Newsletter 76 - 27 July 2017

LATEST NEWS FROM CHILTERN COUNTRYSIDE GROUP

Dear supporters,

We hope that, despite HS2, Brexit and politics, you are all enjoying the summer with its typically British mix of rain and sun; no doubt we would all become rather bored with a completely predictable climate!

Firstly, many apologies for the delay in sending out this email update to you. We have been experiencing some problems with our website (http://www.chilterncountrysidegroup.org) which hopefully have now been resolved. The Steering Group intends to upgrade and overhaul the website in coming months but as you will appreciate this is totally dependent upon time available to our techie experts, who give freely of their services to CCG.

LONDON LUTON AIRPORT, UK AIRSPACE OVER THE CHILTERNS AND ITS AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY

On your behalf, in late May 2017, the Steering Group submitted a response to the Department for Transport's Consultation on 'Reforming Policy for the Use of UK Airspace'. This is a key part of the Government's approach to aviation over the British Isles and is highly pertinent to our situation here in the Chilterns where we are overflown 24/7 by operations out of Heathrow, London Luton and Northolt.

Stacking over the Chilterns is a huge problem for those of us living under or near flightpaths, for all who wish to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the AONB, for aviation operators and for air traffic control (NATS). The Consultation was an excellent opportunity to reinforce the messages which CCG has been repeating since our formation in 2008 - and at last, there seems to be a glimmer of hope that light has dawned that stacking aircraft at holds which constrict other traffic, cause unnecessary visual, aural and air pollution - and of course wastes time and fuel - is not the best way to deal with arriving aircraft.

In our response, the Group also pushed for greater emphasis on reducing environmental and community impact for departures, too. We await the outcome with interest.

The Group's full response to the Consultation is now published on the website. Your comments and thoughts are welcomed, as always.

HS2

The CCG Steering Group was represented at a recent workshop/meeting of the Chilterns HS2 Review Group; following this, the Group submitted a response on your behalf commenting on the Draft of the HS2 Chilterns Enhancement & Integration Plan (CEIP) Part 1 Detailed Design Principles. If any supporter wishes to see a copy of this, do please let us know. For any further information please contact the Chilterns Conservation Board (www.chilternsaonb.org/) which is heading up this project.

FURTHER ACTION ON HS2

In view of the current fragile political situation, a general swell of thought is prompting further action against HS2 in various ways.

Disappointingly, MP Cheryl Gillan'srequest on 6 July 2017 for a review of HS2 was not accepted by the current Leader of the Commons, MP Andrea Leadsom.

'Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP said:

“I am sure the Leader of the House agrees that the House would want an early debate on any Government programme where the costs are rising, and it does not look as though it is good value for money for the taxpayer; where senior personnel are leaving, and the governance of it is deteriorating; where procurement processes are breaking down; and where the technology is being overtaken by other, more modern, developments. May we therefore have an early debate on HS2 phase 1 before we start on the folly of bringing in a Bill for HS2 phase 2, and to consider whether, if work on the route is to go ahead, it should be used for another form of transport, such as the autonomous vehicles about which the Leader of the House is so keen?”

The Leader of the House replied:

“My right hon. Friend and I have worked for a very long time on representing her and my constituents in every way we possibly can. My constituents, just as much as hers, have grave concerns about the impact of HS2 as it passes through the Chilterns and South Northamptonshire, and all the way along the route. I am extremely sympathetic to her calls, but she knows as well as I do that there is a commitment to HS2. The Bill for phase 1 has received Royal Assent, but we will of course continue to look at what more can done to provide mitigation and compensate all of our constituents during the construction phase.” ' (acknowledgement Ms. Gillan's website)

If you might wish to participate in putting more and extensive pressure upon Government to withdraw this scheme and/or have ideas on how to achieve this, do please get in touch asap with Joe Rukin of STOPHS2 (stophs2.org/). There is still time and whatever each of us can do in whatever way we are able will be worth doing!

REMEMBER TOGETHER WE GIVE POWER TO THE MESSAGE!


With good wishes to you all.

Steering Group

on behalf of the Chiltern Countryside Group

www.chilterncountrysidegroup.org


01 442 905 992 (please note new phone number)