High Speed 2 Update - October 2013
Yesterday saw the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill receive its third and final reading in the House of Commons. I voted against this legislation at third reading – the only vote to be taken during these proceedings.
As I have made clear, I am opposed to HS2 on a variety of grounds and took the opportunity to voice my opposition and that of my constituents, during yesterday’s debate.
I put forward a number of amendments to probe the Government’s position on expenditure and development of HS2, as well as wanting a greater commitment to robust and generous compensation provisions. I was of course disappointed that these amendments were not accepted but was glad to have had the opportunity to express major concerns over the handling of this project.
You can read details about the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill and its progress, here (http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/highspeedrailpreparation.ht…)
It is important to note that this Bill will not grant the necessary Parliamentary authority to build the line, but simply allows for money to be spent on preparatory work on the scheme. I believe the bill was devised as an attempt to sweep away criticisms of the scheme and show the supposedly overwhelming support in the Commons for proceeding with HS2. However, since the second reading of this Bill in June we have seen Labour’s support waver and this was reinforced by their decision yesterday not to whip their MPs to vote in its favour.
I was not surprised to see the Bill get voted through, but was encouraged that a greater number of MPs voted against it this time, more than at the second reading in June. I believe that opposition to this project continues to grow and expect there to be much stronger dissent when the Hybrid Bill, which authorises the construction of the route, is debated next year.
You can watch the day’s business, including that on the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill, here: (http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=13974)
You can read the whole debate, including my speeches and the outcome of the vote, here: (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131031/deb…)
This is of course not the end. This Bill does not yet allow for the construction of HS2 and I will continue to oppose the project, representing my constituents and their views.
Please do visit my website, www.cherylgillan.co.uk, to see the latest news and action I am taking on this important issue.
Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP
Member of Parliament for Chesham and Amersham
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Tel: 01494 721 577 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.cherylgillan.co.uk |Twitter: CherylGillanMP