The Stop HS2 campaign has launched an urgent appeal for campaign funds, as current resources will be exhausted after the party conference season. Whilst proponents of HS2 have long claimed that the Stop HS2 campaign is ‘exceptionally well funded’, this could not be further from the truth as the campaign is supported in the main by small contributions from individuals and community fundraising with action groups holding events such as quiz nights, wine tasting and raffles.
The most immediate concern is to replace the campaign mascot, Ellie the inflatable elephant, which after making over 100 appearances at events over the last year, is now damaged beyond repair. The elephant has been packed up in her trunk and transported all over the country from Westminster to Wakefield and has been key in getting our message across to the public and the press that HS2 is a white elephant, notably on the White Elephant Hunt which took place last year.
Chair of Stop HS2 Penny Gaines said;
“Sadly Ellie has now developed as many holes as the HS2 Ltd business case: she needs to be constantly pumped full of hot air if she is to remain standing. We’ve tried patching Ellie up, but just like the patches on the HS2 Ltd case, these don’t really help.”
However, the bulk of the current funding requirement is needed to ensure the well developed plans which have been prepared for when Stage 2 of HS2 is announced can be implemented. The Stage 2 plan has been formulated so that the campaign can quickly and efficiently respond to the announcement of routes to Manchester, Leeds and Heathrow.
Stop HS2 Campaign Coordinator Joe Rukin said;
“Although we have achieved a great deal with very little in the way of resources, Stop HS2 as an organisation has always been underfunded, which has a knock-on effect in terms of our capacity and how much we can do. We have always wanted to do more, but we have just not been able to. What we really need is regular funding which we can rely on, more than lumps sums, we need people to set up standing orders. They don’t have to be a massive amount if enough people get behind us financially, they just have to be regular so we can plan ahead. We know that when Stage 2 is announced there will be a colossal amount of work which we have planned for, but we need to be able to deliver and make the most of the opportunity to double the size of the campaign when it comes. The sad reality is that we will not be able to do this without funding.”
Anyone wishing to donate to Stop HS2 should send a cheque made payable to “Stop HS2″ to Stop HS2, c/o Roger Waller, Treasurer, The Outlook, Dunsmore, Wendover, Bucks. HP22 6QJ. To pay direct into our bank account or set up a standing order, the details are; Lloyds-TSB, Sort Code 30-94-93, Account no, 34934760.
A new elephant will cost £2,804 (including a blower to pump her up), whilst the campaign is looking for £35,000 towards the activities which will be needed when Stage 2 of HS2 is announced.