Below is the text of a letter about a Petitioners’ Workshop being held at Wendover Library Room on Saturday 25 April 2015, for large organisations and Roll B agents.
Dear Roll B agent,
Petitioners’ Workshop: 2 pm Saturday 25th April in Wendover Library Room.
Following on from the update and petitioning meeting on 14th March which some of you may have attended, I have been asked by the Wendover HS2 action group to contact you with details of a workshop to assist Petitioners in their appearance in front of the House of Commons Select Committee.
There are 192 Petitioners from Wendover, Dunsmore and Halton. The latest information we have is that we will not be called to appear in front of the Select Committee until after the General Election, with July realistically being the earliest time. The House of Commons will be in recess in the summer, from approximately 22 July until 11 September, so an autumn date is not out of the question. All we can be certain of is that Parliament is required to give each Petitioner four weeks’ notice of appearance in front of the Select Committee.
The Select Committee has stated several times that it does not want Petitioners to repeat what others have been saying, with the assumption that it will be less sympathetic if there is frequent repetition. As a Roll B agent you will have to decide which of your Petitioners you will want to call as a witness to put over their special story. With 192 Petitioners from the Wendover area it may be difficult not to repeat what others have already said.
We understand that some Petitioners appointed a Roll B agent just for the delivery of their Petition, though they wished to appear in front of the Select Committee themselves. If this applies to you, you may wish to consult with your Petitioner to make the necessary change.
To help you prepare for your appearance in front of the Select Committee, Wendover HS2 action group is arranging a series of workshops. We will be holding one specifically for Roll B agents and large organisations at 2 pm on Saturday 25 April in Wendover Library Meeting Room, to which you are invited. We will finish by 4 at the latest. We hope you will be able to attend. If you would prefer a workshop at another time or on a different day please also let us know.
With best wishes,
For the Wendover HS2 action group.
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.