We hope you are enjoying the summer sunshine and long may it last!
As usual there is lots of news to share with you and whilst we hope you have some relaxing holiday time we would ask that you don’t forget about HS2 over the summer – it may be quiet, but HS2 certainly isn’t going away!
HAHS2 will be working hard through the summer to make sure that we are prepared for every next step of the campaign.
We are planning another fundraising comedy night at Ruislip Golf Club on 19th September – this was a great night last time so please do save the date. More details to follow….
Nick Hurd, the MP for Ruislip/Ickenham/Harefield, lost his Cabinet position with the latest government reshuffle along with neighbouring MP for Denham, Dominic Grieve.This means they will revert to being backbench MPs with more time (and more freedom to speak out) on local issues.
Nick Hurd has always made his stance clear, he will continue to fight for better mitigation and compensation for HS2, on behalf of his constituents, but in a recent meeting with HAHS2 he has confirmed that if those issues are not dealt with satisfactorily, he will vote against the HS2 Hybrid Bill at 3rd Reading.Whilst this is a more encouraging sign of support, it would be useful if more constituents keep writing to him, to let him know their concerns.In particular, H.O.A.C is still under threat with no realistic plan for relocation, even after the Transport Minister visited last week.News story HERE
Sir John Randall MP has announced that he will be stepping down as MP for South Ruislip and Uxbridge at the next election.It is widely rumoured that Boris Johnson may stand for the seat, however candidates have yet to be decided so we shall have to wait and see!
Overall there were 1,925 petitions submitted to parliament and of those many came from across the Hillingdon borough,including one from Hillingdon Council and one each from the Local Councillors and Resident Associations that cover each area here affected by HS2.
Many more individual residents submitted petitions too – which is great, so thanks to all those that made the effort.We are pleased to say no petitions from Hillingdon were challenged.
However the two biggest petitions came from Stop HS2 and HS2 Action Alliance and these were challenged,by HS2 Ltd,on the grounds that they did not have ‘locus standi’ and could not represent those affected by HS2 on route wide issues!A hearing was held this week and the challenge was not upheld, so the good news is that these petitions will be heard by the select committee.
Thank you to everyone who wrote letters of support to them which were used in evidence.
We now have to wait to hear when individuals will be called to be heard by the select committee but given that there are so many petitions,plus a decision to start proceedings in the north and work down the route, this may take some time.
The Chair of the Select Committee, Robert Syms, has admitted that the petitioning hearings could take at least 2 years, so we have some way to go before the Hybrid bill can reach it’s 3rd reading. This will obviously take us beyond the next election so there will be interesting times ahead.
HAHS2 will be collating advice and information on how to best present evidence to the committee, when the time comes, and we hope to share advice with you .Please do email us if you have submitted a petition and would like some support.
Following a decision by SoS for Transport earlier in the year, to make some changes to the HS2 compensation scheme, a new consultation has been launched. We know that you have responded to these consultations many times before but we need your continued input to help secure further changes.Whilst some of the changes could benefit more residents in Hillingdon we don’t believe the measures go far enough and in practice the proposals are not as ‘fair and generous’ as the government would like you to believe.
HAHS2 will be producing more easy response postcards that will be available in all local Libraries in the coming weeks.We simply don’t have the resources to distribute these to everyone so if you are able to help – even just to deliver to your own road – please email us.
For more information about the compensation consultation and to respond on-line – see HERE The consultation closes on Tuesday 30th September at 11.45 pm
There are 3 legal challenges going through the courts,2 of which have been bought jointly by HS2 Action Alliance and Hillingdon Council.
The first is a judicial review challenging the decision by the SoS for Transport to issue safeguarding directions without undertaking a strategic environmental assessment.The case has already been heard by the High Court and we await a judgement.
You can read more about the case HERE
The second case is a complaint to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee. Lottie Jones of RAHS2 has joined forces with Hillingdon Council and HS2AA in taking this case to help represent Hillingdon residents.
The good news is that the committee has ruled that this case has the right to be heard in Europe so we are one step closer to calling the government to account for their responsibility to the planning of HS2 and protection of the environment.
The Government is also to face a High Court legal challenge from the Information Commissioner along with campaigners after ministers used a wartime veto to censor information about the controversial HS2 high speed rail project. Read more about this case HERE
We will of course keep you updated with news of the progress of all this legal action.
As always the campaign to Stop HS2,fight for fair mitigation and compensation as well as lobbying parliament, relies on financial support. Much of the progress that has been made over the last few years could not have happened without donations to the cause.
We are grateful to all those who have made contributions in the past but we need to keep support going!
Please do think about make a donation if you can.
We are currently trying to raise funds to support the Stop HS2 stands at the Party Conferences which will be crucial as we continue to lobby MPs in the run up to the 2015 election.
If you can contribute in any small way, donations will be gratefully received either via Paypal on our website by clicking the donate button HERE or by sending cheques to Hillingdon Against HS2 to: 8 Almond Close, Ruislip , HA46EB
You can also help raise funds really easily – FOR FREE! as you do your everyday shopping online – please register HERE
Don’t forget to use Facebook and Twitter to help keep the campaign against HS2 alive.
Join our Facebook page HERE for daily updates and news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @HillingdonAHS2 and remember to use #HS2 and or #StopHS2 when tweeting.
From Lottie Jones.