Gillan: We need more information before HS2 vote

Bucks Free Press: Cheryl Gillan Cheryl Gillan

CHERYL Gillan said this week MPs should not be holding a key vote on HS2 without being given the information contained in a report that was controversially withheld by the government.

In a rare move Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin recently vetoed the decision to make the contents of a report by the Major Projects Authority public, saying it was not within the public interest to do so.

But at Business Questions at Parliament on Thursday, Chesham and Amersham MP Mrs Gillan challenged Leader of the House Andrew Lansley on that decision.

She said members would only have 14 days to digest the information given to them ahead of a Second Reading on HS2, before a further debate later in the year.

The former Welsh Secretary called for a debate on the ‘quality and availability of information’ available to MPs before they are asked to make ‘serious decisions’.

Mrs Gillan said: “Will the Leader of the House look at how we can possibly ask Members to make important decisions and vote on Second Readings that are irrevocable when they do not have all the information on the risks involved and the whole project?”

Mr Lansley replied: “It is the responsibility of this House to ensure that the proper assessment is made in of those responses to the consultation before our Second Reading. We have not announced the timetable for Second Reading.

“It is in any case, as the House will understand, a decision in principle on Second Reading, and through the hybrid Bill procedure there will be detailed examination of the Bill that follows.”

Earlier in the day Mrs Gillan had asked Mr McLoughlin at Transport Questions when details of the HS2 compensation scheme would be announced to her constituents – many of whom could be affected by the route of the planned line.

Mr McLoughlin said: “I will attempt to come forward with the conclusions of that consultation as soon as possible. I am in no doubt about the problems faced by many people on the proposed route, and I take those responsibilities very seriously indeed.”

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Gillan said: “This dreadful situation is hanging over many people’s heads. The Transport Secretary has got to publish and it must be done soon.”

Comments (4)

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11:49pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Phredd says...

The government obviously want a "vanity project", and up to now it has been HS2.

However if the 50+ billion was spent on flood prevention schemes, coastal defences, road repairs it would safeguard the country for a hundred years.

Now that would would be a valuable vanity project!
The government obviously want a "vanity project", and up to now it has been HS2. However if the 50+ billion was spent on flood prevention schemes, coastal defences, road repairs it would safeguard the country for a hundred years. Now that would would be a valuable vanity project! Phredd
  • Score: 1

9:22am Sun 9 Feb 14

gpn01 says...

MP's do indeed need some basicbasic information around the proposal. Such as why, with such a weak business case, it's being allowed to continue.
MP's do indeed need some basicbasic information around the proposal. Such as why, with such a weak business case, it's being allowed to continue. gpn01
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Sun 9 Feb 14

FLiszt says...

gpn01 wrote:
MP's do indeed need some basicbasic information around the proposal. Such as why, with such a weak business case, it's being allowed to continue.
Contrary to the implication of your comment, they have indeed had plenty of information, the same as the rest of us, but are blind to it. As each attempted justification has been blown out of the water they try to find another - and these people think they are competent managers! Just as they have taken so-called experts' advice re not to bother dredging rivers for which they've been forced to apologise, they're just a bunch 'yes'(wo)men too thick and chicken to think for themselves. It is quite obvious now that nothing except their loss of position by everyone voting UKIP at every opportunity will change their minds.
[quote][p][bold]gpn01[/bold] wrote: MP's do indeed need some basicbasic information around the proposal. Such as why, with such a weak business case, it's being allowed to continue.[/p][/quote]Contrary to the implication of your comment, they have indeed had plenty of information, the same as the rest of us, but are blind to it. As each attempted justification has been blown out of the water they try to find another - and these people think they are competent managers! Just as they have taken so-called experts' advice re not to bother dredging rivers for which they've been forced to apologise, they're just a bunch 'yes'(wo)men too thick and chicken to think for themselves. It is quite obvious now that nothing except their loss of position by everyone voting UKIP at every opportunity will change their minds. FLiszt
  • Score: 1

11:19pm Sun 9 Feb 14

gpn01 says...

FLiszt wrote:
gpn01 wrote:
MP's do indeed need some basicbasic information around the proposal. Such as why, with such a weak business case, it's being allowed to continue.
Contrary to the implication of your comment, they have indeed had plenty of information, the same as the rest of us, but are blind to it. As each attempted justification has been blown out of the water they try to find another - and these people think they are competent managers! Just as they have taken so-called experts' advice re not to bother dredging rivers for which they've been forced to apologise, they're just a bunch 'yes'(wo)men too thick and chicken to think for themselves. It is quite obvious now that nothing except their loss of position by everyone voting UKIP at every opportunity will change their minds.
Indeed, I've never known a project to have gone through so many relaunches as this one. Each time the justification for it has changed....starting with High Speed (that's why it's called HS2), then it was about time saved for business people (abandoned once it was realised that business people actually use trains to work on). Then it was about improving connectivity (failed once realised there wouldn't be many stops). Then there was capacity (yet it would be part funded by reducing existing capacity). Then it was about bringing benefitsvto thee North (untrue, several cases cited that it would actually harm the North). Then there was hoiw there was no alternative (just not building it's actually a great alternative). Then it was about "green" transporttransport (disproved). Finally it was about "we should just do it". MP's haven't had enough information either. The Government itself recently used a secret veto to overrule the publication of a Major Projects Authority report as it was felt to be "not in the public interest" to release it. MP's should be demanding its release!
[quote][p][bold]FLiszt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gpn01[/bold] wrote: MP's do indeed need some basicbasic information around the proposal. Such as why, with such a weak business case, it's being allowed to continue.[/p][/quote]Contrary to the implication of your comment, they have indeed had plenty of information, the same as the rest of us, but are blind to it. As each attempted justification has been blown out of the water they try to find another - and these people think they are competent managers! Just as they have taken so-called experts' advice re not to bother dredging rivers for which they've been forced to apologise, they're just a bunch 'yes'(wo)men too thick and chicken to think for themselves. It is quite obvious now that nothing except their loss of position by everyone voting UKIP at every opportunity will change their minds.[/p][/quote]Indeed, I've never known a project to have gone through so many relaunches as this one. Each time the justification for it has changed....starting with High Speed (that's why it's called HS2), then it was about time saved for business people (abandoned once it was realised that business people actually use trains to work on). Then it was about improving connectivity (failed once realised there wouldn't be many stops). Then there was capacity (yet it would be part funded by reducing existing capacity). Then it was about bringing benefitsvto thee North (untrue, several cases cited that it would actually harm the North). Then there was hoiw there was no alternative (just not building it's actually a great alternative). Then it was about "green" transporttransport (disproved). Finally it was about "we should just do it". MP's haven't had enough information either. The Government itself recently used a secret veto to overrule the publication of a Major Projects Authority report as it was felt to be "not in the public interest" to release it. MP's should be demanding its release! gpn01
  • Score: 2

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