CAMPAIGNERS wanting to call a halt to the Governments proposal for high speed rail (HS2) have had to start their petition from scratch due to the Government relaunching their official e-petition website.
Prior to the last election, David Cameron promised that under his leadership, any petition getting over 100,000 signatures would receive a parliamentary debate. Over the last year, Stop HS2 has done that and collected the 100,000 signatures required to trigger a parliamentary debate via their online and printed petitions. However, on August 4th the Government relaunched their official online petition service, declaring that petitions administered via their website would be the only ones recognised. The new Stop HS2 petition can be signed via the Stop HS2 website at www.stophs2.org.
Stop HS2 Campaign Coordinator Joe Rukin said:
“Up to the end of the public consultation, actions groups across the country had been holding various events and having stalls where they got people to sign our paper petitions. When the consultation finished, we called in all of these, and while they are still coming in, it quickly became clear that when they were added to the total for the online petition that we would have the 100,000 we needed to get a Parliamentary debate and were preparing to hand them in when Parliament returns in September.”
“Then just as the consultation finished, the Government reintroduced their own online petition service, stating that they would only recognise petitions on this website, meaning we have to start all over again. It’s a real pain as not only will many people believe they have signed, so won’t do it again, but also it is clear from feedback we’ve had at stalls that many supporters don’t have internet access or an email address which is needed to verify signatures. It’s annoying that we’ve got to start all over again after all that work, especially as the website keeps breaking down, but we are confident we will get the numbers in the timeframe.”
Notes to Editors:
- For more contact Joe Rukin on 07811 371880 or Penny Gaines on 07765 780553.
- People can sign the petition against HS2 via the Stop HS2 website; www.stophs2.org