HS2 Update 24 Nov 2014

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/

The Select Committee recommenced on the 17 November after a week-long recess, to hear The County Land and Business Association and National Farmers Union. This update includes information on the Select Committee process, the Select Committee visit to Buckinghamshire, and the upcoming community support we will be providing.

Managing waste and spoil, avoiding ‘sustainable placement’

BCC is the lead authority for the route-wide issue of waste management and the use of sustainable placement areas by HS2 Ltd. We will be calling for a robust waste management strategy which fully explores superior alternatives for waste material arising from the project as well as appropriate modes of transporting that material. We know this issue is of particular concern for many of you. We are in contact with the landowners affected by sustainable placement. If you have any information you have gathered on this topic, please do get in touch. We will provide an update on this petitioning area at the next Bucks Compensation and Mitigation Panel.

Select Committee visit

Following the distribution of our special e-update about preparing for the Select Committee visit to Buckinghamshire, thank you to all those who sent in ideas and comments. We have almost finished incorporating all comments, or – in the case of anything which is contradictory or which we are unclear on – we have/will contact you directly. We are in the process of trying to plan and time a route between the stops.

We have now also made contact with all the Buckinghamshire MP offices to discuss ways in which they can support this work. BCC are also working closely with partners including the District Councils, The National Trust and Chilterns Conservation Board. We will be in touch again soon regarding next steps once we have progressed these discussions.

If you have ideas on stops or routes which you have not yet sent us, it is not too late to do so. Please contact HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk.

Select Committee update

On the 17 and 18 November the County Land and Business Association (CLA) and National Farmers Union (NFU) presented their petitions to the Select Committee. The main issues raised included the amount of permanent land take, the compulsory purchase and compensation system; blight; accommodation works and dispute resolution. The transcripts from these appearances 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/publications/ (under HS2 uncorrected oral evidence).

On 20 November HS2 Action Alliance appeared on compensation. The main point they raised was the issue of blight, which they believe has not been adequately covered by the compensation measures. A summary of their arguments and solutions can be found at https://www.hs2actionalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/HS2AA-Compensation-Summary-of-Arguments-17.11.14.pdf and you can read the transcript at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/oral-evidence/201114_UC_am.pdf.

Petitioner tutorials

Neil Caulfield, the Select Committee Clerk, will be offering tutorial seminars to petitioners prior to their appearance before the Select Committee. Invitations will be sent via MPs shortly before petitioners are due to appear and we have specifically asked to be updated, so that we can then distribute information to our contact list.

Guidance for petitioners

We have been advised that the guidance for petitioners has been updated. This can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/HS2_procedure_in_committee_note_rev_vers5.pdf. This includes advice for petitioners who will be using witnesses to support their case, and information on the order of hearings for petitioners.

HS2 local area meetings

Here is a reminder of the dates, times and locations of the next round of local area meetings. These will focus specifically on collecting evidence, preparing evidence and presenting to the Select Committee. Therefore if you are not planning to appear before the Select Committee or to be involved in evidence preparation, you may not want to attend these events. The table below outlines details for each meeting. Registration is essential so we know how many people to expect. Please email HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk to book your place.

Local meeting area (CFA)DateTimeVenue
Waddesdon and Quainton (12)26th November6.30pmQuainton memorial hall
Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury (11)27th November6.30pmCounty Hall, Aylesbury
Wendover, Dunsmore and Halton (10)2nd December6.30pmSt Anne’s Hall, Wendover
Central Chilterns (9)3rd December2.30pmBallinger War Memorial Hall , Ballinger Common, Ballinger
Central Chilterns (9)3rd December6.00pmBallinger War Memorial Hall , Ballinger Common, Ballinger
Colne Valley, The Chalfonts and Amersham (7 and 8)4th December6.30pmAmersham Community Centre
Calvert to Chetwode (13 and 14)10th December6.30pmBotolph Claydon Village Hall

We are also planning ‘drop-in’ sessions with members of the HS2 Project team, an ‘Introduction to HS2’ series and other events so hopefully over the next few months there will be something to suit everyone. ‘Drop-in’ session dates should be distributed in the next e-update.

Warwickshire County Council assurances

Warwickshire County Council has received a letter outlining a number of assurances from HS2 Ltd. This document can be found at http://apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/api/documents/WCCC-688-173, and includes transport, ecology and public access assurances. The document will be considered by Warwickshire County Council before any binding agreements are made.

Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:

Jackie Copcutt jcopcutt@buckscc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 383793
Alex Day alexday@buckscc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 382409
HS2 Blueprint Mailbox HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk
BCC HS2 Webpages: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/environm