southampton residents to vote on it first.

Other Independent councillors seemed to support my suggestion.

I have asked the Leader of the Conservative Group whether he supports a referendum. He would not commit to it without speaking to other Conservative councillors first, which I suppose is fair enough. I will await his response when he has spoken with them.

And to add insult to injury, when I asked her, Labour's Cabinet Member for Road Chaos, Councillor Jacqui Rayment, refused to stop charging people for crossing the Itchen Bridge Toll. This is despite the fact that the Labour Council is doing this for electric vehicles.

If they can end the toll for electric vehicles, they can end the toll for ALL VEHICLES. But they don't want to, because they want to keep taking your money.

And charging vehicles as part of any Clean Air Zone or other scheme will be another way for Labour to rob you on the highways.

It is Labour's Highway Robbery."

If you are opposed to any charging, let us know by getting in touch by email at sotonindies [at]


Would you support charging private cars to enter our City? In this Daily Echo article, Clean Air Southampton and Friends of the Earth are suggesting it.

Sadly the Labour Council Leader Chris Hammond does not rule it out in the article.

Councillor Andrew Pope says:

"In all of the conversations we have had on residents' doorsteps about pollution in Southampton, nobody has suggested that private cars should be charged.

Just who does "Clean Air Southampton" represent?

Southampton Independents is totally opposed to charging private cars in any Clean Air Zone.

Instead, residents want it, so we are campaigning for Park and Rides to be implemented. Labour and Tory councillors have done little to progress these in many years. We applaud the new hospital's Park and Ride at Nursling and have supported the planning application.

Southampton City Council should be taking action to get Park and Ride across the City, not charging private cars.

I am asking the Leader of the Council to rule out charging private cars, in a Formal Written Question at the September Full Council meeting."

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Park and Ride or Clean Air Zone: SHOULDN'T YOU DECIDE?

Councillor Andrew Pope
Our Councillor Andrew Pope says:

"Southampton Independents is listening to your views.

Do you want a Clean Air Zone? The Labour Council and Tory Government think they can impose it on you and local businesses.

Do you want a Park and Ride? Residents tell us regularly that they do. And we are campaigning for it. The hospital have listened. But the Council hasn't listened or acted for you.

And the Council hasn't delivered a park and ride for you, despite lots of talk.

Businesses and the Tory MP for the East of the City (Royston Smith) think that the Labour Council's Clean Air Zone is a bad idea. Do you agree?

Yet according to the Labour-run Council, it is the Tory Government that is imposing the Clean Air Zone on Southampton. They've claimed they wouldn't be doing it otherwise.

Once again, it is a case of Labour or Tory, same old story, with adults and children continuing to suffer from air pollution and its affects on our health."

Leader of Southampton Independents

Our Leader Denise Wyatt Southampton Independents says:

"Once the Labour Council have pretended to listen to you and then approved this anyway, Labour councillors can easily change it to make you pay to use your car in our City, by simply asking the Government whether they can do it.

Southampton Independents has confirmed this with Council officers, and that they wouldn't need to ask you, the public. Do you think this is right? We don't.

We already pay enough for the reducing services and poor communication by the Council. People get bad services and can't contact the Council easily.

Where is our Park and Ride? Areas of the City such as Redbridge already have a higher-than-average level of asthma. This can't carry on. 

Tell us what you think."

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

SAFE STANDING: Government to Review the Rules

Since last year, our Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope has been leading the local campaign for Safe Standing at St. Mary's Stadium.

Andrew was interviewed by Julian Clegg on BBC Radio Solent this week. The interview is below.

Photos of rail seats, which are proposed for the trial of Safe Standing at St. Mary's Stadium, are below and in the video that accompanies the interview. Other photos that help to explain the campaign are also on the video stream, including the dangers of "unsafe standing" as currently.

"Passionate Paula" is behind a trip hazard

When "Passionate Paula" gets excited...
... she could trip on the seat in front of her

And "Passionate Paula" can fall on other fans...
The local petition for Safe Standing at St. Mary's Stadium is here. If you have not signed it already, please sign it and share it with your contacts, colleagues, friends and family. At the time of writing, over 800 Saints fans have signed it.

As a result of the national campaign led by the Football Supporters Federation across England for Safe Standing at English grounds in the Premier League and Championship, and because the Government said they would not be looking at Safe Standing despite our campaign, a national petition was started. The e-petition gained over 100,000 signatures in a short time, and resulted in a debate in Parliament on Monday this week.

At the end of the debate, the Minister responsible Tracey Crouch MP, confirmed a review of the rules that currently prevent safe standing.

Councillor Andrew Pope says:

Councillor Pope showing
Rail Seats for Safe Standing
at St. Mary's Stadium
"This is a major step in the right direction for the campaign for Safe Standing across England and at St. Mary's Stadium.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the campaign so far:
  • Southampton fans who signed my petition
  • Jon Darch and the Safe Standing Roadshow
  • The Daily Echo and That's Solent TV who have covered the campaign
  • BBC Radio Solent and Wave 105 who have interviewed me several times
  • the majority of Southampton City councillors who supported my motion supporting Safe Standing.*
  • the Total Saints Podcast who have helped to promote the campaign
  • MPs that spoke in the debate in Parliament on Monday
But we are not there yet. The rules have not been changed yet and this review appears to be taking until at least early 2019.

This may be an attempt to kick safe standing into the long grass.

We have not campaigned for years to allow this to happen.

We have to keep up the pressure.

If you want to help with our Safe Standing campaign, or if you want to help us with our other campaigns across Southampton, contact Southampton Independents by emailing us at sotonindies [at]"

*(N.B. None of the Coxford councillors voted for the motion - Don Thomas, Keith Morrell and Tammy Thomas - and not all Labour councillors supported it - including Shirley Councillor Satvir Kaur. But the vast majority of Labour and Conservative councillors did support the motion.)

Friday, 1 June 2018

Does Labour Want McDonald's at Itchen Bridge OR NOT?

Is is another Labour Highway Robbery?



McDonald's is appealing the Labour-run Council's decision to refuse the planning permission.

They are appealing to the Planning Inspector, whose decision will be final.

Andrew Pope and Denise Wyatt from Southampton Independents were at the Planning Committee when the refusal was done.

Our Councillor Andrew Pope says:

"Two of the Southampton Labour councillors who agreed to sell the land to McDonald's, spoke against the planning permission when it came to the Planning Committee.

The councillors are both Woolston Labour councillors. Their names are Councillor Warwick Payne and Councillor Chris Hammond. The latter is now the Leader of the Council.

Another former Labour Councillor Paul Lewzey, who was also in the Cabinet, spoke against the McDonald's at Woolston.

Yet they had previously supported it.

Were they for or against McDonald's using the site for a McDonald's?

It's difficult to tell when they changed their minds.

Or perhaps they thought that McDonald's would not use the site for a McDonald's, but for some kind of space mission instead?

What do you think?

Southampton Independents is neutral on this application, but I have made a representation to the Planning Inspector about the way the Labour-run Council and Labour Councillors have handled this.

They can't be allowed to get away with it."

Leader of Southampton Independents Denise Wyatt says:

"Is it another case of Labour's Highway Robbery?

Were they only after the money for selling the land, to pay for the extra millions for their Arts Complex in the City Centre?

Residents need to know.

Tell us by email at sotonindies [at] or via our phone on 07580715687"

Sunday, 20 May 2018

YOUR VIEWS: Lidl - Does the Labour Council Only Want the Money?

Southampton Labour has already robbed millions
that could have spent on roads
and spent it on the Arts Complex
Proposed Lidl Foodstore on Shirley Road and Villiers Road

Southampton Independents put residents, not MPs in London, first. We listen to residents. We act with residents. We are a local political party, formed by residents in 2017. Join us!

What do you think of the “new” plans by Lidl for the Shirley Road and Villiers Road site (new planning application 18/00746/FUL)?

Lidl already have a massive warehouse
that is adding pollution to our air
Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope already objected to the previous planning application, so we were pleased that it was rejected by the Planning Committee.

Councillor Andrew Pope
in one of the roads nearby
Andrew says:

"Residents were disappointed that trees that I mentioned in his objection were not protected by the Labour-run Council. Why? And why did they demolish the site. Do they only want the money from selling the land? It seems so.

Have the plans changed enough? Have they dealt with your concerns? What do you think?

Southampton Independents will form our view based on what residents tell us. Contact us to tell us."

In the Daily Echo on 17th May, speaking on YET ANOTHER Lidl proposal in our City (on Brownhill Way in the North of our City), Andrew is quoted saying:

I want to see what Lidl is going to do for local residents, because Lidl will be making lots of money, so they have to deliver benefits such as improved transport links, a new park and ride, and finally deliver on the promise of sustainability including solar panels...

The Labour Council has to make Lidl do this.

Residents and the local area must benefit from the new store, if it goes ahead.

These comments apply to this site too. The Echo article is also available online here.

Tell us what YOU think of Lidl’s plans. Tell us what YOU think of our ideas. Contact us at the details on this website (on the left). We also have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed.

Leader of Southampton Independents Denise Wyatt says:

Leader of Southampton Independents
Denise Wyatt
"Standing as the Southampton Independents candidate, I almost took a Labour safe seat in Redbridge Ward, because I worked hard and listened to residents - not just at election time. The seat is now a marginal seat. So’ton Indies intend to win it next time.

Southampton Independents was formed to put YOU first, not MPs in London. 

Because Southampton Independents are local residents, just like you. Join us!"