Ques­tions over HS2 ‘chaos'

MP calls for clar­ity over next steps for pro­ject and crit­i­cises ‘poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

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

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