The Stop HS2 campaign is launching a funding appeal for a Judicial Review into various aspects of HS2. All we are asking is for everyone affected by the plans to donate £5 to the figthing fund, which will also go towards some smaller items of expenditure such as printing the briefiing to accompany the parliamentary lobby day on October 25th. In terms of a case for Judicial Review, obviously we can’t go into too many of the details at the moment for fear of prejudicing future legal proceedings, but the evidence is stacking up.
The Government has a responsibility to take decisions in the countrys best interest. The judicial review process existis to allow the public to challenge Government when they have failed to act fairly or rationally. We believe that the treatment of individuals directly affected is fundamentally wrong and unfair and the lack of a sufficient business or envrionemtnal case means decision to proceed to date is unfair. We also believe government has decided to progress this project further than it should have done prior to public consulation and this has been made even more clear due to this weeks decision to announce stage two before consultation on stage one. Judicial Reviews do cost money and we need anyone who believes this should be challenged to contribute.
The fact of the matter is that there are several issues regarding the process so far, the fact that still no-one -even those who would have their houses demolished by HS2 – have been contacted by Government, even though there has been a consultation over the EHS compensation scheme, there are significant human rights issues there. It is also a fact that ARUP, who designed the plans for HS2, were appointed without tendering, but by an exchange of letters. A pre-action protocol was issued on this issue for free by Public Interest Lawyers, but obviously to take things forward funds are needed.
We have gone to PIL as they specialise in environmental, planning and human rights cases in UK and globally and have extensive experinecs in representing individuals and groups in these matters.
You can donate to the fighting fund via the donation button on the website, but cheques are preferred as a small commission is taken by paypal for processing online donations. Please send cheques to ‘Stop HS2’ to 2 Caesar Road, Kenilworth, Warks, CV8 1DL.
Judical Review isn’t of course the only thing we are doing. Action groups up and down the country are all working hard in direct lobbyiing of MPs and councillors and progress is being made. This will continue and we will carry on getting our message across to them and to the media. For example, Dan Byles MP went into the election supporting HS2, but has since written to the Treasury suggesting cancellation as an easy way to save £33bn.
There are many other things in the pipeline, but for now the things you can do right now (besides please make a donation) is sign the petition via the yellow link on the left. Prior to the election, David Cameron said that any petition getting 100,000 signatures would merit a parliamentary debate on the subject of the petition and Lord Young has been tasked with the job of making this a reality, so lets see if they are good to their word.