We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Councillor Andrew Pope, Independent Councillor for Redbridge ward, Southampton City Council. Ed
Dear Members of the Executive,
At Southampton Full Council on Wednesday night, I proposed that there be a referendum on any finalised deal. This follows the great news that the Isle of Wight councillors already supported a referendum in June, despite attempts by you to scupper it.
Sadly, I was the only Southampton councillor who supported a referendum, despite exposing the fact that an Elected Mayor can put up council tax and business rates. Was this clear in the consultation? No.
So I was delighted to hear that the Solent Devolution Deal was defeated at Isle of Wight Full Council on Wednesday, and sorry that I couldn’t be in two places at once in order to attend the Island meeting.
It’s a pity that Cllr Bacon doesn’t return my calls and emails for now, having previously invited me to speak at your Group meeting as a fellow Independent. Perhaps it is because he knows I support a referendum on this half-baked deal. I extend the following advice to him and you all as a fellow Independent.
Your Executive need to reject the Deal in order to save your Island Independents Administration.
Residents don’t want it. Business doesn’t want it.
Please don’t con residents and businesses into paying more Council Tax and Business Rates by having an Elected Mayor!
If the Executive don’t reject it, your Council Administration deserves to be booted out in the 2017 Elections – if you survive that long and don’t suffer a vote-of-no-confidence, which I understand is imminent.
Cllr Bacon and all – I ask you please, you need to get a grip, and fast, if you want to survive.
This friendly advice is provided in the interests of the people of the Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth, who would be affected by such a half-baked deal.