Opposition Party Councillors Gagged!

Now Southampton City Council is at it!

‘The Daily Echo reports that the Council’s spin doctors – led by the Cllr (‘call me Dave’) Shields (Labour) – have tried to gag opposition party members, including Tory MP, Cllr Royston Smith GM, and Cllr Andrew Pope (Independent), from speaking out about the leaked Mazars Review.

Showing total disregard for Council Tax papers, it is alleged that the senior spin doctor asked councillors to tell any residents who make contact with them to instead call the NHS.

And what are ‘Call me Dave’s’ responsibilities? Why, naturally Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care – so that’s all right then.

That’s your sharing-caring social workers for you – or as this Council prefers to call Social Services, ‘People Directorate.’ Silly me, I thought they were there to serve people, not direct them.

‘Call me Dave’ should pick his battles more carefully.

Royston Smith was one of two men who received the George Medal for bravery from the Queen for wrestling a gunman to the floor on board the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine ‘HMS Astute’ whilst docked in Southampton in April 2011. Able Seaman Ryan Donovan had just shot dead Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux and had seriously wounded another senior officer.

Andrew Pope left the Labour group and criticised his former leader for lacking “vision and strong leadership” and accused him of, “Putting his own position ahead of the people of Southampton” – clearly ‘Call me Dave’ learned from his former leader in respect of his priorities.

Regardless of party affiliations, these are the sort of strong, principled leaders needed to sort out Southern Health and health and social care services generally in Southampton (a unitary authority) and Hampshire. 

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