Thank you for contacting me about the HS2 Debate held in Parliament on 13th September.
You may be aware that I have been actively campaigning against HS2 since long before I was elected as an MP due to a range of concerns and continue to work closely with residents and local action groups to ensure that our voices are heard both by HS2 and also in Government.
Obviously this is a very important issue for our constituency and I did attend the debate in full, however due to it being very popular amongst colleagues from across the House, unfortunately I was not selected to speak due to the limited time frame of it. Whilst this was of course very disappointing, I have included a copy of the speech I had written for your perusal and you will also be able to see from my record that not only have I consistently voted against the HS2 scheme, but also regularly voice my concerns to the HS2 Minister. As well as the devastating environmental impact the scheme risks as you rightly mention, it also seems more apparent than ever that the aims of it being good value for money or an improvement to local connectivity are disintegrating before our eyes so I will continue to press Ministers to urgently reconsider this terrible scheme.
I was able to intervene on the Minister as he made his closing remarks to say:
"Unfortunately, I did not get called in the debate, but the Minister already knows my strong opposition to the scheme. I want to press him on the benefit-cost ratio. The Oakervee review said it had already dropped from 2.3 to 1.1, and post pandemic we can expect it to come down even further. Does he agree that we need another review so that we can properly assess the value of the scheme?” and whilst time ran out for the Minister to provide a full response to this, he did commit to providing one in writing following the debate and I will update you further once I have received further clarification to this point.
Thank you again for contacting me on this very important issue and I trust that my response re-assures you that this is an issue that I take very seriously and will continue to campaign against on behalf of my constituents.