9 April 2016
Petitions to the House of Lords need to be submitted by 5.00pm Monday 18 April 2016. Below are links to two Petition templates which can be adapted as needed.
HoL Petition Wendover (Word file)
The following is a link to the House of Lords’ Petitioning Kit Guide, which should answer all your questions, together with the email address for the APPENDIX B Information and Declaration Sheet.
The Petitioning Guide Kit has information as to who can petition, how to send, email or deliver your Petition to Parliament, what format it should be in and many other administrative matters.
Drop In Advice Sessions on petitioning are being held at the Lee Parish Hall as follows:
Saturday 9 April 2016 10.30am to 2.00pm
Thursday 14 April 2016 6.30pm to 8.00pm
Please also download and display our latest poster. It is available here as a Word file:
25 March 2016
HS2 – THE FIGHT GOES ON
WE NEED YOUR HELP
You will probably be aware by now that the House of Commons Select Committee has published its final report on HS2. Despite the compelling evidence presented by numbers of local petitioners, our plea for a bored tunnel through the Chilterns AONB, including Wendover, has been rejected. The only concessions offered are a short southerly extension of the green tunnel and 6 metre high concrete noise barriers. The Select Committee acknowledge the visual intrusion of these monstrous structures, but then ignore it as an acceptable trade-off between visual and noise intrusion.
We strongly disagree.
Despite working for the past six years to protect Wendover from the damage that HS2 will inflict, we are adamant that we need to continue to fight for better mitigation in the form of a bored tunnel. It appears likely that petitions may need to be submitted by 11th April, but we are waiting for publication of the full details of the House of Lords Select Committee procedure. We are determined to present a powerful case for the bored tunnel.
We need your help in two ways to continue the fight to save Wendover.
First, please consider whether you are able to petition the House of Lords, a less formal procedure than before, and with no need to appear in person before the Committee. Details of the procedure are emerging slowly and will be published as soon as possible. We need to present a united case to make it clear that only a tunnel would protect Wendover and the Chilterns.
Second, please support our joint fundraising campaign – all four organisations in Wendover working together to fight for the bored tunnel – and contribute whatever you can to help us fund an effective approach to the House of Lords.
From the limited information we have so far, it is likely that the House of Lords Select Committee will visit the Chilterns some time in May this year – less than two months away. It is vital that we are able to demonstrate to the Lords Select Committee the level of public anger at the environmental and economic damage that will be inflicted on our community. We plan to erect a mock-up of a 6 metre high noise barrier to be displayed on the Manor Waste, and cherry picker cranes to indicate the height of the viaducts and embankments south of the village. We will also need legal and other expert advice to enable us to challenge the well-funded professionals who present HS2 Ltd’s case.
Of course, this will all incur costs, and all four main organisations involved in the HS2 fight in Wendover (Wendover PC, Halton PC, Wendover Society and Wendover HS2) will be working together to raise money to fund an effective demonstration of the impact on our village.
Over the past six years, we have been very grateful for contributions from so many people, from money dropped into the collecting boxes to significant generous donations, and have put this money to the most effective use both locally and in supporting Wendover and the wider Chilterns campaign.
We believe we need to raise around £10,000 to enable us to put a strong, co-ordinated, well-evidenced case as a final attempt to protect our community from the irreparable damage that will be inflicted on us by HS2. We are asking you to contribute as much as you feel able to our fighting fund.
Please support us as generously as you can. Your contribution will be used to cover the costs of professional advice and to fund the means of demonstrating to the Lords Select Committee just how devastating the current proposals will be.
Wendover deserves better.
Chairman, Wendover HS2
Please make cheques payable to Wendover HS2 and send to:
c/o Marion Clayton
11 Pound Street
Alternatively contributions may be paid directly to:
Account name: Wendover HS2
Account no: 30265860
Sort code: 30 90 38
Thank you for your support.
20 March 2016
The Fight Goes On!
In spite of receiving almost 200 petitions from Wendover, Dunsmore and Halton, The Select Committee of the House of Commons virtually ignored our voice, recommending only a 100 metre extension to the Green Tunnel and the erection of grotesque, 6m high sound barriers north and south of our town.
The fight now moves to a new Select Committee in the House of Lords, where we will press the case for a bored tunnel for Wendover. To make that happen, we need your help. We will be urging you to submit a new round of petitions. We also need your financial support to hire experts, print posters and flyers, prepare for the new Select Committee’s visit … and build a full-size mockup of the proposed sound barriers on the Manor Waste – sound barriers that will be more than 50% higher than the Berlin Wall!
This is our last and best chance to protect our town. Please send whatever you can afford to
Wendover HS2, c/o Marion Clayton, 11 Pound Street, Wendover HP22 6EJ or transfer funds directly to:
Lloyds Bank plc
Sort Code 30-90-38
A/C No. 30265860
Wendover Deserves Better!
19 March 2016
HS2 – We are not giving up yet!
The HS2 Select Committee reported back to Parliament on the 22nd February. They have ignored our request for a fully bored tunnel to protect Wendover and the surrounding A.O.N.B., despite the number of petitions and strength of our request.
This is disappointing to say the very least. Effectively they have refused to accept that the massive benefits of reducing the blight on our properties, the scar on the Chilterns A.O.N.B, the noise impact and the potential risks to the hydrogeology of the area that could be achieved simply by the construction of a fully bored tunnel. This at minimal additional cost, when compared with predicted overall cost of HS2.
The Committees derisory recomendations are (i) for a 100 metre extension of the so-called “green tunnel” to the South of Wendover. (ii) The erection of 6 metre noise barriers (yes 6 metres high!) from the exit of the tunnel up to the proposed viaduct at Small Dene. (iii) Further noise barriers to be erected beyond the northern portal. These noise barriers will further irrevocably degrade the landscape and the environment around Wendover. They will become a target for graffiti. It is far from clear that these barriers (unproven as they are) will have the desired effect. They are also situated at the base of a valley and so the sound contours will spread out further from the source.
It is also worth remembering exactly what a “green tunnel” comprises and how it will be constructed. In fact it is not really a tunnel at all, and involves digging out a massive cutting, transporting and storing the spoil, laying the tracks, building the electric gantries, putting a concrete lid on it and then covering the lid with the earth and rocks previously removed. Once completed it will only protect the centre of Wendover from the noise generated by a train passing at some 225 mph but no-one can reliably predict the effect of a train at this speed entering and leaving the tunnel. Also, as part of the construction, two new 60 metre high pylons will have to be built (currently the existing ones are about 45 metres high), and other pylons realigned.
During the 7 year construction phase Wendover could be subjected to up to 300 HGVs a day (at peak) along our approach roads (many of which are already at saturation point at peak times). The dust and filth that will drift over the town will make our gardens virtually uninhabitable during the summers. There will be construction camps to the North and the South of Wendover with an influx of workers which will mean our already stretched local services (doctors, dentists, schools etc) will become over-loaded.
All this disturbance and aggravation would be alleviated by a tunnel bored one way (i.e. from the South) which HS2 and the Select Committee have refused to consider.
Having got this far we feel that we cannot just meekly accept this dismal outcome without a final appeal to the House of Lords whose Select Committee has yet to be appointed. What this will mean is submitting petitions again, employing some subject-experts and possibly a QC to present the Wendover case. Whilst the Lords cannot force a change in a Parliamentary Bill, they can make strong representation (as they did with the recent Finance Bill) with so-called Transport Work Orders.
For the Wendover Community to have an effective attempt at influencing their Lordships, the following is required.
1. Support for our fundraising campaign.
2. We would ask everyone to consider a petition to the House of Lords. There is with no need to appear in person as Role B agents can represent you. We will be advising on this later. The window for petitioning could start as soon as April 11 and only last for 2-3 weeks.
3. Support and help to prepare the village and surroundings when the House of Lords Select Committee visits Wendover.
Finally, we would like to thank all of you for your continued support throughout this lengthy process. To get so many petitions from Wendover was a magnificent effort. So far HS2 Ltd has spent around £225m of tax-payers (i.e. your) money on this fool-hardy, ill-conceived project just buying up houses. They have spent a fortune with consultants and lawyers. For what? Saving a few minutes on a journey between Euston and Birmingham? Providing additional rail capacity where none is needed on Intercity trains? Experience in France and Spain with High Speed Trains shows that far from “unlocking the Northern Powerhouse” it will have the opposite effect and simply expand London as a business centre. Even the Treasury Select Committee said there were serious shortcomings with the Business Case and the National Audit Office is reviewing the value and risk.
It is now 6 years since WendoverHS2 was formed. Many of you will already be aware that Antony Chapman has recently retired as our Treasurer. We are so appreciative of all his work and commitment and would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him. He acted as treasurer and committee member but also gave invaluable help and encouragement to local petitioners. Nearly 10% of all petitions submitted to the HS2 Select Committee were from the Wendover area i.e. approximately 190.
We have one last chance to save Wendover and the surrounding area including the Chiltern AONB. Let’s go for it!
(As at Friday 11 March – dates liable to change)
For more information and donations please contact the following:
Ron Petersen (Chairman) 07880 706040
Jenny Waller (Treasurer) 07900 340481
Philip Wallis 07877 261362
24 February 2016
Parliamentary report accuses HS2 Ltd of “maladministration”
22 February 2016
WendoverHS2 Press Release
WendoverHS2 response to the HS2 Parliamentary Select Committee Chairman’s comments in their final public session 5pm on 22nd February 2016.
Unfortunately the Select Committee report has not as yet been published, despite it being their stated publication date, which indicates to us the disdain in which Petitioners are held, and the lack of empathy with the anxieties resulting from HS2.
We are deeply disappointed but, regrettably, not surprised by the House of Commons HS2 Select Committee comments today which have so far failed to recommend extending the Chiltern Tunnel throughout the whole length of the A.O.N.B to the North of Wendover.
As one of the largest communities directly on the HS2 route, Wendover is being affected disproportionately by the scheme. A massive civil engineering project will cut through the heart of the town, yet Wendover will have the least level of mitigation spent per affected household along the route. In the vicinity the proposal is for two viaducts each 500 metres long and a height of 15 metres joined by a massive embankment over 1km long all sitting within the A.O.N.B.
The evidence presented by the local community to the Select Committee over the past six months covered wide ranging impacts on the local area on hydrogeology, noise, transport disruption and damage to local business, as well as a gross visual impact on the Chilterns AONB.
HS2 Ltd. has demonstrated gross incompetence in failing to adequately address these issues.
The community’s case was that an extended tunnel would solve virtually all of the above issues at little additional cost; in response, HS2 Ltd. issued a string of inflated cost estimates, unsupported by any evidence. In concert, virtually every governmental body in the Chilterns AONB area requested that HS2 Ltd. ask their contractors for a fully bored tunnel be priced as an alternative to the HS2 Ltd. above-ground scheme. This request for an independent pricing has been rejected by The Chief Executive of HS2.
Despite some brave independent voices on the committee, HS2 Ltd’s blatant attempt to filibuster the process appears to have won the day. The committee have failed to consider the evidence put to them, see through the shocking HS2 cost estimating process (presented by lawyers, not engineers) and failed to follow through its own recommendations made in July last year.
The HS2 QC comment that the Hybrid Bill process had proved by, the standards of fairness and enquiry, to be as good as a public enquiry, is a bad joke.
The HS2 Q.C also claimed that there had been unfailing courtesy by the Select committee to the Petitioners. We beg to disagree because at times some members of the Select Committee had been exceptionally rude, bullying and disruptive as Petitioners presented their case. The HS2 Q.C’s and their experts regularly sought to belittle the Petitioners and their evidence.
Given the government’s headlong rush to construct this White Elephant project and the sham of the petitioning process, the community have no choice but to resort to European institutions to at least ensure proper environmental impact assessment processes are followed.
The community are now following up the HS2 Action Alliance AARHUS challenge and are considering taking their case back to the European courts.
Meanwhile, the community suffers blight and affected homeowners, businesses and farmers continue to fight for fair compensation, which at present has been revealed by the Select Committee to be wanting.
Wendover HS2 was formed as a community action group by and for local people in 2010, in response to the HS2 announcement in March of that year.
The Group has been consistent in its opposition nationally and locally to HS2, but also in seeking maximum environmental protection, specifically in and around the historic market town of Wendover. The Chilterns AONB surrounds Wendover and much of the Parish lies within this Protected Area. The local economy is significantly based on visitors to the AONB. The area will be seriously and irrevocably damaged by the current proposal along with reputational damage to the whole of the Chilterns AONB.
Over 10% of all petitions to the Select Committee were from our local residents, organisations and businesses. We are expecting a similar number of Petitions to the House of Lords HS2 Select Committee.
For further information contact:-
Ron Peterson (Chairman of WendoverHS2) email – PicketP@aol.com
tel – 01296 622182
mobile – 07880 706040
Jenny Waller (Secretary of WendoverHS2) email – firstname.lastname@example.org
tel. – 01296 623675
mobile 07900 340481