Newsletter 63 - 18 April 2015
NEWS FROM CHILTERN COUNTRYSIDE GROUP
What a wonderful Spring we are enjoying this year! Everywhere looks so fresh and green and daily we see newly emerging blossom and leaves. We are all so grateful and appreciative of the simply beautiful countryside in which we live and seek to preserve for future generations - and doesn't this brilliant weather and season make us all even more determined to do just that?
News on some of the events in our campaigns to uphold CCG's mission statement: 'Preserving the peace of the Chilterns'.
Transport Select Committee and Petitions
- As Parliament and thus the Transport Select Committee are now dissolved until a new Government is elected, no further Petitions are being heard. The Committee published an Interim Report at the end of March, which can be found at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-commons/news/interim-report-published/ One of the key points made is that the Promoter (HS2 Ltd) is asked to make available to petitioners a guide to costings for tunnelling. CCG strongly recommends that supporters read this document, especially if you have submitted an individual petition.
- From the Report: '75. The merits of tunnels should be assessed on the basis of their own cost and potential benefit, not their percentage contribution to overall project costs. We have requested that the Promoter make available a guide to tunnel costs to assist petitioners arguing the case for more tunnelling'.
- If you wish to access the hearings already held, you can do this via the Parliamentary website: http://www.parliament.uk/g/rss/committee-feed/?pageInstanceId=86443&type=Committee_Detail_Mixed§ion-id=233
HS2 and forthcoming General ElectionThe 2015 General Election is a key opportunity to express your view on HS2 through the ballot box. Status of main political parties on HS2 is as follows:
- Green Party - Against; UKIP - Against; Conservatives - For; LibDems - For; Labour - For with a rider to keep costs down. As HM the Queen said a few days prior to last year's Scottish Referendum: 'we should think very carefully about the future'.
- Do use this opportunity to task your candidates on where they stand - will they be toeing the Party line? or will they represent their constituents' best interests? Costs for HS2 have now risen to c£50bn, with more for HS3 - is this the optimum use of taxpayers' money? and how would your candidates vote in the next phases of the HS2 Hybrid Bill once Parliament is reconvened.
For fuller information please visit the websites of STOPHS2 stophs2.org, HS2AA www.hs2actionalliance.org and 51M www.51m.co.uk - and for news as it breaks, the live news feed on the CCG website http://chilterncountrysidegroup.org.
Airports Commission Consultation February 2015
- On your behalf, in February, the CCG Steering Group submitted a response to the Airports Commission Consultation into the UK's Long Term Aviation Strategy. This is posted on the Group's website. Your comments are welcomed. We await the outcome of the Commission's findings with interest but these are unlikely to be before autumn 2015.
London Luton Airport (LLA)
- CCG is working closely with the Chiltern Conservation Board (http://www.chilternsaonb.org/conservation-board.html) on the impact of LLA's operations over the Chilterns. CCG and CCB now hold joint meetings with the management of LLA so do let us know your questions, thoughts and concerns so that we can bring these to the table on your behalf. Noise complaints are monitored and logged by the Airport's Environmental Office, so when you are disturbed by aircraft, especially at night, do please take only the few minutes needed to tell the Airport so. Quarterly and annual reports on complaints are filed and these will be an important part of our discussions with the Airport's management, so your voice is important.
Do please get in touch with your views and support for our campaigns. Remember: 'Together we give power to the message'.
Enjoy the sunshine!
Kind regards from all in the Steering Group
Chiltern Countryside Group