Over the past couple of weeks, I have received a huge number of emails from constituents who wanted to highlight the upcoming Westminster Hall debate on HS2. The vast majority of these constituents have never emailed me before and so I want to assure you that I shall do my best to attend the debate
There remain some serious issues with the accountability of HS2 and I know that many residents and landowners continue to feel they are being treated unfairly. I recently met with some local farmers who continually feel the goal posts are being moved by HS2 Ltd and they have to fight for the assurances which have been given to them in the past.
While I shall do all I can with colleagues in Westminster to try and help individual cases, the major concern is that these cases are not isolated. I speak with colleagues who have constituencies all the way up the line of route and they all have constituents with exactly the same stories to tell.
HS2 is going to be with us for many more years and we need to continue to work on improving the way HS2 Ltd go about their engagements with communities and in particular those whose property is being taken from them. The HS2 Act does give them a lot of power and it is clearly important that costs do not spiral any more than they already have done but this must not come at the expense of the communities they are working in.