All constituents wanted to do was present the Welsh Secretary with a petition which has been drawn up since the announcement to delay any decision on proceeding with HS2. Prior to the delay being confirmed, it had been reported in the press that Gillan had worked hard for an extra mile and a half of tunnel in The Chilterns, which would cost about another half-billion pounds, and may be paid for by downgrading environmental protections elsewhere.
Now, the tunnel proposal has been universally accepted as a spectacular own-goal, as it would not only mean HS2 would cause more damage in more places and cost more money, it would actually mean more damage in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Beauty, as the tunnel construction compound would have to move into the AONB.
A petition had been drawn up which states: “We the undersigned object to the principle, cost and route of HS2 and demand the Secretary of State cancel the project forthwith.” However the planned delivery of the petition was postponed after Mrs Gillan’s office refused to confirm the hours of her surgery.
Seb Berry, Independent Councillor and campaign co-ordinator for Great Missenden Stop HS2 said: “Local people have been incensed by last weekend’s national media reports suggesting that the prospect of an additional tunnel west of Amersham would be enough to buy off local opposition to the scheme. The protest was held to remind our constituency MP that local people expect her to be arguing against HS2 right up to the final decision date in January.”
“We were disappointed that we could not present the petition, but Great Missenden Stop HS2 will now be handing the petition to Cheryl Gillan at a private meeting with her confirmed for Friday 16th December. We are therefore keeping the petition open until 15th December. If you have not yet signed the petition and would like to do so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by next Thursday 15th including your full postal address.”
Shirley Judges, Chairman of Great Missenden Stop HS2, said: “The impression has been given that the tunnel extension solves the problems of the Chilterns AONB. It doesn’t. What it means is that the tunnel will emerge in the middle of the AONB and there will still be seven miles of cuttings and viaducts beyond it. It will still irreparably scar the AONB and and it is still a wasteful and unnecessary project.”
The assembled crowd were then entertained by Dirty Mavis members Martin Davis and David Brown, joining in with the chorus of The Oak Tree Lament (Did you Stop the HS2?) in the hope that their MP might hear them.
You can also order the track for download direct to your mobile phone by texting TRACK 7655 m to 80818. Costs will vary depending on your data download plan.
The song will become available to pre-order on music retailing websites over the coming week before the launch on December 19th, ready for a big push in the Christmas chart battle. You will be able to buy it more than once if you like and send gift copies via email. More details to follow at www.oaktreelament.org.uk
The song will also be performed live at the Stop HS2 Christmas Party on Saturday 17th December at Lacey Green Village Hall. Tickets will be £10 including a buffet, and need to be booked in advance as numbers are restricted. Contact Roger Waller on 01296 623675 or email@example.com