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Friday, 25 November 2016

UPDATED: Save the Hythe to Southampton Ferry!

The wobbly Pier is matched by the wobbling Action Group

BBC South Today Late Bulletin 24th Nov 2016

"It's very important that the Hythe ferry keeps going because if it doesn't, we're going to have even more traffic and even more air pollution coming through our area."

said Councillor Andrew Pope on BBC South Today on the late bulletin of 24th November.

Andrew has sent the below letter to all cabinet members of the Southampotn City Council. The cabinet is the controlling body that makes decisions for the Council.

Hopefully we will get a useful response.

UPDATE (1st Dec 2016): NO OFFER OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT OR OTHER ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN MADE BY SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL, despite the urgent situation and my letter below. The only offer has been from the Leader Councillor Simon Letts to meet with any campaign group, an offer which I have indicated to the Leader of the Council that I may take up through my contacts and conversations I've had on the Hythe to Southampton Ferry.

The Leader of the Council has also confirmed that other than Councillor Pope, NO campaign group has contacted him about the Ferry, including those calling themselves the "Hythe Pier and Ferry Action Group". This is despite being challenged to do so by me and other Southampton residents at last week's public meeting in Hythe, at which Cllr Pope was the only Southampton councillor present. This leaves several worrying questions including:

1. Why do they ignore Southampton?

2. Are the "leaders" of that campaign group competent?

3. Do they think that the Hythe Ferry goes around in circles, and doesn't actually ever go to Southampton? It isn't the Hythe to Hythe Ferry!!!!

Those under threat of redundancy on the Ferry, and those who use the Ferry, can't afford to wait to find out.

Meanwhile, we Independent campaigners will continue our campaigning to improve air quality in Southampton and to reduce road traffic congestion.

UPDATE: (7th Dec 2016) We are waiting for more answers from various councils, developers, groups, businesses and people. We also have several meetings planned. Meanwhile, the so-called "Action Group" seems to be foundering on its actions, despite the 90-day redundancy notices still being in force.

What exactly are they doing?

It's all a bit secretive and slow, isn't it?

Tell us what you think via our Contact Us page.

Like the Councillor Andrew Pope page on Facebook or follow the @SaveHytheFerry or @CllrPope Twitter feeds for more on this campaign and all other Independent work.

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Good Morning,

The Hythe to Southampton Ferry is under threat.

I am concerned about the staff who have been issued a 90-day consultation on redundancies.

I am concerned about the users of the service, both on the Waterside and Southampton sides.

But most directly to the Redbridge ward and the people I represent, I am concerned about the decline and possible extinction of this service.

I hope that you share these concerns.

Yesterday evening, I attended a public meeting in Hythe to organise a campaign to save the Hythe Ferry. It was a packed hall. I was the only Southampton councillor present.

A member of the public from Southampton asked whether the campaign had contacted Southampton City Council. It seemed from the response that they had not.  Do you know of any contact please?

I have offered my support, in person and in writing, and I am writing to you to ask what support the Council will now offer.

I urge you to maximise the effort and funds for a sustainable service.

A few weeks ago, I also asked the Leader and current Cabinet member for Transport for the reasoning behind the cut to the Hythe Ferry subsidy in the 2013 budget, as it was never explained to councillors at the time despite them being whipped to vote for it. I had no response from Cllr Rayment. I did have a half-useful from the Leader.

The Leader was under the impression that the Hampshire subsidy is under threat. It was confirmed at the public meeting by the County Councillor for Hythe, Malcolm Wade, that it is not.

What will Southampton City Council do to ensure that the Hythe Ferry cannot just survive, but to thrive?

Regards,

Councillor Andrew Pope
Independent Councillor for Redbridge ward
Southampton City Council

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Scandal of the Southampton Arts Complex

Southampton New Arts Complex
- STILL under construction!
It takes us Independents to shine a light on this scandal, and thanks to the Daily Echo, it is front page news.

We've written on this blog before about the scandal of the Southampton New Arts Complex (SNAC), a project that is massively over-time and over-budget.

We've heard from Southampton residents who are appalled that the Labour-run Council is putting millions into this failing project, whilst basic Council services are failing across the City.

In less than two years, the taxpayer bill has gone up twice, in £2 million chunks, from £12 million to £16 million. 

Independent Councillor Andrew Pope has asked how this has been allowed to happen by the Labour-controlled Council, but has not got full and frank answers from Labour councillors who've voted through these millions, or the Southampton Cultural Development Trust who were supposed to raise funds for the project.

Now the Daily Echo is reporting that the Government is bailing out the project, sinking even more of YOUR public money into this White Elephant, whilst basic services are being cut in YOUR area!

Independent campaigner Denise Wyatt says:

"The Labour Council has the wrong priorities. Roads and pavements are full of holes. Bins are missed. Grass is not cut. Weeds take over. Care centres are closed. Land is sold off. Children and vulnerable adults are unsafe. Traffic is chaos. Why?"

What do you think of the Arts Complex?


What do you think of the services that the Labour-run Council is providing?


Contact us and tell us.