June 2013 Monthly Archives

E-bulletin June 2013

June 30, 2013

Please click below to download Nick’s June 2013 E-bulletin in pdf format.

HS2 Update – Meeting with Alison Munro

June 25, 2013

The publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for HS2 has confirmed what I think we already knew. The project may or may not be in the national interest but the current proposals are clearly very bad for the local area, especially Ickenham and Harefield.

Having recently met with the Chancellor to talk about compensation, I have now secured a second meeting with the CEO of HS2 on Thursday 27th June. I have invited John Randall MP to join me so that she can fully understand the strength of local views.

Please feel free to send me any comments or questions that you would like to communicate to the leadership of HS2. I know that the community forums have been very frustrating and so this is an opportunity to talk straight to the head. I would ask that you get them to me by 5pm on Tuesday 25th June so that I can compile a summary of issues to present to her.

Since the statement, many of you have contacted me to express understandable horror at some of the traffic implications. I will be making the point that these plans were clearly not put together by anyone with any knowledge of the local roads. I will be asking them to think again.

Following the meeting I will of course be contacting the relevant Ministers to reinforce the key points so, please take advantage of this opportunity.

I know that many of you continue to be very angry and frustrated that this project rolls on. At the moment the political support for it is cross party and overwhelming. That may change but in the meantime I continue to believe that the most effective help I can give my constituents is to continue arguing for action that minimises the damage to the area and presents a fairer deal for people bearing a cost for something that will not benefit them. That includes an extension of the tunnel to bypass Ickenham and a solution for HOAC. I can’t guarantee we will get these things but I can assure you that it will not be for the lack of trying.

This is a long game and in the meantime I would ask for your support in making sure that I accurately reflect your concerns to the decision makers.

Meeting with Alison Munro 27th June

June 24, 2013

I met last Thursday with Alison Munro the CEO of HS2 Ltd and Peter O’Riordan the Area Manager, John Randall MP also joined the meeting to reinforce the Hillingdon message. The meeting was frank and constructive.

There were four main items on the agenda:

1. Poor Communication

We made the point strongly that residents had been very frustrated in their contact with HS2 Ltd and deserved better answers to detailed questions. We both handed over a summary of questions that remained unanswered. The point was accepted in the meeting but the proof will be in the responses that we get

2. Traffic

Our argument was straightforward. The current plans envisage traffic movements that are completely unacceptable and betray inadequate knowledge of current traffic patterns. We urged them to rethink the plans urgently. They stressed that this was a consultation and appeared to recognise the issue. I strongly urge constituents to focus on this issue in their response to the consultation on the Draft Environmental Statement.

3. Extending the tunnel to bypass Ickenham

This has not been ruled out. However, it is tied up with the decision on the Heathrow spur which may not be taken before a review of airport capacity is completed in 2015. There are some genuine engineering issues around extending the tunnel. However we have urged them to develop a serious analysis of the option, given the possibility that the Heathrow spur may be dropped.

4. HOAC

HS2 have been working under the illusion that HOAC can survive on its current site. We communicated the strong view of HOAC that this is not the case and therefore serious consideration needs to be given to how this hugely valuable asset can be preserved. We agreed that this was a conversation that needed to be pursued.

I will be following up with HS2 Ltd and Ministers.

On a separate note you will be aware that there has been a vote on the so called Paving Bill for HS2. Like a number of other ministers, I did not take part in the vote. It was passed by a majority of 325 votes to 37 which reinforces the point I have made consistently that there is at the moment overwhelming political support for this project.

I realise how frustrating this is for many constituents. Under the circumstances I continue to believe that the most effective thing I can do right now for my constituents is to make sure that the local issues are understood by decision makers and argue for a fairer deal in terms of mitigation and compensation.

I will of course keep you informed of any major developments.