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Monday, 25 April 2016

Southampton Labour Is Ashamed of Its Failures

Over the last four years since they made the promises that they didn't keep, Southampton Labour have been increasingly ashamed of their failures to protect the vulnerable.

What Jeremy Corbyn claims Labour does ("Labour is standing up for your community") is far from the reality of what Southampton Labour has done on Southampton City Council.

It's no wonder very respected election expert Prof John Curtice is predicting a very poor Labour performance, including the loss of control of Southampton on May 5th. They only have a majority of 2 (25 Labour 20 Conservatives 3 Independents).

This is because Labour has not PROTECTED but ATTACKED your community with inappropriate developments and cuts!

Labour are still trying to blame others like the Tories - who also failed when they were in power from 2008-2012.

But Labour has chosen the wrong priorities, wasted millions due to their serial incompetence and has seen a revolving door of failure at Southampton City Council.

All the while they claimed that they didn't have the money to keep services and do the Millbrook and Maybush Regeneration, despite wasting millions on the Arts Complex - and now Labour Leader Councillor Simon Letts wants to borrow £65 million - after cutting all these services and claiming there is no money/blaming the Tories for the umpteenth time!

It's an outrage - but it's typical Labour incompetence. How many Labour Governments have left our country in a financial mess? And now Labour wants to risk YOUR money on so-called "investment". As they say on TV, investments can go down as well as up - this is taxpayers' money - YOUR money!

And what of Redbridge ward - has your Redbridge Labour Councillor Lee Whitbread protected the vulnerable? No.

Even though he is seeking your vote, Lee Whitbread (have you even heard of him before now?) and the Labour Council have failed to protect YOU, your family and your area.

Lee Whitbread voted:
  • to cut YOUR lollipop men and women
  • to cut YOUR Sure Start services
  • to cut YOUR library and bus passes
  • to close Woodside Lodge and Brownhill House care centres

Labour uses weasel words and deception to deny the truth.

But the truth is there on public record in the agenda and minutes of the Council.

Or perhaps Labour councillors didn't even know what they were doing when they were voting these cuts through? Did they read the budget? Did they read the reports to Council? Did the Cabinet sneak the cuts through?

It doesn't matter - the facts are there. They voted for more and more cuts.

The truth is that there is no real difference between Labour and the Tories - they both have cut YOUR services.

Lee Whitbread hasn't properly represented you. He didn't stand up for YOU to have your say at the Regeneration public meeting. He has failed to defend your area from inappropriate developments.

Vote for Independent Denise Wyatt to replace him.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Protect Our Green Spaces!

Below is the original version of a letter printed in the Daily Echo from Independent Council Candidate for Redbridge, Denise Wyatt:
"Labour can't be trusted with green space at the Sports Centre. How do I know this?
Residents of Millbrook, Maybush and Redbridge know that the Labour Council are selling off green space at Test Lane for more monstrous warehousing like the dreadful Lidl development.
Sports clubs and residents have have told me that they fear the future of the playing fields and the future of children's green space. 
The regeneration of Millbrook, Maybush,and Redbridge has put all green space at risk!"
Independent Councillor for Redbridge, Andrew Pope, added:
"Residents have seen the Lidl monstrosity be built, against residents' wishes. And they are now suffering traffic chaos because of the poor planning and lack of leadership from the Labour Council.
Residents are very unhappy that Labour councillors voted through even more warehouses at Test Lane.
And residents are extremely unhappy at Labour's 4-year failure to 'regenerate' the area. They showed their anger at the recent public meeting - a meeting that I had to fight hard to make happen, against the wishes of Labour councillors like Cathie McEwing who told residents at the meeting that they were not "interested".
The only way to protect our green spaces is to Vote Independent for Denise Wyatt at the 2016 local elections on 5th May."

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Southern Health Still Haven't Changed

Over the past few months, I and Denise Wyatt have continued our pressure on Southern Health following their proven failures of leadership and to care for our loved ones.

At Southampton City Council, we were appalled how the Health Scrutiny Panel of councillors let Southern Health off the hook. Not only that, the Chair of the Panel, Labour Councillor Sarah Bogle did not insist as we had asked that SH Chief Exec Katrina Percy and SH Chair Mike Petter attend. Instead, she let Ms Percy go on leave and send two other directors to attend. Worse, when I challenged her on this in a written question to Full Council, she appeared to try to justify this. In another conversation, it appeared to Denise and I that Cllr Bogle was just too busy to make Southern Health accountable.

Worse, the papers sent to the Panel were wrong, giving a false impression of progress to "learn the lessons" they claim to have learned. Such claims are bitterly disputed by fellow campaigners, highlighted again by new analysis published today by the Justice for LB campaign. Why were the papers wrong? It was just an error say SH. Obviously not deliberate.

So the Health Scrutiny Panel failed to do its job - why was it left to Denise and I as campaigners to read the papers and know they were wrong? It is the job of officers and members of the Scrutiny Panel to be aware. But they didn't do their job.

And as already stated on this blog, the governors and directors of SH have failed. This includes Labour Peartree Councillor Paul Lewzey who was the governor appointed by outgoing Freemantle Labour Councillor David Shields to represent Southampton's residents. The latter is the one who thought it was OK to try to gag the rest of us councillors. As the Daily Echo reported, it may work on Labour or Tory councillors but not on Independents like myself and Coxford Independent Don Thomas.

As for Governor Paul Lewzey, after waiting a long time for his answer to my question as to why he didn't back Governor John Green's proposal for an independent investigation into SH, all we got was a rambling non-answer. Towing the party line instead of proper accountability for failed governance and failed care is not on.

The regulators have also failed. Months after Mazars, the regulators are dragging their heals - will their threats in this week's media amount to anything? It is difficult to be confident of this given past experience.

So how do we hold the NHS to account? The answer is that we can't.

And sadly this is the inevitable consequence of how the NHS was set up in 1948. It cannot be top-down command and control. That is for Stalinists.

It has to be local, but with real, not imagined accountability.

In the meantime, campaigners have to use all forms of media and whatever other tools they can, to get rid of the failures of the existing system.

Join us!

Independent Councillor Andrew Pope

Updated: STILL opposed to Test Lane development

Independent Council Candidate for Redbridge Denise Wyatt and Independent Councillor Andrew Pope are once again attending Southampton City Council's Planning Panel this evening. It is a public meeting.

Denise Wyatt's views are communicated on today's Daily Echo front page and page 7 here. Denise and Andrew are on the left of the photo holding the placards "Air Quality not Labour ££££" and "Green Space not Labour ££££". This was at a protest on Gover Road, opposite the proposed site.

A couple of photos of the printed version are attached to this blog post article.

UPDATE: Here is a letter to the Echo from local resident Roy Sanders.

At the last public meeting, Cllr Pope wanted the full details to come back to the Panel so that residents and he as their representative could make their views known. This was agreed. But now members of the Panel and officers of the Council have moved to stifle public involvement.

We have been speaking to residents that will suffer if this application is given the final go-ahead tonight.

And they are not happy.

And we have seen an email from one of the members of the Panel, Councillor Nigel Hecks, who thinks the public should not be allowed to speak!

Test LaneHecks, Nigel (Cllr)Sent:   11 April 2016 13:50To:Denness, Mike (Cllr)Cc:Tucker, Matthew (Cllr); Coombs, Hannah (Cllr); Wilkinson, Graham (Cllr); ; ; Pope, Andrew (Cllr)
I have carefully considered the various emails from residents and Cllr Pope requesting withdrawal/ deferment of this item.  I have no doubt that, I'm the light of the excellent report by officers,  the item should proceed as usual and that there should be no public speaking on the matter. The panel has all necessary information to take the decision and any further delay is neither warranted nor in the public interest.Kind regards,Nigel Hecks (Cllr)

This is the same councillor who wasn't even there at the October meeting! He was replaced by another councillor (new Conservative councillor Alex Houghton). And Councillor Hecks attacks democracy in this way! Do the people in his ward (Sholing) also think their views shouldn't be listened to? 

Does he think his views are more important than the public's? 

His views are unconventional. They are also wrong. He believes that Solent University is not a "real" university like Southampton University. His snobbery comes across in his attack on the free speech of Redbridge residents.

This Council and councillors like Cllr Hecks do not want to listen to the public.

The Labour Council just wants the money from the sale of the land. The Labour councillors have voted to spend the money from the sale of land in our City, including the Redbridge ward councillors that want your vote on 5th May. Other Labour members of the Panel have also voted to spend public money that comes from the sale of land.

So not only do Labour but seemingly Conservatives too want more warehouses like the Lidl monstrosity which local residents HATE.

They also want to continue the attack on OUR GREEN SPACES.

Tell them NO! tonight at the Civic Centre at 6pm.

Tell them NO! in your postal vote or at the polling stations, 7am to 10pm Thursday 5th May.


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Denise Wyatt - Your Redbridge Independent Council Candidate

Denise Wyatt Your Independent Council Candidate listens to YOU.

You told her Labour's Regeneration ignored you. Denise spoke up for you to have your say at the public meeting at All Saints Church. Independent councillors speak up for you instead of doing what their party tells them to like Labour, Tory and UKIP.

Denise fought for you against Labour Council cuts at Windermere Avenue Sure Start, Labour Council cuts to Millbrook Library, Labour and Tory plans to cut disabled and pensioner bus passes and Labour closure of Woodside Lodge and Brownhill House care centres.

Denise fought for more parking and fought against and changed bad developments like the Test Lane monstrosities and the Council in-filling of our green spaces and parks.

Denise says:
"I have and will put the people of Redbridge first because as an Independent I can! As Independent councillors do in Redbridge and Coxford, I focus on representing my local community – NOT jumping to political party instruction!"
Vote Denise Wyatt on Thursday 5th May - or in your postal vote!

Vote for Independents!

Vote Denise Wyatt - Independent Council Candidate for Redbridge