Last February, before the election, David Cameron said if he was elected the Government would bring in a system where petitions getting more then 100,000 signatures could be debated in Parliament.
Stop HS2 and our supporters have spent the last year gathering signatures so that we can present ours as soon as his new system allowed it.
David Cameron’s system has now been set up, and already there are problems with it.
Firstly, signatures need to be collected online on the Government’s website. There may be changes later so paper signatures are possible, but we want to make our opposition to HS2 known now.
Secondly, the committee responsible for assigning time for debates from petitions doesn’t have the power to make them happen straight away. They say on their website
“the committee has no power to schedule debates unless some Members of Parliament come forward to tell us that they wish to take part in them. However the Government has not provided any way to link petitions to Members of Parliament who wish to sponsor them on the e-petitions site, or any advice to petitioners on what they might need to do.”
Anthea Hartley put it best, in her article for Uxbridge Gazette
“O.K – it’s frustrating BUT (another crucial “BUT”) campaigners have not come this far to have the rug pulled from under their feet! On the contrary, it has merely fuel our indignation and strengthened our resolve to bury HS2…
“They can call the tune – but we will dance for as long as it takes to STOP HS2”
So, if you haven’t signed the petition again, please make sure you do so!