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Labour's Highway Robbery?
Victory: As reported in the Daily Echo, the Labour Council has been forced to climb down from their plans to charge vehicles. and the so-called "Green" Clean Air Southampton campaigners, have failed in their bid to make Southampton residents pay.
Update: At Full Council on Wednesday 19th September, our Councillor Andrew Pope repeatedly asked the Leader of the Labour-run Council, Councillor Chris Hammond, to rule out charging private cars.
Councillor Hammond repeatedly refused to rule it out.
Southampton Independents to Campaign for a Referendum on Charging
Councillor Pope announced that Southampton Independents will be campaigning for a referendum. He says:
"Southampton Independents supports residents in their opposition to charging.
No Southampton resident should be charged as part of a Clean Air Zone, congestion charge or any other similar charge.
We totally oppose charging Southampton residents.
So if the Labour-run Council want to introduce any charging, they must allow Southampton residents to vote on it first.
Other Independent councillors seemed to support my suggestion.
I have asked the Leader of the Conservative Group whether he supports a referendum. He would not commit to it without speaking to other Conservative councillors first, which I suppose is fair enough. I will await his response when he has spoken with them.
And to add insult to injury, when I asked her, Labour's Cabinet Member for Road Chaos, Councillor Jacqui Rayment, refused to stop charging people for crossing the Itchen Bridge Toll. This is despite the fact that the Labour Council is doing this for electric vehicles.
If they can end the toll for electric vehicles, they can end the toll for ALL VEHICLES. But they don't want to, because they want to keep taking your money.
And charging vehicles as part of any Clean Air Zone or other scheme will be another way for Labour to rob you on the highways.
It is Labour's Highway Robbery."
If you are opposed to any charging, let us know by getting in touch by email at sotonindies [at] gmail.com.
Would you support charging private cars to enter our City? In this Daily Echo article, Clean Air Southampton and Friends of the Earth are suggesting it.
Sadly the Labour Council Leader Chris Hammond does not rule it out in the article.
Councillor Andrew Pope says:
"In all of the conversations we have had on residents' doorsteps about pollution in Southampton, nobody has suggested that private cars should be charged.
Just who does "Clean Air Southampton" represent?
Southampton Independents is totally opposed to charging private cars in any Clean Air Zone.
Instead, residents want it, so we are campaigning for Park and Rides to be implemented. Labour and Tory councillors have done little to progress these in many years. We applaud the new hospital's Park and Ride at Nursling and have supported the planning application.
Southampton City Council should be taking action to get Park and Ride across the City, not charging private cars.
I am asking the Leader of the Council to rule out charging private cars, in a Formal Written Question at the September Full Council meeting."