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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Southampton Schools: The Uncomfortable Truth

Will Brexit fix schools?

We have written about the failures of the Tory Government to provide sufficient school funding, class sizes increasing and pressures being put on school budgets.

We have written about the failures of the Labour Council to provide sufficient school funding, and their removal of funding from schools that they had previously promised.

Sadly like many things, it's yet another case of Labour or Tory, same old story.

Southampton Independents try to be balanced, including in our criticism. We owe it to Southampton's parents and pupils to get to the bottom of the reasons for problems in our schools.

That's because Southampton's pupils deserve the best education possible.

Below is a graph of the number of Year R (Reception) places in Southampton from 2007 to 2016. The source of the data is Southampton City Council.



It shows that the number of places has increased by 46% during a decade.

How can school funding ever keep pace with this massive increase?

The Tories claim that they are putting in more money than ever. But it still isn't enough, because the number of pupils has increased so much.

Is it due to mass immigration?

Is it due to an increase in birth rates in our country?

Is it solely due to Eastern European immigration since 2004?

Labour failed to predict the numbers of migrants, failed to stem mass immigration, and then the Tories and Lib Dems also failed to deal with it. It's been going on for 13 years.

You can see in the graph that the number of "White British" pupils has increased, as well as those who are of "White Other" ethnicity.

If these figures from the Council are correct, it appears that the birth rate has increased overall and not just for Eastern European migrants. But the data could be inaccurate.

If it is accurate, you can see that the number of "White Other" pupils has increased by a massive 318%, whereas the number of "White British" pupils has increased by one-tenth of that, 27%. However, because the "White British" pupils are already a much larger group, there has still been a substantial increase of 432 pupils, whereas the increase of "White Other" has been fewer pupils, 296.

In any case, will Brexit mean that all of these children will leave the UK? It is unlikely. And people who are committed to our country should be able to stay.

A solution needs to be found. It is imperative that the constant and massive flow of new people into our country, so-called net migration, needs to be controlled and reduced. Our schools can't cope.



Labour's Wilted Rose

Andrew Pope, our candidate to be the next MP for Southampton Test, says:

"Immigration needs to be controlled if Southampton is going to get a grip on class sizes and the funding crisis. It isn't an opinion. It is a simple fact. 
All of this time, Alan Whitehead has been the Labour MP for Southampton Test. What has he done about it? Very little and if he has done anything, the schools are still struggling.
People tell us that it is time for Alan Whitehead to go. He has had plenty of opportunities to fix Southampton's schools. But he has flunked the examination over 20 years. Alan Whitehead even voted against Brexit. How is that going to fix our schools? 
The Tory candidate Paul Holmes says he was Cabinet Member for schools, back at the beginning of this decade. Did he fix the crisis? No. Where has he been since then? In London.
Please vote for me to replace Alan Whitehead and be your Southampton Independents MP. I will get to the bottom of the schools problems and fight effectively to sort them out."

We ask you to please Vote Andrew Pope Southampton Independents. He will listen to you. He will work for you. He will stand up for you on schools.





Southampton Schools: More Labour Lies

Labour's wilted rose
Southampton Independents know the history of the Labour Party and the unions.

The Labour Party and the unions were once honourable.

The Labour Party and the unions once stood up for working people.

The Labour Party and the unions fought for the rights of working people.

But they lost their way.

Southampton Independents are not anti-union. But we are against the unions not representing their members properly and deceiving members and the public about their motives.

The Labour Party and the unions are now frequently about sustaining the Labour Party and the unions. And not about what they are supposed to be.

The film Made in Dagenham shows how unions can behave very badly. The union officials in that film were about supporting themselves, not the members and not the women fighting for equal pay. That film was set in the early 1970s. Some of the unions haven't moved on since then.

You only need to look at the Southampton Fair Funding for All Schools (SFFAS) campaign to see how they have lost their way.

We have provided comment on this website and in the Daily Echo to show how parents feel misled by that campaign.

We have showed how the SFFAS poses as a parent-led campaign but is in fact a barely-concealed con.

It is a union and Labour campaign. They should be honest about that. Instead, they have drawn in parents by pretending they are something they are not.

When questioned by parents about the campaign's funding and who was behind it, at one of the public meetings, the SFFAS organisers withheld information about the fact that it is a union campaign and the fact that many of the parents at that meeting, and otherwise involved in the campaign, are also union activists.

Parents are going to be angry when they find out the truth.

And SFFAS is not politically neutral. It criticises the Tory Government, claiming that the Government claims are misleading, but it does not criticise the Labour Southampton City Council.

That is misleading. It is also not balanced.

The SFFAS campaign is another in a long line of Labour fronts.

They pretend to be for the people. Instead, they are about the Labour Party.

It is more Labour lies, used to deceive parents. That is unforgivable.

And this adds to the lies that the Labour council and Labour councillors about Southampton's bins. Year after year Labour councillors said they would "keep weekly bin collections".

Don't forget, in February 2017, they voted to make your bins collected fortnightly. They even tried to spin it as "Alternate Weekly Collections".

Labour lies to keep itself going, using its union-funded lie machine.

Labour put the party, not people, first.

We are publishing the truth about schools funding. 

And we will try to be balanced, as Southampton Independents always try to be.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Southampton Communities Say "Vote Andrew Pope Southampton Independents"

Southampton Independents is in the community.

Denise Wyatt
Southampton Independents Community Campaigner

Southampton Independents is from the community.



Southampton Independents work with the community.




That's why Southampton residents from Redbridge, Shirley, Millbrook, Portswood, Bevois, Freemantle and Coxford are saying:

"Vote 
Andrew Pope 
Southampton Independents"

Andrew Pope
Our Party Emblem

Clare from Coxford says: "If you want an MP that gets things done, vote for Andrew Pope to be the next MP for Southampton Test".

Clare from Coxford

Clare at Five Acres (a.k.a. Lordshill Rec or Lordshill Outdoor Recreation Ground).
Andrew has gained extra protection from development
by working with local residents

Steve from Redbridge says: "Andrew Pope listens to Southampton residents. He works for residents and with residents on the things that matter to them - not what Labour or Tories dictate from London."

Steve from Redbridge



Clare and Steve say:

"Vote 
Andrew Pope 
Southampton Independents!"

Southampton residents say:


"Vote 
Andrew Pope 
Southampton Independents!"

Look for the Southampton Independents Party Emblem on the ballot paper when you vote.

Southampton Independents
Party Emblem

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Andrew Pope Southampton Independents Works For You

Andrew Pope

Our Official Party Emblem

Our Southampton Independents Parlimentary Candidate for Southampton Test, Andrew Pope  has:

  1. exposed Labour and Tory cuts & failures
  2. fought NHS & care closures
  3. exposed Labour and Tory councillors wasting MILLIONS on the "Arts Complex" when YOUR basic Council services are cut
  4. spoke up for you on crime & safety
  5. stood up for you against developers, reducing bad impacts on your area
  6. won compensation from power cuts
  7. worked with you to stop plans to build on Southampton parks and to protect sport
  8. fought Labour and Tory plans for joining Southampton with Portsmouth in a disastrous "Solent Devolution Deal"

plus a lot more. Like our Facebook page "Southampton Independents" and explore this website using the tags and the search facility for more information about Andrew Pope and Southampton Independents.

Pensioner Sylvia Priestley from Redbridge says:

"I wish you all the very best Andrew for Thursday, thank you for your concern and hard work you do for the constituency which is very much appreciated."



Sue Painter from Millbrook says:

"I don't care who doesn't like it I'm voting for Andrew Pope Southampton Independents party. 

If you want things done then vote for him."



Southampton residents Mr and Mrs Taylor say:

"Andrew listens to YOU. Andrew works for YOU. Andrew stands up for YOU. Vote for Andrew Pope Southampton Independents for Southampton Test in the 2017 General Election."



Disabled resident Julie Jones from Redbridge says:

"Nothing false about Andrew Pope. He does what he says he's going to do! He's definitely got my vote."



Vote for Andrew Pope Southampton Independents to see what he can do for you, your family and your area!



Southampton Schools March Must Be Called Off

Regarding the march scheduled by Southampton Fair Funding for Schools for Southampton tomorrow, Southampton Independents Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test, Andrew Pope, says:




"This march should be called off.

Firstly, it is taking Police away, when the country's threat level is Critical, the highest level.

Secondly, it is disrespectful to those who died in Manchester to mount a loud protest with speakers, whistles, microphones and noise. And it is unnecessarily endangering adults and children at a time of danger.

Thirdly, Southampton Independents and parents have exposed the Southampton Fair Funding for Schools as a front for the Labour Party and unions. They pose as being a group of parents, but it is clear the Fair Funding campaign is organised by teaching unions. They have misled parents, which is unforgivable.

Their campaign criticises the Conservative Government for cuts that might come in, but they haven't criticised the Labour Council and Councillor Darren Paffey who removed funding from Southampton schools that had previously been promised.

If it was a parent-led campaign that was balanced in its criticism, Southampton Independents and parents would support it. But it is not.

We understand that they have even given Darren Paffey the opportunity to speak, to pretend he is on their side. He isn't. He cut school funding! They should be criticising him, but they aren't because he is with Labour.

Southampton Independents, and parents that we have been in touch with, will not be attending.

Southampton Fair Funding for Schools must call the march off."

One irate parent agreed:

"I think it is dangerous, disrespectful and yes it's not what it appears to be.  Thanks for exposing it for what it is. 

 I've started following the whole fair funding thing on twitter. Most of the photo's posted have references to unions, also the list of followers makes good reading.  There are a lot of people connected with unions one way or another."  

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Theresa May Has Been Exposed



Reacting to the news that Theresa May has changed the Conservatives' plans for social care, within days of releasing them in their General Election Manifesto, Andrew Pope, our Candidate to be the next MP for Southampton Test, says:

"If you saw how badly Theresa May deals with reasonable questions from journalists on Monday, you can see how weak she is.

You can also see how incompetent she is, by changing a policy that had only just been released.

On their doorsteps and in Southampton's streets, we have asked many Southampton residents whether they can name a single thing Theresa May has achieved in seven years of Government.

Nobody could name a single thing.

That's because she hasn't achieved anything to benefit our Country.

One thing she has done is cut the Police, including the Armed Police that our Country needs to deal with terrorists.

And she has failed to deal with the mass immigration that Labour started.

And she has failed to deal with our country's deficit and the growing levels of Government debt.

Theresa May is not strong and stable.

She cannot handle being held to account. That is why her visit to Southampton was so quick and so carefully managed by the Conservative Party.

But Labour's Jeremy Corbyn is also too weak and incompetent to hold her to account.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are BOTH weak and wobbly. What a Hobson's Choice!

People know whether it's Labour or Tory, they get the same old story.

They should vote for the person who would best represent them at Westminster.

That is why Southampton Test needs an Independent voice at Westminster, and why I ask them to please vote for me, their Southampton Independents Candidate, at the 8th June General Election."


Why I Will Not Be At Tonight's Hustings

Andrew Pope, Southampton Independents Candidate for Southampton Test at the 2017 General Election, has issued the following announcement:

"Regretfully, I have informed the organiser of tonight's hustings at Southampton University, the Southampton Debating Union, that I will not be attending.

I have not come to this decision lightly, but I have consulted others in Southampton Independents, and Southampton residents.

We face a very serious situation, where our democracy is under threat by terrorists. Terrorists that have grown up in our own country.

In the last year, we have had a Leeds MP murdered in broad daylight.

We have had a Southampton councillor suffering a paving slab thrown through their home window. This led to a tightening of security relating to Southampton councillors.

A terrorist has attacked the Palace of Westminster and killed members of the public and a policeman.

And less than three days ago, we have had children and adults murdered indiscriminately in Manchester by a suicide bomber.

Therefore I have decided to not attend tonight's hustings for three main reasons:

1. If last night's hustings was postponed, which it was, it is also too soon today to hold a hustings.

2. Having asked what has changed about the security at tonight's hustings following the Manchester attack, my Election Agent learned that little had changed. Other events have tightened security, but not this one.

For example, the arrangements for the Southampton Election Count have changed as follows:

"Following discussions with Cabinet Office and Electoral Commission after the tragic event in Manchester earlier this week, the Returning Officer has decided to upgrade security at the count on 8th June. "

3. I will not put members of the public in danger at a public event that has inadequate security. It is better to be safe than sorry, Let us not forget that the threat level is now Critical, the highest level.  Armed police are patrolling Southampton.

I am working with Hampshire Police and Southampton City Council to secure such a time. Sadly, I do not feel we are at that point now.

I will continue to work for our full democracy and full public safety to return."

My Pledge: BREXIT Working for You



Andrew Pope, the Southampton Independents Candidate to be the next MP for Southampton Test (West), is the ONLY candidate that campaigned in Southampton for Brexit.

He listened to the people of Southampton who wanted Brexit.

He worked for the people of Southampton to secure Brexit.

He stood up for the people of Southampton to win Brexit, in the face of abuse from Labour MPs like Diane Abbott and Southampton Labour councillors.

Southampton Independents listen to what the people of Southampton want, and work with them to secure it.

So if you wanted Brexit, please consider voting for Andrew Pope, Southampton Independents.

Even if you did not want Brexit, please consider voting for Andrew Pope, because he will work for a Brexit that works for you, your family and your area. 

Andrew is the ONLY Southampton councillor of 48 who stood up for you, against Labour and Tories wasting more millions on "Arts" when the City's roads remain a mess.

Andrew is the ONLY councillor of 48 who stood up for you to have a referendum against Labour and Tories wanting to join Southampton and Portsmouth together in a disastrous "Solent Devolution Deal".

Don't forget that Alan Whitehead, who has been the MP for 20 years, ignored the views of the majority of people in England, and of the majority of people whose views he was paid to represent - Southampton people. He voted in Parliament, as your MP, AGAINST triggering Article 50 to start Brexit.

Local residents are rightly outraged that Alan Whitehead did so.

So that the people of Southampton can be sure that their next MP will properly represent their views, Andrew Pope now makes the following pledge:

"I pledge that:

In the light of the facts that:

1. The majority of people in England voted to leave the EU.

2. The majority of people in the Southampton Test Constituency voted to leave the EU.

That I campaigned for Leave in the EU Referendum campaign, because I listened to the views of the people of Southampton.

That I will work for the English people to ensure that Brexit delivers what English people in Southampton Test voted for, as proved by polls conducted by Lord Ashcroft, namely:

A. That mass immigration has to end and Southampton people want control back over our borders and our public services

B. That English people have the say over their future, rather than Brussels bureaucrats and out-of-touch MEPs

C. That I will vote for the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 and the repeal of any other acts to enable Brexit

D. That I will vote for any other new acts of Parliament to enable Brexit


Signed,

Andrew Pope

Southampton Independents"

VOTE Andrew Pope Southampton Independents at the 8th June 2017 General Election, or using your postal vote before then.




Friday, 19 May 2017

Theresa May Cannot Be Trusted on Immigration or The Deficit

The Southampton Independents Parliamentary Candidate for MP in Southampton Test, Andrew Pope, says:



"Southampton Independents have already made clear what Southampton people think about Theresa May's repeated failure, over 7 years, to deal with the mass immigration that the last Labour Government started, and the Tory-LibDem Coalition and Tory governments failed to stop.

When we ask residents what Theresa May has achieved in Government over seven years, they normally cannot name a single thing. Sometimes they say that she has delivered Brexit.

Let us not forget, Theresa May campaigned for Remain.

Perhaps it is unsurprising then that it took NINE months for Brexit to be triggered after she and other MPs allowed the Referendum legislation to be deeply flawed.

Southampton has benefited from immigration for centuries.

But Southampton people do not like the SCALE of the immigration, and the SPEED of the immigration that has been unleashed by successive failing governments. And they do not like the IMPACTS that mass immigration has had on Southampton's communities and our public services.

So Theresa May cannot be trusted on immigration.

She cannot be trusted on removing our national deficit either.

Labour delivered the financial crisis in 2008.

The Tories, with May in the Cabinet for seven years, used the financial crisis and the bailout of the banks as an excuse to cut public spending. They wanted to cut spending anyway. Labour's massive errors gave them the opportunity.

But the Tories have broken promises, time and time again, on removing the spending deficit. Both George Osborne and Phillip Hammond, both working with Theresa May, have pushed the target years back and now further back in the Tory Manifesto. And they have racked up more public debt because of this.

So the Tories under Theresa May cannot be trusted on immigration or the deficit."

Please VOTE Andrew Pope Southampton Independents to be your next MP.


Andrew listens to you. Andrew works for you. Andrew stands up for you against Labour AND the Tories.


Soton Indies Official Party Emblem

Who Thinks Your EU Leave Vote Makes You Racist?

They do.

Who thinks you are "racist"? They do.

This is the Labour Group of councillors on Southampton City Council.

They called Councillor Andrew Pope a "racist" for delivering this speech on the EU Referendum in the Council Chamber last year. (The link is hosted by our sister party, the English Futures Party, a party for all people who live and work in England and who want a positive future for our country).

Andrew Pope
As you can hear, there is nothing racist in the speech.

But the Labour councillors think that voting to leave the EU makes Andrew a racist for representing your views. It doesn't and they are wrong to be so offensive to Andrew and you.

The Labour councillors are no different to Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who called ALL 17.4 million people that voted to Leave "racist". She was also the one who got her maths wrong on Police pay.


Soton Indies Party Emblem

Vote for Andrew Pope Southampton Independents to be your next MP. 


Andrew has already listened to you and stood up for you on Brexit.


Alan Whitehead, who "has-been" your Labour MP for 20 years, voted AGAINST triggering Article 50 to start Brexit, despite our country of England voting for Brexit and the majority of Southampton voting for Brexit. Alan Whitehead puts his own views ahead of your views. Did he ignore you because he thinks you are "racist", like the Labour councillors and Diane Abbott?


Labour councillors and MPs like Alan Whitehead and Diane Abbott think they know better than the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit.


Andrew is the ONLY Candidate for Southampton Test MP who has campaigned in Southampton for Brexit.


Andrew will stand up for you to get the Brexit that you voted for, a Brexit where Southampton people will work together for a positive future.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Fox Hunting, the Environment and Protecting Wildlife

Southampton Independents campaigning with residents
on traffic chaos and air pollution
Our Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test, Andrew Pope, says:

"As I am standing in Southampton for Southampton Independents, I don't get many questions about fox hunting as the hunt doesn't happen here.

But it does happen nearby.

I oppose repealing the current fox-hunting ban. 

In fact, I would campaign to make the ban stronger, if anything, as it is alleged that the legislation is being worked around.

I love the countryside and wildlife. I have been a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for over 15 years, and have volunteered for them. I am also a member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

I have campaigned to protect Southampton's parks and open spaces from the Labour Council that wanted to build on them. I love Southampton Common. It is a vital green lung for our City and must be protected from development.

I have campaigned to improve Southampton's environment. The above photo is evidence of that, when Denise Wyatt and other supporters of Southampton Independents worked with residents to campaign for a stop to the traffic chaos in Southampton.

Southampton City Council, under successive Tory and Labour administrations, has failed to deal with the pollution of air in our City. Approving more and more warehouses and HGVs, is not what the Council should be doing. Instead of improving air quality, the Labour Council has written more strategy documents and generated more hot air. Meanwhile, the Tory Government has tried to hide its air quality strategy, using "purdah" election rules as an excuse.

And the Labour Council is allowing developers to get away with destroying wildlife habitat, including during periods when birds are nesting (e.g. at the new Lidl warehouse and at the unpopular Test Lane warehouse development). This is totally wrong.

Please vote for me on 8th June to be a powerful voice at Westminster for the environment and wildlife."

An NHS - Ah, That's Better!

Andrew Pope

Many people have asked our Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test, Andrew Pope, what he would do about the NHS, if elected?

This is a very open-ended question. Andrew will attempt to answer it. Please get in touch if you have further comments or questions:

"I have substantial practical experience of challenging the NHS and care providers to be better. At Southampton University in 2010, having written my Masters in Global Politics thesis on 'How Democratic Are NHS Foundation Trusts?', I have studied how the complex NHS works, or sometimes, doesn't work.

Local experience with Southern Health has shown that Labour and the Tories prefer to cover-up, rather than clean up, the NHS.

My experience as the Chair of the Southampton Health Overview Scrutiny Panel, my experience exposing the failures of Labour and Tory Southampton City councils on children's care and safeguarding, plus my experience campaigning against the failures Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, have all shown this.

To Labour MPs on the NHS, whatever the diagnosis, their prescription is more billions to add to the already massive NHS budget. The latest example is the NHS ransomware cyber attack. Instead of holding the failing trusts to account, and praising the majority of trusts that had protected themselves against such attacks, Labour MPs prefer to pile more money in their direction. No wonder Labour has bankrupted our economy multiple times, the most recent being in 2008.

To Conservative MPs, to use Theresa May's slogan, they seem to want an NHS that is just managing. Perhaps they prefer private health insurance, because that is what they are used to, or because they have connections with those firms? And Jeremy Hunt's response to the NHS ransomware is typically weak, letting failing NHS trusts get away with their failures. His job is to hold them to account. But he doesn't do that with any vigour.

The NHS saves many lives every day. It is a fantastic institution with dedicated staff that is admired by British people and the world over. The founders of the NHS are rightly praised.

There are problems, just as they are in any large organisation. Those problems must be properly diagnosed and treated.

But the NHS is another case of Labour or Tory, same old story.

Labour and the Tories use the NHS as a political football, repeatedly "reforming" it, without substantially improving patient care. Tories cut, Labour spends. It's a repeating cycle of failure.

In fact, there is plenty of evidence that both parties' constant meddling and bickering between them actually impacts badly on patients and their families.

As I have shown in exposing Labour and Tory NHS and care cuts, cover-ups and failures in Southampton, my approach to the NHS is to properly diagnose the problems, and provide appropriate prescriptions.

Yes, sometimes the prescription is more money. But that must be carefully chosen, not used to solved every perceived problem.

If elected, I will hold failing trusts and care providers to account, as I have already done in Southampton. That is how you improve the NHS - not with constant restructures and so-called "reforms".

And it is incumbent on all MPs to hold their local trusts to account. If they don't, it is up to other MPs to hold them to account, and to expose their failings as MPs. MPs must also properly hold the Secretary of State to account. The Opposition is so weak and divided that it is not doing this.

On 8th June, please vote for me to go to Westminster for you, and give the Establishment of Labour and Tory MPs the jolt they need, to give a better NHS and care."

If you have further questions to Andrew on the NHS or anything else, please send them to sotonindies [at] gmail.com.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What Will Andrew Pope Do if Elected As Your MP?

Andrew Pope
On thousands of leaflets being delivered across Southampton, Andrew Pope, our Candidate in the General Election for Southampton Test, has pledged to:


  1. STAND UP for Southampton
  2. LISTEN to YOUR priorities
  3. Fight for BETTER roads, NHS & care
  4. FIGHT waste of YOUR money
  5. BREXIT working for YOU
  6. A POSITIVE future NOT failure

Have you received our leaflet
on your doorstep?


Andrew says:

"Enough is Enough!
Labour, Lib Dem or Tory SAME OLD STORY!
I listen to YOU. I work for YOU."

Southampton residents Mr and Mrs Taylor say:

"Andrew listens to you.
Andrew works for you.
Andrew stands up for you.

Former lifelong Labour voter Mr Goodchild says:

"Labour is aimless.
Labour is leaderless.
Labour MPs and councillors are hopeless.
I voted Labour all my life, but I just can't do it any more. Vote for Andrew Pope. Andrew stands up for you."



Denise Wyatt, Southampton Independents campaigner says:

"The Tories will fudge this Brexit. Nobody trusts Theresa May on dealing with mass immigration because she didn't deliver it in SEVEN YEARS as Home Secretary! 
Andrew is the ONLY choice for Southampton Test, if you want someone to fight at Westminster for the Brexit that you voted for in the EU Referendum."

At this General Election on 8th June 2017, or with your postal vote before then, please...

VOTE Andrew Pope Southampton Independents!

  
  

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

City College "Requires Improvement" Says OFSTED

Andrew Pope

Southampton Independents Emblem

Responding to the OFSTED "Further education and skills inspection report" Andrew Pope, Southampton Independents Councillor for Redbridge and Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test said:

"The problems at City College are another case of Labour or Tory, same old story.

Instead of bickering at Westminster or in the Council about who is at fault, they should be getting to the root of the problems. That's what Southampton Independents do. We listen and act.

As a former college student myself in IT, I understand the importance of vocational education to the development of young people and Southampton's economy.

Funding has been cut by the Tory Government, but the Labour Council has not been making the right decisions on education, removing funding previously promised from schools, which impacts on the ability to achieve at college level. 

Labour and Tory councillors have voted for millions to be spent on the "Arts Complex" but education is more important. They have the wrong priorities.

And last year's Council Scrutiny Panel of Labour and Tory councillors that looked at City College, seems to have made no difference whatsoever. Labour and Tory councillors put their party, not the people first, so how can they scrutinise themselves?

The Labour Council has failed its statutory duty to Southampton's young people and families, as has the Labour MP for 20 years Alan Whitehead. Mr Whitehead has failed Southampton's young people too. But the Tory Government has failed also.

The OFSTED report is clear that the Labour Council and Tory Government are failing, with unemployment 'higher then regional and national averages'. Totton College, like City College, has experienced similar problems. I intervened there back in 2015. Further education in Southampton is in trouble.

Both Labour and the Tories are more concerned with covering up, instead of moving pupils up, when it comes to education.

Like Southampton Independents said about Labour and Tory failings on school education, pupils and families deserve the best."

Monday, 15 May 2017

Redbridge Towers Fire - Is It A Cover-Up?

Smoke Damage to Redbridge Towers
Like Mr and Mrs Taylor say on the Southampton Independents leaflets dropping on your doormats now, Southampton Independents stand up for you.

We were there with residents during the Redbridge Towers fire, and we have been standing up for you in the Daily Echo and on ITV Meridian News.

The media reports and our actions on your behalf have helped put pressure on the failing Labour Council.

But the Labour Council has tried to stop us and residents from finding out why the Council and other local agencies failed to deal properly with the occupant of the flat where the fire started, for which there is an arson investigation continuing.

Daily Echo Front Page on
Southampton Independents Actions

Residents have asked us why the Council failed to look after them during the fire, but told ITV Meridian News that they had. We have had it confirmed that the school WAS NOT OPENED until 8pm and the school was only contacted at 7.30pm. The Council tried to make out to the media that it had been opened earlier than this.

Residents have asked us why the Council failed to keep them warm? The community rallied around each other, and looked after each other with drinks, using the toilets, and reassuring people. We were with residents.

Residents have asked us why there was only ONE Council officer there, plus possibly a surveyor, for the entire fire and aftermath?

Residents have asked us why there are no sprinklers installed in Redbridge Towers? The Labour Council claim that residents don't want sprinklers and that there is no money even if they did. Residents do want sprinklers so the Council need to find the money.

Andrew Pope, the Fire Service and residents
calling for sprinklers
Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope, also our Parliamentary Candidate for the Southampton Test Constituency at the 8th June 2017 General Election, says:

"I've tried to get full and frank answers from both Southampton City Council and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. The Labour Councillor responsible for Housing, Warwick Payne, claims that the Fire Service agreed that only 3 high rises would have sprinklers installed after the Shirley Towers tragedy.

These do not include Redbridge Towers.

While I have praised the Fire Service and Police for their actions on the night, I cannot praise the Council, because they failed residents.

And now the Council seem to be trying to cover up their failures.

Officers at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (not firefighters but civilians) are also trying to hide behind "purdah" election rules to provide answers.

I've told them this is an emergency, and that if another fire was to happen, their attempt to delay getting the full answers will look very foolish and is frankly dangerous.

I will continue to try to get answers for Southampton residents.

If elected to Parliament, I will campaign for ALL high-rise blocks to be legally required to have sprinklers installed. If it's good enough for new high-rises, it's good enough for Council tenants."

Andrew Pope The ONLY Brexit Candidate for Southampton Test


The candidates are confirmed for the Southampton Test Constituency at the 2017 General Election.

Unlike all four other candidates for Southampton Test, Andrew listened to the views of Southampton residents. The majority of people wanted to leave the EU. 

So Andrew campaigned for Britain the leave the EU. And voted to leave the EU.

There is no UKIP candidate.

There is no Green candidate.

There is only ONE choice if you voted to leave the EU.



Andrew Pope, Southampton Independents.

Andrew Pope, the Southampton Independents Candidate, is the ONLY Candidate who campaigned in Southampton and for Southampton residents for a Brexit.

The Labour Candidate, Alan Whitehead, did not campaign for Brexit. Against the wishes of the majority of people in his constituency, he disgracefully voted AGAINST triggering Article 50.

The Conservative Candidate, Paul Holmes, wasn't even in Southampton because he was in London working for the Conservative Party instead of Southampton residents. He claims that he would "campaign tirelessly". But he didn't campaign during the EU referendum. Like millions of others, it appears that he only voted. How is that a campaign? It isn't.

And you know what the student Lib Dem Candidate thinks - the Lib Dems want us to Remain in the EU, despite the outcome of the vote.

The other so-called Independent who usually votes with Labour, old-style socialist Keith Morrell, did not campaign for Brexit. Let us be very clear, he is NOT with Southampton Independents.

Unlike all four other candidates for Southampton Test, Andrew listened to the views of Southampton residents. The majority of people wanted to leave the EU.

Unskilled workers, skilled workers, professional workers, young people, older people - they all told Andrew that they wanted to leave the EU.

One young Redbridge man in particular left a lasting effect on Andrew's view of the EU.

In 2015, he told Andrew:"What has Labour done for young people like me? They allowed mass immigration and I can't get a job. I'm voting UKIP."

Andrew was convinced by the views of the people he represents.

So as Andrew said in his speech in the Southampton City Council Chamber before the EU Referendum (see the audio clip on this link on our sister party's site the English Futures Party), Andrew felt duty-bound to represent their views as their elected representative for Redbridge ward on the City Council.

So Andrew campaigned for Southampton people to vote to leave the EU.

And Andrew represented their views on the doorsteps, on the streets, on Facebook and Twitter and in the Council Chamber.

He sent the letter below to the local paper, the Daily Echo.

Andrew worked with the Vote Leave campaign on the ground, speaking with people who wanted to vote to leave in the Redbridge ward that he represents.

Now, Andrew says:

"I was delighted with the EU Referendum result, although I was slightly surprised by it and might have woken up some of my neighbours by going outside and shouting "FREEDOM!" when the result was confirmed. I have apologised to them since!

The British people have spoken, but Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories don't seem to want to listen properly. In fact, many of them like Alan Whitehead want to ignore the British people.

I pledge if elected to Parliament to campaign for the Brexit that Southampton voted for - not the softest Brexit favoured by Theresa May and her local lackey Paul Holmes, or the chaos caused by Corbyn and his motley crew of MPs including Alan Whitehead.

Whitehead deserves to lose his seat in Parliament for deserting the views of the majority of his constituents.

Southampton needs an MP that respects their views and represents their views. 

Southampton wants a Brexit that means we work together for a positive future.

I have already worked for that Brexit and if elected, I will continue to work for that Brexit."

---

Here’s the original version of Andrew Pope's letter that was printed in the Daily Echo on Friday 20th May 2016, mentioning why he urged everyone in Southampton to vote to leave the EU.

The people of the South East of England are smart. They’ve looked into it and worked out that the EU doesn’t benefit our Region. They’ve told me that it’s all take and no give by the EU.

Only two or three people out of hundreds we Independents recently spoke with in Millbrook, Maybush and Redbridge wanted to remain. The rest want to leave. It’s quite understandable.

Who can forget that without consulting with the public, the EU and corporation FORD conspired to kill thousands of jobs in and around the Southampton Ford plant where my uncle and thousands of local people worked? The EU actually gave over £80 million to TURKEY – a country not even in the European Union, to kill these thousands of jobs*.

In a time of Labour, Lib Dem and Tory cuts, the EU has conspired with Government and pro-EU parties to bring us disaster after disaster with further attacks on our port economy by EU rules and public money to Liverpool, the privatisation of Royal Mail, TTIP attacking our NHS and public services and putting even more pressure on schools, housing and health service.

I’ve got the proof from Council officers.

People have had enough.

These are just some of the reasons I will be voting, and campaigning, to leave the EU, and I urge the people of Southampton, Hampshire and the South East to do the same.

This EU referendum is about a positive future where Britain – not other countries – decides its own future.

A positive Britain that protects our jobs, grows our economy, controls immigration and sets its own destiny for a positive future – trading and co-operating with Europe but not in a political union that wants a European superstate that doesn’t let Britain work to its strengths.

Councillor Andrew Pope


* The European Investment Bank’s own website shows the Ford Transit project.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

IT'S OFFICIAL! Andrew Pope is Our Southampton Test Candidate

Councillor Andrew Pope

It is now official! Southampton Independents Councillor Andrew Pope has been accepted by the Returning Officer as the official Southampton Independent candidate for the Southampton Test Constituency. 


Here is a brief biography:

Andrew Pope YOUR Southampton Independents Candidate for the 2017 General Election works for YOU. 

Andrew has helped thousands of people all over Southampton as a campaigner. He has been a Southampton City Councillor for 6 years. Andrew has worked in industry, government, defence technology, retail and insurance in the UK and in Australia, so knows how to get things done. He co-owns a small business. Andrew has two degrees in Computer Science and International Politics and a college diploma in IT so has learnt practical skills and how to solve many different problems in a wide range of scenarios.

How can Andrew help you, your family and your area?


" I am delighted to have received confirmation that I am the official Southampton Independents candidate. 

Thank you to the residents of Shirley, Coxford, Maybush, Millbrook, Freemantle and Redbridge that nominated me.

Southampton Independents is a new local party registered this year that is about Southampton for the people of Southampton.

Local residents deserve better than Alan Whitehead, who has been the Labour MP for Southampton Test for 20 years.

Residents need to know that he did NOT vote to trigger Article 50, despite Southampton voting by majority to leave the EU.

We in Southampton Independents hear so much criticism of Mr Whitehead on the doorsteps in conversations with local residents. Residents have said that Mr Whitehead should retire.

The Tory candidate that has been chosen, Paul Holmes is a political careerist who last stood in Surrey. Mr Holmes has been parachuted in by the Tories like Labour parachuted London councillor Rowenna Davis into Southampton Itchen in 2015.

Southampton people were smart enough to realise that Davis was not local, and Ms Davis lost to the Tory candidate Royston Smith, who had lived and worked in Southampton for a lot longer than her.

Mr Holmes is a yes man to Theresa May.

And Theresa May knows that she faces opposition to her version of Brexit from Labour, which is split from top from bottom. Mrs May also knows that she faces opposition from MPs and councillors in her own party who want to block Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats also resist Brexit to try to save their party. And let's not forget, they betrayed the country in the Coalition with the Tories.

And UKIP are competing with Labour for the most incompetent national party.

Southampton Independents campaigned for Brexit because the people of Southampton asked us to.


Andrew standing up for Southampton residents in the Daily Echo
Councillor Andrew Pope speaking up for Southampton residents
on local BBC South Today


Southampton Independents listen to local people and fight for them on the issues that matter to them - not jumping to party political instruction from Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May, Tim Farron or Paul Nuttall.

I ask that Southampton people vote for the candidate who already listens to you, works for you and stands up for you.

I put it to you that the coverage on TV and regularly in the Echo shows me already standing up for Southampton on the issues that matter.

So I ask that you kindly lend me your vote at the 8th June General Election so that I can go to Westminster and do the same as your MP."