I write in response to a reader’s letter in last weeks paper which criticised the behaviour of our MP Jeremy Wright and his stance on HS2.
HS2 is supported by the main parties. It has been my understanding that Jeremy Wright favoured a route up the existing road/rail corridor but we live in a democracy and the majority decision has decided the route. The Stoneleigh and Ashow Joint Parish Council together with Stoneleigh Action Group and several individuals petitioned the select committee in January. We were fully supported by Jeremy Wright who met with us regularly to answer our questions and helped us prepare for what was a quite daunting process. He then collated all the petitions from his constituency and presented a final summary to the select committee highlighting particular areas of concern. We are grateful for his support.
If one wants to question the actions of any person or group perhaps consider the stance of our WDC whose attitude to HS2 remains confused and unclear. Having adopted a state of denial for many years they submitted a brief petition but then withdrew from the process at the eleventh hour on unexplained “legal advice”. There appears to be no weight given to the impact of HS2 when considering other planning applications in the area.
They persisted in ignoring the views of their electorate in campaigning for the Coventry Gateway which was refused by the Secretary of State at public inquiry at an unknown cost to the council tax payers of Warwick District. Despite this they have included the Gateway in the Local Plan which itself is subject to much criticism from the WDC electorate.
Warwick district has evolved to be a desirable place to live and work. This did not happen overnight; it represents many years of careful planning and decision making by previous councils. The actions of the present council and officers would appear to suggest that the needs of the “sub region” are more important than those of the people who live here. There are elections in May. Choose your councillors carefully.
It is to be hoped that eventually the Government will take a realistic view of the final cost of HS2 in the light of the very many expensive technical and environmental problems which have been presented during petitioning.
We all know that the money can be better spent. However the Hybrid Bill is a democratic process and we have to work with it.
Jane Mackenzie, Ashow