A useful source of information about appearing in front of a Select Committee
Anyone who has petitioned against the HS2 Hybrid Bill would be advised to read the very useful series of blog posts by Peter Delow about the petitioning processes used for Crossrail, which are also likely to be followed for HS2. The information is provided in several blog posts. Below is a link to the first one. You can find a link to the following posts in the top righthand corner of his blog post.
Very many thanks to those who petitioned, either directly, via Roll B agents or as part of a group Petition. There were 163 Petitions from Wendover, Dunsmore and Halton, a very satisfactory total, with the actual number of individual Petitioners being 441. There were 10 group Petitions of 6 or more. Many thanks to the organisers, the largest being Bob Lewis’s Petition of 56 residents in Dobbins Lane, and to those who leafleted and talked to neighbours.
16 organisations petitioned, and their number is included in the total of 163, but not in the 441 individual Petitioners. They were (in no particular order) Wendover and Halton Parish Councils, 3 Schools, the Cricket Club, the Lionel Abel-Smith Trust, the Chamber of Trade & Commerce, the Choral and Music Societies, the Dunsmore Society and Village Hall, the Wendover Society, Wendover U3A, St Mary’s Church, and of course the Wendover HS2 action group.
The Private Bills Office at the House of Commons has put copies of all the Petitions on its website. There were 1,925 in total, from London to Birmingham. This is double the HS1 total, and more than four times the Crossrail one.
Wendover HS2 action group is now working with others to evaluate the benefits of a bored tunnel, so that this evidence can be presented to the Select Committee. We are also looking into the possibility of offering training for those who will appear in front of the Select Committee.
The Select Committee has announced its plans for Petition hearings. Any challenges to the locus standi, ie the right to Petition, have to be made by 21st June. The Committee’s next meeting will be on 1st July, when it will start with formal matters and a presentation on noise measurement. Then four days are set aside for locus standi challenges.
The Committee has decided to start by hearing Petitions from the Birmingham area, and these will be on 21st and 22nd July. There will then be a break until the beginning of September, when considerations of Birmingham area Petitions will resume. It will work broadly from north to south, so consideration of our Petitions will probably be some months away. It will not be taking independent advice unless is considers it essential, but will instead rely on advice from HS2 Ltd’s experts.
Petitioners will be given four weeks’ notice of appearing in front of the Committee. Meetings will be on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Committee will visit parts of the route, and hopefully this will include Wendover, but it will not sit outside London.
Many Petitioners received a letter from HS2 Ltd early in June telling them to sign on to a new email service. Strong objections were made to this, and the Select Committee has advised HS2 Ltd not to pursue the matter. If you received such a letter, it is probably best at this stage to ignore it.
Please watch Geoffrey Palmer reading an HS2 poem written by Antony Chapman, a member of the Wendover HS2 action group. When you have watched it please pass it on to all your friends and relations and ask them to do the same.
The Wendover Society & Wendover HS2: Joint Public Meeting
On Saturday 18th January 2014 the Wendover Society and Wendover HS2 Action Group held a joint public meeting at St Mary’s Church, Wendover. You can download the slides from the meeting here:
Public meeting slides (PDF file – 6MB)
There were speakers on:
- the HS2 Environmental Consultation, which now ends on 27th February, having been extended twice due to incomplete information having been provided by HS2 Ltd. The Consultation documents, available for viewing in Wendover Community Library, show the appalling effect that construction would have on Wendover and the Chilterns AONB.
- petitioning against the HS2 Hybrid Bill.