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Important notice: From 3rd May 2017, there are no MPs until after the General Election on June 8th. Much of the content on this website was created when I was an MP. I am now the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Ruislip Northwood & Pinner. My office in Westminster is now closed, but my office in Ruislip Northwood & Pinner will remain open. I will only be able to do urgent pieces of casework. You can contact me at nickhurdconservatives@gmail.com or call the office on 01923 822 876. It has been a real honour and pleasure to serve this area in Parliament.

April 2014 Monthly Archives

HS2 Petitioning Process

April 29, 2014

HS2_Train

HS2 Petitioning Process

With the Second Reading of the HS2 Hybrid Bill having passed in Parliament on the 28th April many constituents were interested in lodging petitions.  The petitioning process began on 29 April and ended on 16 May for local authorities and businesses and 23 May for everyone else.

The bill now moves to the Select Committee Stage. The hybrid bill select committees are made up of about 7-10 MPs whose constituencies are not affected by the bill’s proposals.

What is the point of making a petition?

Having passed Second Reading, the House of Commons is taken to have agreed the principle of the Bill.  Petitions, however, can enable those affected to strive for mitigation and oppose certain aspects of the Bill. Once a petition has been submitted and accepted, HS2 may try to resolve the concern without the need for the petition to be heard by the Committee as it is clearly in their interest to reduce the number of petitions.

Nearly 2000 petitions were submitted with many from Harefield and Ickenham handed in too.  I handed in nearly 40 petitions to Westminster on behalf of local residents and submitted my own petition as the local MP, outlining the key campaigns for:

  1. Better compensation
  2. Extension of the proposed tunnel, ideally to the other side of the Colne Valley
  3. Dropping of the option to build a spur down to Heathrow
  4. Preservation of HOAC

Please click here to see a copy of my petition submitted.

What are the next steps?

The Committee started its evidence-taking meetings in July, More information on the next stage of the process and all petitions can be found on the parliament website here.

HS2 Hybrid Bill Second Reading

April 29, 2014

HS2 divides opinion. However, I am well aware how angry and concerned a number of constituents are, especially in Ickenham and Harefield.

There was a debate yesterday in Parliament on the principle of the HS2 Hybrid bill – the so called 2nd reading.  It was passed by a majority of 411 with only 41 MPs voting against.

Some constituents wrote to me about my voting intentions. I abstained.

My personal position is unchanged.  I have never been against the principle of HS2 but my priority must be to make sure that my constituents are treated fairly – if it goes ahead.

We have made some progress. I am pleased for example to have helped secure a compensation offer for the homeowners who live closest to the proposed line. However, as I have said publicly, I do not believe that the current mitigation and compensation proposals go far enough.

So we have to keep fighting for change.

One option would have been to vote against HS2 at second reading. However it is clear that there is overwhelming cross party support for it right now. Voting against HS2 at this stage would have achieved nothing practical for my constituents. Better I think to throw my energy into using whatever influence I have I have to pursue the key campaigns for:-

 

  1. Better compensation
  2. Extension of the proposed tunnel, ideally to the other side of the Colne Valley
  3. Dropping of the option to build a spur down to Heathrow
  4. Preservation of HOAC

We will now move to the next stage where a special committee will hear petitions from individuals and groups directly affected. The lesson from the Crossrail precedent is that this Committee can be influential – so this is a real opportunity to win the arguments for the change we need.

My final judgement on HS2, and vote at the key third reading, will be shaped first and foremost by our success in securing better mitigation and compensation for constituents.

In the meantime, I will support local petitioners and continue my own direct lobbying of the senior decision makers in this process. For example in the forthcoming month, the Rail Minister will be visiting the HOAC site at my request and I will be meeting again with the Chairman of HS2 to go through our local issues.

Nick writes to Alison Munro on the impact of HS2

April 17, 2014

Please click here to see the text of my latest letter to Alison Munro, Chief Executive of HS2 which outlining a large number of issues that arose from the Environment Statement.