This is the newsletter we sent to our subscribers last week – if you would like them emailed to you please sign up here.
Demonstration and Hybrid Bill second reading 28th April
The second reading of the HS2 Hybrid Bill is scheduled for Monday 28th April.
We’d like you to come and join us outside the Houses of Parliament at Old Palace Yard from 12-2pm on the Monday 28th April. It would be great to have as many people as possible there to let MPs know that there is widespread opposition to HS2.
After the demonstration, we will be going into Parliament to meet MPs. Please do everything you can to turn up and meet your MP, or an MP whose constituency you have associations with, either straight after the demonstration, or later on that day.
If you work in London you can come to Parliament later on: the vote is expected around 10pm, so there is plenty of time to see your MP! (HS2AA have organised a meeting room which will be available up to 8pm.)
We really want you to ask your MP to support the ammendments which have been made by Michael Fabricant and Cheryl Gillan, which you can find here http://www.publications.
Tell your MP…
Even if you can’t get to Parliament on the 28th, please let your MP know you oppose HS2 and want them to vote against the Hybrid Bill, either by emailing, writing to them or ringing their constituency office.
… and tell the opposition too!
The HS2 Hybrid Bill will not pass committee stage before the next General Election. As such, we need to make HS2 as much of a public issue as we can in the run up to May 2015. Politicians need to be clear that supporting HS2 will cost them votes.
So, in addition to the current MP, please could you also contact the party looking to replace him or her. You can find the contact details by putting the name of the parliamentary constituency you live in into a search engine along with the other political party, (eg “Conservative”/”Labour”/”
Prospective candidates do not get much contact this far before a General Election, so telling them this early that HS2 is an issue which will influence your vote, not only influences them, but their party.
The Labour Position
We expect that the Labour front bench will not vote either way on HS2. While Mary Creagh, the current Shadow Transport Secretary, has said that Labour will ‘support’ HS2 at 2nd reading, she has also reiterated the idea that there can be ‘no blank cheque’ as Ed Balls first said at their conference last September. Nor can she cannot guarantee they will support HS2 after the next election. Creagh also said that the Shadow Cabinet had not talked about HS2 since she was appointed. That says to us that there are people for it and against it, but neither feel strong enough in their position to force the issue. We know that Northern and Midland Council leaders are lobbying the party hard, so we have to as well!
One of the ways to do that will be having a Stop HS2 stand at to Labour Party Conference for the fourth year running, but this costs money. Like so many of you have done in previous years, please can you help fund this!
To donate to Stop HS2 go to www.stophs2.org/donate
Major Projects Authority Report
If the HS2 vote takes place on the 28th, an alarming precedent will have been set, as it will be the first time a Government has used their veto to block publication of a report concerning a Bill before the vote on that Bill has taken place.
The Information Commissioner has also taken an unprecedented step, and will be taking the Government to court after the Government over-turned his decision, when he ruled that the November 2011 MPA report on HS2 should be published. We think all six reports should be published before the vote, as otherwise the Government will be misleading Parliament.
Environmental Audit Committee
Recently has been the report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee who seemed to listen everything we had to say when we gave evidence to them, and trashed HS2 on environmental grounds. We feel what happened is a great example showing why people should be putting in petitions against HS2, because MPs on committees do actually listen!
If the Hybrid Bill passes on April 28th, the petitioning period will start the day after on the 29th. It is absolutely essential that anyone who thinks they are affected by HS2 petitions for it to be made better. It costs £20 to submit a petition, which must be submitted by hand to Parliament, either by the petitioner, their agent or their MP. Your local action group will be able to help you get your petition in.
If you are a business or local authority you need to submit by 16th May, everyone else including parish councils has until 23rd May.
Our comprehensive guide to petitioning can be found at www.stophs2.org/toolkit
A big thank you to everyone who responded to our appeal for funding for out campaign manager Joe Rukin. However, we still haven’t reached our funding target, which was for 100 people to set up standing orders of £10 per month. Please help if you can, because Joe is doing a great job!
To set up a donation specifically for Joe, please email email@example.com.
Send us a selfie!
In the last couple of days, the Stop HS2 Facebook page has been inundated with people sending ‘selfies’ of themselves with messages about HS2. Have a look at them here https://www.facebook.com/STOP.
If you are not on social media, please send your selfies to photos@stopHS2.org
Penny, Joe, Rae and the Stop HS2 team
PS Please join us outside Parliament on the 28th April