The HS2 Ltd plan for petitioning.

Yesterday, The House of Commons Hybrid Bill Committee met to decide various issues concerning petitioning. While we don’t know what they will have decided until tomorrow (Thursday 12th June) morning, what we do know is what HS2 Ltd want.

Speaking at the Annual Conference of the Compulsory Purchase Association was Trevor Robertson, who is the Head of Property Acquisitions for Phase 2 of HS2. The first thing of relevance Robertson said was that HS2 Ltd might not be the only body to deliver HS2. This piece of potentially unintended honesty is extremely relevant regarding the issue of potential negotiation between HS2 Ltd and petitioners. Stop HS2 has been very clear since the start that if petitioners do negotiate with HS2 Ltd, they must be wary that ‘assurances’ are pretty much worthless, and petitioners should only be happy with ‘undertakings’, which would be added to the provisions of the Hybrid Bill. The fact that HS2 Ltd might not be the only body responsible for delivery further undermines any ‘assurances’ which they could provide, as if they aren’t then ones who end up being responsible, any new body would be able to completely ignore any ‘assurances’ made by HS2 Ltd.

The big shock was that Robertson said HS2 Ltd are assuming that the Hybrid Bill Committee could get through eight petitions per day. He did qualify that saying each would ‘take as long as it takes’ and that major landowners may take half a day, but assuming that ‘ordinary’ petitioners could be dispensed with at a rate of eight per day seems grossly optimistic. Bearing in mind that when sitting in Parliament, the Hybrid Bill Committee will be at the whim of the division bell which will call them off to vote at sporadic times throughout any given day, a rate of eight per day would mean each petitioner would only get around half an hour, maybe three quarters of an hour to be heard. This just seems totally unrealistic.

The final thing of relevance that Robertson said was that HS2 Ltd will be challenging the locus standi of ‘quite a lot’ of the petitions. Given the widespread scope of the powers contained in the Bill, notably clauses 47 and 52, which hav100614-3e implications all over the country, and also given that HS2 Ltd recognised Action Groups as being representative of communities via the community forum and bilateral processes, it will be interesting to see if ‘quite a lot’ of challenges happen, and on what basis.

We will know more about the petitioning process, but not necessarily the answers to these questions, after the Committee meet on Thursday at 11.05am. You can watch the meeting via this link.

5 comments to “The HS2 Ltd plan for petitioning.”
  1. Pingback: SEA views, part 3 | HS2 and the environment

  2. Hs2 plans derail entente cordiale Jaguar cars persuaded French giant to open a factory in measham After three years of negotiations they built a 50million factory supplying bumpers to jaguar land rover .Now they have a letter from hs2 saying our new train hs2 which will link trains to France is going to plough through there new factory .A new factory and moving costs will cost 100 million pounds .once again proving hs2 helping bussiness grow

  3. HS2 claiming large new land take areas from local owners. Let you council know if you have received a letter and maps wanting land for daisies and buttercups. HS2 is NOT caring for the ecology and environment in Phase 1. By stealth expropriation. Cameron Clegg and Milliband not avoiding HS2 gaffe after gaffe. Take and take. HS2 is failing to protect the future of the British Countryside.

  4. HS2 Limited and the Government have set themselves against thousands in the UK who do not accept the methods and means. Your petitions count regardless of the rules interpretations of a person from HS2. Dictating how you will be impacted is yet another of the presumptions and preferences of HS2. You have the opportunity to match the people as you know more about your situation as Jim Radford did in recalling his experiences. Just prepare your case and link with people and groups in the petitioning list you know or are neighbours to.

    Jim Radford – The Shores of Normandy – YouTube
    ► 6:37► 6:37
    5 days ago – Uploaded by David Jones
    D Day Seventy Years On – Friday Night is Music Night from the Albert Hall … with my children and my Mother at …

  5. ‘assurances’ are pretty much worthless, and petitioners should only be happy with ‘undertakings’. Understood.

    What about a recent letter from HS2 that states “On behalf of the Secretary of State, HS2 Ltd can therefore offer you the assurance that the land numbered ‘xx’ in the parish of ‘xxxxxx’ will not be taken under the bill. This assurance will appear on the HS2 Register of Undertakings and Assurances and therefore become a binding commitment.”
    So many assurances and assurances to undertake. Is it an undertaking or not?

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