Back in December, Philip Hammond made a statement to the House of commons about HS2 and the forthcoming consultation.
Earlier that day, he went to Willesdon Junction, in the Labour held constituency of Hammersmith.
Willesdon Junction is close to the proposed site of the Old Oak Common interchange, and Philip Hammond clearly thought it would make a good photo-opportunity. The media were told beforehand, as were the local Conservative party and the local authority. While he was there he spoke to the press.
One person who he did not tell was the Member of Parliament for the area, Andy Slaughter. This is in spite of the expectation that if a minister visits an MP’s constituency, he lets that MP know in advance.
Andy Slaughter raised a Point of Order in the House of Commons: you can read it in Hansard, here. (It may be worth noting that HS2 will also pass through the Speaker’s constituency.)
As the Speaker said “namely that there is a convention that a Member, including a Minister, visiting the constituency of another Member notifies the Member whose constituency is being visited in advance, and preferably in a timely way so that that Member has proper notice of it.”
And Philip Hammond ignored it.
I would like to tell MP’s that they should pay attention to the public reaction on Question Time last night – save our forrests question. We (the Big Society) don’t want you (the administrators) to concrete over our land and tell us (the big society) what to do.
Are MP’s aware that according to the BBC 135,000 families declared insolvency in 2010…..800,000 families are on ‘debt management programes (Or IVA’s) and a staggering 18 MILLION working families admit they run out of money by the 19th of the month!
Instead of wasting £34bn on a trophy train project this Government would do well to use that money putting back the vital public services they are busy cutting – no doubt to fund HS2!
p.s Judging by the list of MP’s who voted with the Coalition on the forrest bill I fear we have entered a new era of ‘Tory/Libdem Wets’…..will those MP’s who are opposing HS2 hold true?……we (the big society) will vote you out if you let us (the big society) down!
you say that he said 10000 new homes, he didnt say houses, and presumably they would mostly be apartments but what is wrong with that ? we will need any growth and any jobs we can get and there is a housing shortage and this is a development on unused brownfield railway lands not greenfield sites.
i agree it seems like protocol or in fact politeness was missed on that day as certainly any representative of the area should have been made aware of the visit but maybe it was organised quickly. no reason to not proceed with the project though.
Sending one email takes very little time, even if the visit is being arranged quickly.
I might add,Penny,if you don’t already know it,that I was there with a member of our group.The whole thing was stage-managed for TV and the press.I was approached by P.H.’s deputy,and later invited to interview with BBC and ITN .Both were cut out,but the cameras followed me in a private conversation with P.H.! This appeared on several videos…Do look at the map of Old Oak Common (not Willesden Junction) and imagine how this “regeneration” is to take place:”10,000 new homes”?High-rise concrete blocks,presumably,unless they intend building on Wormwood Scrubs!