HS2 Update 17 Jul 2015

We have received the following update from the Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:

(Note: previous Updates can be found on the Campaigns part of this web site at https://www.amershamsociety.org/topics/hs2/)

This E-update looks at Select Committee appearances that have been taking place on the Chilterns Tunnel, the new members of the Select Committee and dates for petitioners drop in sessions.

Select Committee update

The Select Committee has this week heard the substantive case for the Chilterns Long Tunnel proposed by the Buckinghamshire Councils. These presentations have been led by Chiltern District Council and The Chilterns Conservation Board. As well as this, on Tuesday 14 July, The Chiltern Society, Halton Parish Council, Wendover Parish Council, The Wendover Society and Wendover HS2 presented to the Committee on the extended tunnel.

Next week the Select Committee will be hearing from The Chiltern Ridges HS2 Action Group (CRAG) and the Residents Environmental Protection Association (REPA) who will each present further options for an extended Chilterns Tunnel.

The full transcripts from the meetings on the tunnel can be found as follows:

The full programme is at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/Programme/2015-16/HS2_Committee_programme_July.pdf.

The Select Committee has also published a draft schedule for September and October which will see individual petitioners on an extended Chilterns Tunnel appear. These can be found at http:// http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/Programme/2015-16/13.07.15_HS2_Committee_Programme_September.pdf and at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/Programme/2015-16/13.07.15_HS2_Committee_Programme_October.pdf

Supplementary Environmental Statement and Additional Provisions 2

On the 14 July, HS2 Ltd published the second set of Additional Provisions (AP2) and the Supplementary Environmental Statement (SES). The Supplementary Environmental Statement adds information to the original Environmental Statement including additional surveys. The Additional Provisions represent changes to the Hybrid Bill and Environmental Statement; please note that only the Additional Provisions can be petitioned upon.

1. Additional Provision 2 and Environmental Statement

– The set of documents can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/supplementary-environmental-statement-and-additional-provision-2-july-2015
– A guide to AP2 can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-hs2-phase-one-supplementary-environmental-statement-and-additional-provision-2-july-2015
– The petitioning period for the AP2 closes on 14 August 2015
– The consultation for the AP2 ES closes on 28 August 2015

2. Supplementary Environmental Statement

– The set of documents can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/supplementary-environmental-statement-and-additional-provision-2-july-2015
– A guide to the SES can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-hs2-phase-one-supplementary-environmental-statement-and-additional-provision-2-july-2015
– The consultation on the Supplementary ES closes on 28 August 2015

Decisions on the Colne Valley

On the 15 July 2015, the Chairman of the Select Committee, Robert Syms MP, announced a number of Select Committee decisions concerning the Colne Valley. The Committee has decided that the arguments for a tunnel under the Colne Valley were not convincing and have stated that they do not want further studies to be carried out, as they doubt these would mean a cost significantly less than £200 million.

The Committee stated that the main concern in the Colne Valley is the impact of construction work in the area. They have asked for further reassurance on traffic modelling and have requested HS2 Ltd produce a report on potential haul road adjustments. As well as this they would like a compromise on the relocation of Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre.

On viaduct design, an argument presented by South Bucks District, the Committee has asked for a design competition to be considered. The full statement can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-commons/news-parliament-20151/150715-statement-on-cv-tunnel/.

Letter from the Committee Chairman to Chilterns Tunnel petitioners
On the 13 July the Committee Chair, Robert Syms MP, wrote to petitioners who would like to see an extended Chilterns Tunnel. This letter reiterates that the Committee would like to see petitioners group together on this issue. A copy of the letter can be seen at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-commons/news-parliament-20151/130715-letter-from-the-chair-re-petitioners/

New Select Committee Members

Following the general election the Select Committee has appointed three new members. This follows Mike Thornton losing his seat and Yasmin Qureshi and Ian Mearns taking up different positions.
The three new members and some information on them is set out below.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Conservative – the Cotswolds) MP since 1992, previous profession is as a farmer
Past Appointments: Member of the Environment Select Committee (1992-1997)
Parliamentary Private Secretary to Douglas Hogg, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1995-1997)
Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 2001
Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government) 2001-04
Interests and accomplishments:
– Secured Government funding for the redoubling of the Swindon-Kemble railway line.
– Assisted the Royal Agricultural College in gaining full University status and has continued to work with the National Star College to fill the gap in their funding.
– Convinced the County Council to establish a new multi-agency flood action group which follows the public flood meetings he chairs every six months to bring together representatives from all relevant agencies.

– Interests listed on Parliament website as Economy, taxation, foreign affairs, environment, agriculture

David Crausby (Labour – Bolton North-East): MP since 1997, previous profession worker for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union
Past Appointments: North West Regional Select Committee (Chair) 2009-10, Defence Committee (2001-10)
Interests and accomplishments
– No obvious experience in this area. However has his own Rail campaign for the Bolton area: http://www.davidcrausby.co.uk/trains
– Member of a trade union (as per previous profession)
– Interests listed on Parliament website as Industrial relations, pensions, housing, defence

Mark Hendrick (Labour – Preston): MP since 2000, won a by-election. Previous profession as an Engineer
Past Appointments: Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2003-2006); Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett (2006-2007); Lord High Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw (2007-2008); Ivan Lewis, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2009-2010).
International Development Committee (2009 -2010)
Interests and Accomplishments
– Engineering background: 1982, he was appointed as a Higher Professional and Technology engineer with the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), Daresbury Laboratory, and stayed with the SERC for six years.
– Interests listed on Parliament website as Foreign affairs, defence, European affairs, economic and industrial affairs, international development

Buckinghamshire County Council Drop-in Sessions
We will be running drop-in sessions for petitioners ahead of the Select Committee hearings that will take place from September onwards. The purpose of these meetings is as follows:
– Assistance creating a Power-point presentation on a laptop, or
– Going over a Power-Point presentation, or
– Try-run of appearance including a few mock questions, or
– General Q&A on appearing
All sessions will be held in the HS2 Room, Porters Lodge, County Offices, Aylesbury, HP20 1UY
11th August 2015 between 15.00 and 19.00
20th August 2015 between 15.00 and 18.00
24th August 2015 between 15.00 and 19.00
15th September 2015 between 15.00 and 18.00
24th September 2015 between 15.00 and 19.00
Please confirm your attendance by emailing Sarah at hs2blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk. Please set out your preferred time slot at either the half hour or hour intervals. Please also indicate whether you would like to book half an hour or an hour. We will do our best to give you your preferred time slot.
In order to make these sessions productive please also set out in a few bullet points the topics you would like to cover with the team.
Buckinghamshire Compensation and Mitigation Panel (BCMP)
The BCMP meeting planned for 24 June was postponed due to the proximity to the visits. The next meeting will be held on 28 July. This meeting will likely discuss any assurances which the Councils have received by this point; include a highways update; and consider the Chiltern Long Tunnel ask given the July appearances.
Each CFA area has a community representative on the panel who should be feeding back discussions had at BCMP. If you would like to know who your representative is or you are not receiving feedback from these meetings, it is important that you let us know. Local County Councillors are also invited.
Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:
Jackie Copcutt jcopcutt@buckscc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 383793
Darl Sweetland dsweetland@bucksccc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 383463
HS2 Blueprint Mailbox HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk
BCC HS2 Webpages: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/environment/hs2/