HS2 pro­test­ers have the chance to speak

Cam­paign­ers to vent anger at se­lect com­mit­tee

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

ANTI-HS2 cam­paign­ers have re­ceived a boost af­ter be­ing given per­mis­sion to have their views heard by the govern­ment’s se­lect com­mit­tee.

The HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance group had faced op­po­si­tion from the govern­ment, who be­lieved that it should not be al­lowed to pe­ti­tion against the HS2 hy­brid bill which, if passed, will give the go ahead for work to be­gin on con­struc­tion of the first phase of the line be­tween Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham.

The govern­ment had chal­lenged the group’s right to ap­peal be­cause it said that it is made up of in­di­vid­u­als who are not all di­rectly af­fected by the line.

How­ever, the se­lect com­mit­tee has now agreed that the group should be al­lowed to be heard, and it will ap­pear be­fore the com­mit­tee in the com­ing months.

The HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance has wel­comed the de­ci­sion. In a state­ment it said: “We were de­lighted that the se­lect com­mit­tee ac­cepted our right to be heard and re­jected HS2 Ltd’s crude and anti- demo­cratic at­tempt to sti­fle proper and full de­bate on im­por­tant en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues and com­pen­sa­tion. “HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance now looks for­ward to rais­ing the con­cerns in its pe­ti­tion and bring­ing its in­de­pen­dent ex­perts to the com­mit­tee on be­half of the many thou­sands of peo­ple and groups that rely on us.”

MP Ch­eryl Gil­lan, who rep­re­sents Che­sham and Amer­sham, also praised the de­ci­sion.

She said: “I am very pleased to hear that the HS2 Hy­brid Bill Se­lect Com­mit­tee has de­cided that it will hear HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance and at­tempts to sti­fle de­bate have been dis­missed.

“HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance is funded and sup­ported by a large num­ber of my con­stituents and is rais­ing a num­ber of im­por­tant en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues in re­la­tion to is­sues such as noise, car­bon, bio­di­ver­sity and com­pen­sa­tion.

“I very much hope that by hear­ing HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance’s pe­ti­tion, the se­lect com­mit­tee will be bet­ter equipped to in­tro­duce ef­fec­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal mit­i­ga­tion and fair com­pen­sa­tion for those many thou­sands of my con­stituents who are so badly af­fected by HS2.”

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