Alas­tair Lewis’ top tips for pe­ti­tion­ers

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - HS2 NEWS -

CAM­PAIGN­ERS have been given ad­vice on how to be as ef­fec­tive as pos­si­ble when they ap­pear be­fore a com­mit­tee of MPs who will de­cide on the amount of mit­i­ga­tion in Bucks when HS2 is built.

A sum­mit was held in Ayles­bury on Wed­nes­day, last week, at which pro­test­ers were told about the forth­com­ing visit by the se­lect com­mit­tee, which is made up of MPs from dif­fer­ent par­ties.

They will come to the county in the next few months to see at first hand the ef­fect that HS2 will have on the key ar­eas.

After that, peo­ple who have writ­ten pe­ti­tions will be in­vited to ap­pear be­fore the com­mit­tee in West­min­ster to make their cases, which, if suc­cess­ful, could have an ef­fect on Avoid rep­e­ti­tion Don’t waf­fle Do not show ag­gres­sion to HS2 Ltd or the com­mit­tee

Don’t pull any rab­bits out of the hat

Do not come up with any new tech­ni­cal or en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions Do not be late Make sure pre­sen­ta­tions are con­cise, with a clear de­liv­ery of the key points

Pick your bat­tles care­fully the Hy­brid Bill, which will give per­mis­sion for work to be­gin on the first phase of the line.

At the sum­mit, peo­ple heard from Alas­tair Lewis, of le­gal firm Sharpe Pritchard, who is ad­vis­ing Bucks County Coun­cil on the process.

He said: “The com­mit­tee will be im­pressed with a con­cise de­liv­ery of key points, as well as joint pre­sen­ta­tions. They don’t want to hear the same points over and over again from lots of dif­fer­ent peo­ple, so if you can club to­gether with other peo­ple, and have one per­son de­liv­er­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, they will ap­pre­ci­ate that.

“You will still count as hav­ing ap­peared, and they will be pleased that you have been part of a joint pre­sen­ta­tion.”

Mr Lewis also ad­vised pro­test­ers to make sure that they do not chal­lenge the con­cept of HS2, and to con­cen­trate more on ex­plain­ing to the com­mit­tee how they will be af­fected.

HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance leader Hi­lary Wharf also spoke, and ad­vised of the im­por­tance about be­ing cer­tain that each of pre­sen­ta­tions is dif­fer­ent and mem­o­rable, as well mak­ing sure that they are short, sweet and up­beat.

Bucks County Coun­cil leader Martin Tett spoke about what he ex­pected from the com­mit­tee’s visit to Bucks, and the prepa­ra­tions that are be­ing made.

He said: “We need to por­tray our­selves at our best when they visit. We need to be ra­tio­nal and pro­fes­sional. We will not get long with them, and so we will need to show them the places which are the most af­fected; we won’t get time to show them ev­ery­thing.

“It’s also im­por­tant that we don’t ex­ag­ger­ate any­thing. If we do that, it will com­pletely de­stroy our ar­gu­ment.”

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