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Friday, 2 February 2018

Southampton Labour Council and Tories Hiding the Truth

Denise Wyatt, Leader of Southampton Independents
Denise Wyatt, Leader of Southampton Independents says that Southampton Labour has got its spending priorities all wrong... Do you agree?

What is the Southampton Labour-run City Council hiding about the Arts Complex a.k.a. Studio 144?  

For many months, Southampton Independents have been asking about the cost and the over-runs of the Arts Complex, otherwise known as Guildhall Square or Studio 144. Businesses and charities have even been put in trouble because of it, as reported by the Daily Echo and from reports we have heard from business tenants of the Arts Complex. Are they paying to high rents because the project is a disaster? We suggest that they are.

Southampton Independents has listened to the 95% plus of people who think the Arts Complex is less important than our roads, care for the elderly and vulnerable, and keeping weekly bins. There doesn’t seem to be any accountability for the millions – not from the “Southampton Cultural Development Trust” nor Labour Councillor Satvir Kaur – neither seem able or willing to explain.

The Acting Chief Financial Officer was asked by our Councillor Andrew Pope to reign-in the tens of millions already spent on the project, to stop further waste. She told him the Council would wait. Councilllor Pope said that was unwise, because it was over-time and over-budget. More time has passed and more money has been spent. How? Why? Residents deserve answers.

Councillor Pope has now asked for the Council’s secret audit report that has been presented to Labour Councillors behind closed doors. It’s a scandal that Council officers appear to be stalling until they have “doctored” the report. But it’s no surprise that Labour wants to cover it up, while the supposed “opposition” Southampton Tories stay silent. Instead of asking the right questions, Tory councillors applaud the massive expenditure of public money.

Councillor Pope did not vote for the extra millions for the Arts Complex. But 47 other councillors did – Labour, Tory or “Coxford Three”? Those 47 councillors need to explain to residents and those who have lost services why they have agreed for the Council to spend public money on the wrong priorities.

Only Southampton Independents stood up for the right priorities. That is why we are asking Southampton residents for vote for our candidates in the City Council elections in May.

Why else have the costs been hidden?

Why else have decision and reports been kept secret?

Southampton Independents demand to know how much these “Arts” and wrong priorities have cost in Southampton while our services and the vulnerable suffer!

Denise Wyatt

Leader, Southampton Independents

Monday, 18 December 2017

Southern Water - Worst with Southampton's Water

Southern Water Signs of Failure
Our community activists look out for problems in Southampton's communities.

They don't just keep Southampton City Council on their toes. Southampton Independents keep utility companies working for you.

Members of our Redbridge team twice spotted the same water leak over the last week. The sign in the photo above claimed that Southern Water were aware, and that the leak would be fixed by 13th December.

In Winter this will ice up
The photos were taken today (18th December). Obviously it still isn't fixed. A worker nearby told us that he had reported the problem to Southern Water again on Friday 15th December. Still it wasn't fixed.

A dangerous path
So Southampton Independents Redbridge campaigner Denise Wyatt and our Councillor Andrew Pope took these photos, and have followed up with Southern Water to ask them why it hasn't been fixed, and when it is going to be fixed.

Another dangerous path
The problem is especially dangerous as it has now created pools of water, pools of water and mud and wet paths. These paths are used by many members of the public every day, including by elderly people and by children.

School children and elderly people walk here
 And in water these long lengths of path will turn into ICE.

Elderly people walk here - ICE danger

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope said:                                                                                                                           

Councillor Andrew Pope

"This is a serious and urgent safety issue for Millbrook residents. 
The Water Regulator CCWater said in September this year that Southern Water were the worst performing water company for the FIFTH year running. So it is perhaps not surprising that they haven't fixed this problem on time. 
The leak is near a block for elderly residents. And next to a very well-used path on a main road in Millbrook. Southern Water have tried to blame Vodafone, so why did they put up the sign telling residents it would be fixed - and it hasn't.
They have apologised to me and said it will be fixed.
I will continue to pressure Southern Water and other utility companies to protect Millbrook residents, just like I did four years ago when Southern Electric lost the power to hundreds of homes in the area. I forced them into an apology and won compensation."

Denise Wyatt

Redbridge campaigner and Leader of Southampton Independents Denise Wyatt said:
"Southampton Independents was formed by local residents so that they can work together on the problems they face. 
Activists like Andrew and I help to solve problems like water leaks and power cuts. We help residents to have better and easier lives, despite the failures of Labour-run Southampton City Council and the Tory Government.
What issues are important to you where you live in Southampton?"

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Disruption to Christmas/New Year Rail

We try to let Southampton residents know of any important information that comes to us.

We would like to let you know of disruption to the railways in and around Southampton over the Christmas and New Year period.

Please pass this information on to your friends, work colleagues, family and neighbours.

This is caused by works being done by Network Rail and South Western Railway. So please don't blame us! We are merely passing the information on.

More information is below and at the following link:

Denise Wyatt
Denise Wyatt
Leader, Southampton Independents

Railway upgrade work over the festive period – Southampton area

We are writing to you about vital upgrade work in the Southampton area over Christmas and the New Year that will affect passenger services.

Work will start early on the morning of Sunday 24 December 2017 and finish late on Monday 1 January 2018 (services will operate as usual on 2 January). There will also be two earlier dates (Sunday 10 December and Sunday 17 December) where engineering work will be taking place. Further work in January and February will also be carried out.

More than 100 engineers and track staff will be working shifts 24 hours a day to replace around 6,000 metres of cabling and around 200 metres of track. The benefits of this £8 million project include improved reliability for passengers and reduced track noise for our lineside neighbours.

This work will mean there will be no services between Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central and the line between Southampton Airport Parkway and Fareham will also be closed. Detailed background information is provided below.

There will be no trains from St Denys, Swaythling or Bitterne stations. Rail replacement bus services will be in operation and there will be road diversions as two level crossings (Mount Pleasant Road and Adelaide Road) will be temporarily closed.

Passengers wishing to travel from London to Southampton Central or beyond during this period will need to change for rail replacement bus services at Southampton Airport Parkway. Work is being carried out at this time as up to 50% fewer people travel over Christmas.

Advice to passengers regarding wider Christmas engineering work on the railway network has already been published. Specific information on work at Southampton will start to be sent to passengers this week, including through on-train announcements, social media, local media and station advertising.

Network Rail has also written to its lineside neighbours regarding the work and we will be holding passenger information sessions at stations.
We are advising people to ‘check before you travel’ through National Rail Enquiries and the South Western Railway website. 

Councillor Andrew Pope

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope has also made further enquiries about Redbridge and Millbrook services. The following is the response:

"South Western Railway services will be affected at Redbridge and Millbrook stations as a result of these works.

The services from Millbrook and Redbridge stations have been re-timed and services will not run further east than Southampton. Additionally, on24 and 31 December, westbound services will only run to Poole and not to Salisbury.

Our timetables have been updated to reflect the changes in services during this time, and we are advising passengers to check before they travel."

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

UPDATED: Southampton Labour's (SECOND) Attack on Our Park

Redbridge Wharf Park

Neglected Maintenance by the Council

The Plaque Showing the Park Was Given
to the People of Southampton

UPDATE (30th November 2017): Leader of Southampton Independents Denise Wyatt has objected to the new planning application. Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope has also objected. We have been thanked again by local residents for being pro-active and fighting for them.


Park land that was given to the people of Southampton at Redbridge Wharf Park, is now being flogged off by Southampton City Council in a grubby deal with Network Rail. Yet another daft idea by Southampton Labour "running" the Council.

NEW Council Bid to Sell and Remove Redbridge Wharf Park Land Near You and Increase Light, Noise and Diesel Train Pollution

We wrote to Redbridge residents in August following our victory in defeating Southampton Labour’s terrible plans to remove park land at Redbridge Wharf Park. If you remember, Southampton Independents stood up for residents because they asked us to. We acted.

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope represented you and objected to the plans, forcing them before the public planning panel. 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. But it isn’t over yet… They’re back.

If it hadn’t been for Southampton Independents, the Labour Council would have pushed it through, against your wishes. Residents tell us: “Labour is killing our area and Southampton”.

Shamefully, the two Labour councillors for Redbridge did not stand up for you. They actually supported the Labour Council’s proposals (what a surprise!). They said in emails:

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

If you saw one of our previous letters that we delivered to residents of roads near to Redbridge Wharf Park, we warned of 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.

There is ANOTHER planning application. Please object to the planning application.

It is online at:

And the planning reference is 17/02368/FUL “Change of use of land from open space and landscaping into operational railway use and construction of new railway sidings, with associated works and proposed change of use of Network Rail land to public open space (resubmission 15/00306/FUL)”.

Or you can write to: Planning, Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, SO14 7LS

If you need any assistance, please get in touch at the details on the left.

We will be objecting. We will keep you updated. Please inform us of your objections.

Denise Wyatt, Leader, Southampton Independents
Councillor Andrew Pope, Councillor for Redbridge Ward, Southampton City Council

Friday, 10 November 2017

REMINDER: Southampton Roadworks AGAIN This Weekend

Redbridge Towers: The Gateway to Southampton
Redbridge Viaduct/Causeway will be CLOSED this weekend from 8pm on Saturday 11 November 2017 until 5am on Monday 13 November 2017.

These works are being done by Tory Hampshire County Council, and they have been AGREED by Labour Southampton City Council. Both councils were to blame for the chaos. Like Southampton residents say, Labour or Tory, same old story.

After the chaos last weekend in Western Southampton due to the Redbridge Causeway/Viaduct roadworks (reported by the Daily Echo here), we've been listening to what residents of Southampton said.

One letter from a Redbridge resident was in the Echo this week (see below). More complaints have followed in the Echo. And many more Redbridge and Southampton residents have been in touch.

Another Redbridge resident said:"Test Lane never been so busy with people trying to take a short cut to no where!"
A Maybush resident told us:"Cars were sat across the lights so cars couldn't move ,people were driving like idiots all because road signs were not in right places ,then they drove down and under-bridge to other side and still getting caught in traffic other side ,most of traffic was heading up Green Lane then keeping Romsey Road to a standstill".
Another Southampton resident said:"Trying to get out of Southampton on Sunday. It took me over an hour and a half to get onto the M27. A normal trip to Christchurch took me nearly two and a half hours. I don't mind traffic and I understand this is needed but it seemed everyone including myself didn't think there would be so much disruption."

Denise Wyatt
Leader of Southampton Independents Denise Wyatt, who is also a campaigner in Redbridge, said:
"Last weekend, not only Redbridge but all around Western Southampton was in chaos.
This CANNOT be allowed to happen again.
The City Council did not give adequate advanced warnings, and neither did Hampshire County Council.
Southampton Independents tried to let people know via our website and Facebook. But it isn't our job. We are just trying to help residents. Southampton Labour that is supposed to be "in charge" of Southampton City Council. And the Tories likewise in Hampshire.
Labour and the Tories need to be voted out in the next elections, if residents want better performance from the councils. 
Southampton Independents will be standing candidates for councillors in the May 2018 City Council elections. I will be one of them."

Councillor Andrew Pope
Southampton Independents Councillor for Redbridge, Andrew Pope, said:
"Residents were never asked whether they wanted these works, or when it would be wise to do them. And I have confirmed that only a couple of roads in Redbridge were notified about the works with a letter.
It's not good enough. 
As a ward councillor for the area, I should have been consulted. But I wasn't. I have challenged the councils why. And they think that sending a letter out is "consultation". IT ISN'T. Consultation means listening. THEY DIDN'T.
It is better to listen to residents, because they know the area. But neither Hampshire nor Southampton councils want to listen to residents. They just want to do things TO residents.
Following my challenges to officers of both councils to "up their game", I have been assured that improvements will occur for the second round of works this weekend.
We will see.
Tell us what your experiences have been.
Tell us how you think the councils can minimise disruption.
It is very sad that Labour Councillor Jacqui Rayment seeks in today's Echo to criticise members of the public such as Mr Sanders of Redbridge, instead of taking responsibility for her own failures as "transport boss" for Southampton City Council. 
And it is also very sad that despite being given all week, Tory County Councillor Rob Humby has failed to answer my questions and challenges to him as to why he has failed in a similar way to Councillor Rayment. 
I have therefore asked the Leader of Hampshire County Council to ensure that I get answers for Southampton residents.
Do you agree with supporters of Southampton Independents that if the disruption is not minimised, that both councillors Humby and Rayment should resign? Someone should be accountable, they have told us.
Labour and Tory councillors should be making sure disruption is minimised, not blaming each other. Labour or Tory, same old story gets us nowhere!"


READER LETTER: Southampton weekend road closures are an almighty blunder

THE closure of the A35 on Saturday, November 4 at 8pm has been one almighty blunder by the highways agency and Southampton council.

I wish that Jacqui Rayment, Southampton councillor for transport, and members of the highways agency could have been at the Redbridge Roundabout to see for themselves what an absolute disgrace the closure was, not only for local residents but for those people trying to get home to Totton, Hythe and all points west of Redbridge.

There were no proper road signs telling drivers that the M271 was the correct route away from Redbridge to get back to Totton and all points west, and not to use Gover Road and Test lane as a detour.

Due to the fact that the future closures are going to take place between now and Christmas, one hopes that Southampton council and the highways agency get their act together so that we do not get a repeat performance during the next closures.

Roy Sanders


Friday, 27 October 2017

PHOTOS: Southampton Labour Fails Again on Tower Blocks

The Top Floor Stairwell of Millbrook Towers
Southampton Independents has been campaigning for better fire safety since the fire at Redbridge Towers in April 2017.

As shown on this website, our campaigning with residents forced the Labour-run Council to commit to install sprinklers in all Council tower blocks.

Before our campaign, the Labour-run Council's boss of Housing, Warwick Payne, said that residents did not want sprinklers.

We forced Labour to think again.

Southampton Independents prefer action, not empty words.

We were formed by residents, for residents.

Since the Grenfell Tower disaster in London, we have been pressuring the Labour-run Council even more.

As shown on this website, we have exposed Councillor Payne's failure to fix long-running problems with fire safety in Canberra Towers. This block is in Weston in the Council ward that Councillor Payne represents, Woolston ward.

Some of those problems have remained for a long time, despite Councillor Payne's Housing staff having reports from fire safety experts that showed problems remained unfixed.

On the BBC's Inside Out programme, Councillor Payne did not explain why these long-known problems were not fixed. On the BBC, Councillor Payne's back was to the wall, residents tell us.

Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope says:

Councillor Andrew Pope

"I have challenged Councillor Payne directly to explain why he hasn't fixed the problems. 
Councillor Payne did not give an adequate explanation.  
Councillor Payne has been in this post for over five years and claims to be an experienced Councillor. I've been telling him for five years that he needs to get a grip. Yet Labour keeps him as "Housing Boss". Why?
It is time that the people of Woolston and Weston voted him and the two other Labour councillors in Woolston Hammond and Blatchford out. This is supposed to be the area that they represent, but they too have failed. 
It's the same in Redbridge and Millbrook, the two Labour councillors McEwing and Whitbread have failed to get Southampton Labour to fix the problems in Redbridge Towers and Millbrook Towers.
And don't forget that Millbrook Labour councillor Mike Denness is under investigation by the Council. 
It is Southampton Independents that is exposing Labour's failures and potential corruption.
Labour is supposed to be in charge, but all they do is charge more Council Tax for a worse Council."
Now, Southampton Independents is publishing below more photos of failures by the Labour-run Council to protect residents of tower blocks. These photos were taken during the last two weeks.

Like before, this is not an exhaustive list of their failures. It is the job of Southampton City Council and Southampton Labour that is supposed to be running it properly.

Leader of Southampton Independents Denise Wyatt says:

Leader of Southampton Independents Denise Wyatt
"Southampton Labour should have fixed the problems. 

Southampton Labour should have known about the problems. 

Southampton Labour should care. But it doesn't. It just pretends. 

We publish these photos to show how Southampton Labour has failed again on tower blocks. 
What is the difference between Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council where Grenfell Tower is, and Southampton City Council? 
One is Tory. The other is Labour. 
Like residents tell us all of the time, whether it is Labour or Tory, it's the same old story - residents let down by the Westminster parties."
The only sure way is to vote Labour and Tory councillors out in the City Council election in May 2018.

The only sure way is to vote for Southampton Independents candidates to replace Labour and Tory councillors in May 2018.

Contact us to get involved to help us to help you, your family and your area.


Damaged handles on fire doors

Many fire doors don't close properly

Another fire door that doesn't close properly

Yet another fire door that doesn't close properly

Rusty hinges on fire doors - will this protect residents in a fire?

The Coroner of Shirley Towers said firefighters were caught in loose cables

Cable through frame of fire door

Bent handle on fire door

Wooden replacements for ventilation grilles - are they fire safe?

Plastic housing for lighting - is this fire safe?

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Redbridge Viaduct works by Hampshire County Council

Redbridge Towers The Gateway to Southampton

Tory-run Hampshire County Council have decided to do the works below, which will cause a lot of disruption over many months.

They have not consulted Southampton Independents, or our Councillor for Redbridge Andrew Pope.

Hampshire County Council claim this is "advanced notice", but the works will soon be upon us.

What do you think?

Councillor Pope is asking questions about what the Labour-run Southampton City Council knew, and what they agreed on YOUR behalf.

What other questions do you want answered?

Contact us at the details on the left of the website.


A35 Redbridge Viaduct Essential Works
I am writing to inform you of forthcoming essential bridge repairs and carriageway resurfacing on Redbridge Viaduct and the A35, between the M271 and Rushington Roundabout. Phase 1 of the project is to replace all the bridge joints on Redbridge Viaduct and resurface the carriageway up to Rushington Roundabout.
Background to the Scheme
The A35 Redbridge causeway is a strategic transport link which connects western Hampshire, New Forest National Park and the significant industrial areas of Fawley oil refinery and Marchwood military port to Southampton, its docks and the associated motorway / strategic network. It is the only major non-motorway crossing of the River Test. It also carries significant tourist and holiday traffic for the New Forest National Park and links Southampton to the residential areas on the Waterside.
The eastbound A35 is carried over three bridges, and the westbound is carried over the 20 span Redbridge Viaduct. Regular Inspections and structural investigations have identified deteriorating problems on all four causeway bridges. The problems are caused by the marine location and leaking bridge expansion joints making them vulnerable to the effects of de-icing salts and sea water. Significant repairs are needed to all four Redbridge Causeway bridges in order to maintain this vital strategic transport link. If no action is taken and the deterioration of the bridges continues then progressively more restrictive weight limits will need to be imposed on the route in order to ensure the safety of the travelling public. This would have a detrimental impact on the large number of vehicles that use the route including the bus services and commercial traffic. The total cost of repairs and strengthening of all these four Causeway bridges and the associated road surfacing works are estimated to be approximately £20 million. Hampshire County Council (HCC) has committed £2 million for the immediate works, and are disappointed that previous DfT bids have been unsuccessful. HCC continue to explore funding opportunities for the remainder of the works.
Inspections and structural investigations have identified Redbridge Viaduct as the bridge which is in need of early attention. Prior to carrying out repairs needed to the reinforced concrete supports, leaks through the bridge expansion joints need to be stopped. Replacement of these joints is Phase 1.
In order to ensure the safety of the traveling public and our operatives on site, as well as the quality of the work, the westbound carriageway will need to be closed at weekends. The closure dates and times for Phase 1 are listed below.
A35 WESTBOUND closed:
·    From 8pm on Saturday 4 November 2017 until 5am on Monday 6 November 2017
·    From 8pm on Saturday 11 November 2017 until 5am on Monday 13 November 2017
·    From 8pm on Saturday 3 February 2018 until 5am on Monday 5 February 2018
·    From 8pm on Saturday 10 February 2018 until 5am on Monday 12 February 2018
·    From 8pm on Saturday 17 February 2018 until 5am on Monday 19 February 2018
·    From 8pm on Saturday 24 February 2018 until 5am on Monday 26 February 2018
·    From 8pm on Saturday 3 March 2018 until 5am on Monday 5 March 2018
The nature of the works makes them highly weather dependant and a decision whether to go ahead with the works will be made on the Wednesday preceding each of the dates. If poor weather is forecast then no work will be possible and we will not close the road unnecessarily; this news will be published on the electronic signs near the site, as well as Hampshire County Council’s webpage and social media channels.
For vehicular traffic, a signed diversion route will be provided during the closure periods, and access for pedestrians/cyclists will be maintained.
Bus companies have been informed, and the affected services will be rerouted via the motorway diversion route.
A35 Eastbound
Phase 2, in 2018, will be the resurfacing of the Eastbound carriageway and will not involve any daytime full road closures. Further information will be released when available.
For the local businesses, we intend to drop letters informing about the work in advance.
Further information about the project will go live on Monday and can be found at .