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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Southampton Independents Protects Parks That Labour Threatens

Redbridge Ward Council Candidate Denise Wyatt
in Mansel Park the park nearest where she lives

Millbrook Ward Council Candidate Ed Edworthy
in Mansel Park the park nearest where he lives
Since Southampton Independents was being formed a few years ago, residents asked us to protect parks and open spaces.

Working hand in glove with local residents, Councillor Andrew Pope and Denise Wyatt have done that.

We have:

  • Got to know and supported sports clubs across the Millbrook, Maybush and Redbridge area. This includes Bush Hill FC, Queens Keep FC, Millbrook Rugby Club, Travellers Cricket Club and even the Petanque Club at Five Acres (despite some former Liberal Democrats being involved with it!).
  • When a group of residents raised concerns about the new pitch by Bush Hill FC on Mansel Park, Councillor Pope spoke to over a hundred local residents about their views. Following listening to them, Councillor Pope raised those concerns with Bush Hill FC. He also publicly offered, via the Daily Echo, to broker talks between residents opposed to it. Andrew sought assurances from the manager of Bush Hill FC, about concerns relating to parking and road safety. Later, Cllr Pope also raised the prospect of progression by Bush Hill FC with the manager,and any potential issues with their lease of the public park and its impact on local residents. Cllr Pope made it clear that Bush Hill FC have a LEASE on a PUBLIC PARK, and that it must remain a public park. And Cllr Pope did not object and sought residents' views on the new pitch in order to obtain compromises. A compromise was a tubular fence around the pitch, not a solid metal one. Bush Hill FC agreed. Cllr Pope therefore did not object to the new pitch and the tubular fence. For more on this, see our separate article on the new planning application for a 7 foot high solid metal fence.
  • Andrew and Denise listened to Millbrook Rugby Club's proposals for an improved roof on their existing pavilion, and their open fence around their pitch at Five Acres. We were very clear that we would NOT support permanent or fixed solid fencing, and would have objected if the Rugby Club had proceeded with this. However, they listened to our suggestion of tubular fencing, as Cllr Pope and Denise said they needed to be consistent with Bush Hill FC. We actually supported Millbrook's application. And we applaud this type of engagement by the sports clubs and we continue to enjoy a constructive dialogue with the Rugby Club.
  • Fought and stopped Labour-run Council plans to build on our parks with their hated "Regeneration". They wanted to build on Mansel Park and Green Park. We enabled residents to fight back, including securing a public meeting at All Saints Church Hall in early 2016. Councillor Pope had to fight hard against Labour councillors who did not want the public to have their say at a public meeting. Denise Wyatt actually stood up and pushed for the residents to have their say. The Chair of the meeting, Councillor Cathie McEwing, said to the hundred or so residents "Where were you before?". Residents said they had objected but they had been ignored by Labour. And they booed Labour Councillor McEwing for trying to make the meeting only one hour. The Regeneration was scrapped as reported by the Daily Echo. Labour Councillor McEwing is seeking your vote and re-election on 3rd May. TIME TO GO. VOTE MCEWING OUT AND DENISE WYATT SOUTHAMPTON INDEPENDENTS IN HER PLACE!
  • Fought to protect our public parks - Mansel Park, Green Park and Five Acres (Lordshill Rec) to protect it from development. These are public parks, but in recent years more and more has been lost to private clubs, schools and companies. 
  • Worked with local residents to get the Council to list ALL THREE parks as "Assets of Community Value". This added protection of parks against new changes of use.
  • Got the Labour Council and Network Rail's plans REFUSED for removal of some of Redbridge Wharf Park. The two Redbridge Labour councillors actually SUPPORTED removal of this park, writing to the Council planning officer in emails supporting the proposal. We have copies of their emails.

Redbridge Wharf Park which the Labour Council
and Network Rail STILL want to decimate

Southampton Independents has delivered on our promises to protect our parks and open spaces.

But the Labour-run Council has put our parks at risk, repeatedly. And the Labour Council and Labour councillors are still at it, despite residents being clear THAT WE WANT OUR PARKS PROTECTED.

The two Labour Redbridge ward councillors Cathie McEwing and Lee Whitbread actually SUPPORTED the removal of public park and building on public park.  Not just once, but repeatedly. We have the proof. They can deny it all they like but we have the proof, in writing.

Labour councillors have also voted to remove one of the Mansel Park play areas. Why? Who asked them to? Did you?

This Labour Council does not want to listen to residents. The Redbridge Labour councillors don't either. 

Southampton Independents have listened to residents.

They know who protects their parks.

We do.

And we will have to continue to do so, because it appears that Labour is doing things secretly, behind closed doors.

Why? Ask the Labour councillors. Here are their email addresses:

Here is our email address:

Tell us.

Do you want our parks to be carved up for private clubs and private companies?

Or do you want our parks and open spaces to be protected for future generations?

Please contact us to let us know how you support what we have done for Millbrook, Maybush and Redbridge.

And on 3rd May, please VOTE SOUTHAMPTON INDEPENDENTS on 3rd May - Denise in Redbridge ward, and Ed in Millbrook ward.

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