Questions over HS2 ‘chaos'
MP calls for clarity over next steps for project and criticises ‘poor communication’
CHESHAM and Amersham MP has criticised the “chaos over HS2 plans” as there are yet more concerns aired about what is going to happen with the project.
Last month the new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan asked whether Euston is the right place for the HS2 terminal.
There were earlier reports that various elements of the northern route are under question, “which raises even more questions about how this project will serve the ‘Northern Powerhouse,’” Mrs Gillan said.
There are also new consultations by the Office of Rail and Road into business plans for rail routes and funding for rail upgrades.
The Chesham and Amersham MP is also a joint signatory to a letter to HS2 Ltd which asks the company to revoke their challenge to the ‘locus standi’ status of MPs as the scrutiny of the project moves to the House of Lords.
The MPs have raised concerns because they will not be allowed to speak on behalf of their constituents.
The challenge arises from a basis that such challenges should be considered as coming from ‘Parliamentary Agents,’ but the MPs maintain that this is not the case because they would be speaking as elected Members of Parliament, rather than those who are working as agents for commercial organisations.
The irony was that the challenge was notified to MPs by a law firm which is acting, for remuneration, as a ‘Parliamentary Agent.’
The MPs feel that this, along with the earlier decision not to allow some individuals and groups to petition, affects the democratic process and reflects badly on the project which they believe is are attempting to curtail MPs’ ability to speak up and improve the legislation.
In addition confusing emails were sent to petitioners – the first challenging them and then one appearing to prepare them for presenting their petition.
Mrs Gillan said: “This has been most unsatisfactory.
“We do not know where the HS2 project will finish up, but what we do know is the lives of many of my constituents have been overshadowed for years. The project continues to exhibit poor communications skills and a lack of respect for those affected by the project. After consistent criticism by several independent organisations there are few signs of improvement.”
What we do know is the lives of many of my constituents have been overshadowed for years