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Sacked Minister, The Amersham and Chesham MP Cheryl Gillan, unleashes broadside on High Speed 2
4:14pm Sunday 9th September 2012 in News
DAYS after being sacked as a Government Minister Cheryl Gillan has unleashed a biting broadside against High Speed 2 and attacked her party's support for the project.
The Amersham and Chesham MP, Conservative, said now she has been 'liberated' from the shackles of collective responsibility as part of the Government's top table she will speak her mind.
She said the £33bn scheme, which would cut through Buckinghamshire's countryside heartland, should be binned.
In a piece for the Telegraph today, she writes about the impact on her constituents.
She wrote: “The project is already causing mayhem in our local property market. Many who live within a mile of the proposed route are already struggling to sell their homes. And despite promises from ministers, those who face having the value of their homes decimated are simply not being adequately compensated at the moment.
“And the benefits? The Department of Transport has so far failed to produce a credible business case for the project. So obsessed are HS2’s architects with cutting a few minutes off journeys between London and Birmingham, they plan no stops between these cities.
“This means the communities along the line suffer noise and pollution, but do not share the economic benefits.”
In a dig at her party, she said: “I have always been and remain a loyal Conservative. But this project should not be on the Government’s agenda if Conservative principles are at the fore.”
Mrs Gillan revealed she has written to Patrick McLoughlin, the new Transport Secretary.
She wrote: “If this project is forced through, it is vital that our beautiful environment is protected in the Chilterns and people are compensated for this blight on their lives, homes and businesses.
“When I look at the public finances, I wonder how such an expensive project with such a weak business case can survive.
“I urge the new Transport Secretary to recognise HS2 is not a project to be put on hold – it’s one for the dustbin.”