July 15, 2015
Today the HS2 Select Committee announced their decision, at this stage, not to look further into a tunnel extension for the Colne Valley. The Committee’s full statement can be read here
Please click here (paragraph 3) to see the Committee’s views on the Harvil Road depot and their request that HS2 look to mitigate this further and work with TFL to look into more detail at the possible relocation of the depot to West Ruislip.
Fellow petitioners will share my deep disappointment at the decision made not to look further at a tunnel extension. I argued alongside Hillingdon Council, that the Committee did not have good enough information to assess the true cost of a tunnel, compared to the viaduct. More work needed to be done, not least because HS2 numbers were dodgy and incomplete. That continues to be my belief.
Our petitions have not been in vain though. The Committee have accepted our argument that more needs to be done to mitigate the horrendous impact from construction on the area. They want to look at options around the railhead. They are not convinced by HS2 plans for traffic. They want to see a solution for HOAC. All this is welcome in pushing HS2 to improve their plans, and we must see what emerges. However it feels like a poor compromise compared to the cleanest solution of a tunnel.
I continue to oppose the current HS2 plans. As I have stated for well over a year now, I will vote against HS2 at the next stage if we do not get a credible mitigation solution. Frankly, I am now less optimistic that we will be presented with something that is acceptable. However the fight continues.
Feel free to share any comments or questions you have by contacting me at email@example.com
July 10, 2015
Image from Harrow Times
Libraries play a very important role in communities. It is not just about the ability to access books. For many it is the opportunity to access the Web; find a quiet space; find out what is going on; join in something worthwhile. So closing them is a big deal and needs to be handled carefully. Sadly, Harrow Council have made another hash of an attempt to find savings. As you may be aware, they have closed four out of the ten libraries, including Hatch End. This was done without effective consultation with the community. My Colleague Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, has taken them to task in a debate in Parliament and I have written to Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture. In that letter I have asked him to use his powers to call in this decision for a review. If you would like to read the letter, please click this link: Ed Vaizey Nick Hurd 2 July Harrow Libraries cc Bob Blackman.
The contrast with Hillingdon remains stark. Both Councils have faced similar challenges in terms of the need to find savings. However, my Hillingdon constituents have access to fantastic libraries that have benefited from new investment because Hillingdon consider them a priority. My Harrow constituents are losing services because Harrow Council take a different view. I am a localist but these type of decisions need to be taken after a proper process of engagement with the public, to whom politicians are accountable. Harrow failed in this, as I fear they failed on Pinner Park Farm and the cut backs on maintenance of parks and green spaces. We all understand the need to find savings but Hillingdon have shown there is a better way of doing it.
Any comments are welcome. Feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me 02072191053. You can also follow me on twitter @nickhurdmp.
July 2, 2015
Yesterday, July 1st, I went in front of the HS2 Select Committee alongside Boris Johnson to round off the petitions for the Hillingdon area. Both Boris and I used the opportunity to argue that the Committee need to look properly into the costs and case for a tunnel extension. Residents who petitioned can be very proud of what they have done for the community. I think we got a fair hearing and now we must wait and hope for a signal from the Committee that the area needs better protection from HS2.