HS2 Update 7 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 House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee is currently hearing evidence on the economic case for HS2, and this week Councillor Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, presented evidence on behalf of 51m. This update provides further details on this, as well as a transport update and details of community support events currently planned.

Transport update

We are currently doing some transport modelling work in order to better understand the impact of the increased HGV movements and infrastructure changes to the Buckinghamshire road network. Once this work is complete we hope to discuss it with HS2 Ltd and share it with communities in order to inform petitioning points. By doing this work we can ensure that transport data is interpreted in a recognised, meaningful and substantive way. We will keep you updated on this and any future work.

Select Committee visit to Buckinghamshire

We have produced a separate communication about preparing for the Select Committee visit to Buckinghamshire. This has been distributed with this e-update. It has not proved straightforward to post this on the Amersham Society web site but we can e-mail a copy if you request it from info@amershamsociety.org.

BBC Television Programme – ‘Inside out’

‘Inside out’ (south) which investigates issues in different regions will feature the HS2 debate on Monday 10 November at 7.30pm. The film crew attend the Buckinghamshire Councils’ HS2 Summit held on 8 October, and interviewed a number of speakers. The programme will also be available on BBC IPlayer, and further information can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0071msn

Response to study on the health impacts of HS2

We have previously mentioned the study looking at the Health and Wellbeing impacts of HS2 in the Chilterns AONB (available at https://www.51m.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/CCB-Health-and-Wellbeing-Pilot-Study.pdf). In July, Cheryl Gillan MP sent this study to Jeremey Hunt MP (Secretary of State for health), Sir David Higgins (Executive Chairman of HS2), Robert Goodwill MP and Patrick McLoughlin (Secretary of State for Transport). The responses to these will be on the news pages of our website shortly (http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/environment/hs2/news/).

HS2 Select Committee update

Since our last update a number of key petitioners have presented to the Select Committee. These include Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council and HS2 Action Alliance. Warwickshire County Council led on a number of key ecological issues, and during discussions HS2 Ltd has now agreed to carry out further ecological studies, which will be incorporated into an environmental statement addendum. We do not expect this to be available until early next year.

The most up to date timetable which outlines appearances until the 5 January can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/Programme/HS2_Committee_programme_Nov-Dec.pdf. This includes HS2 Action Alliance appearing on compensation; Stop HS2; a visit to HS1; and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. Petitions from Warwick District, Stratford-on-Avon District and Coventry will be heard from 5 January onwards. As we mentioned several weeks ago, the HS2 Select Committee Chairman said, following the site visit to South Northamptonshire on 27 October, that “We will then have visited all parts of the line as far south as the borders with Buckinghamshire and will probably not make further visits until after next spring” (full transcript at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/oral-evidence/131014_PM_Uncorrected.pdf). Site visits take place before any petitioners from that area are heard. However, it is important to remember that the agenda is subject to change.

HS2 event in South Northants

South Northamptonshire Council has organised an event for all petitioners, led by Parliamentary Agent, Alastair Lewis. Alastair will lead a presentation covering the Select Committee process and procedures, and provide an insight into proceeding dates. He will also discuss presenting to the Committee and appropriate evidence to use, we imagine this may be similar to the presentation Alastair gave at our HS2 Summit. The event will take place on November 12 between 5.15pm and 7pm. For further details and to reserve a place please email david.allen@southnorthants.gov.uk.

HS2 local area meetings

Here is a reminder of the dates, times and locations of the 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.

1226th November6.30pmQuainton memorial hall
1127th November6.30pmCounty Hall, Aylesbury
102nd December6.30pmSt Anne’s Hall, Wendover
93rd December2.30pmBallinger War Memorial Hall , Ballinger Common, Ballinger
93rd December6.00pmBallinger War Memorial Hall , Ballinger Common, Ballinger
7 and 84th December6.30pmAmersham Community Centre
13 and 1410th 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.

Buckinghamshire Compensation and Mitigation Panel (BCMP)

As we committed to at the Summit, we will use this Panel of local representatives to channel information specifically co-ordination of our appearances as well as ensuring local input on how we present evidence and our ‘asks’. The next BCMP is proposed for 1st December at 12noon. Thank you to those who have responded to our request for local representatives, we will email to confirm the list of attendees and circulate an agenda to this group.

Buckinghamshire County Council – Budget Consultation

Lastly, you all play such a key role in your communities that I would urge you to input your views on Buckinghamshire County Council’s budget consultation. The deadline for comments is 9 November and involves a short 10 minute survey. Please click http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/about-your-council/finance/budget/budget-consultation/to complete the survey.

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