July 2019 update

NEWSLETTER 54

Dear Supporter,
We hope you are enjoying your summer. Even though it is holiday season and many of you will be taking a break, right now we need you more than ever, as the future of HS2 will be decided in the next few weeks.

BORIS JOHNSON
Our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is still the local MP for South Ruislip and his constituency covers a large swathe of the HS2 affected areas. Despite us having had many meetings with him over the last few years, it’s still difficult to know what he will do about HS2. We do know that he is very aware of many of the negative aspects of the project – especially locally, but he will take some persuading if he is to cancel HS2 outright. There have been all sorts of suggestions about what he might do, ranging from full support to full cancellation with downgrades and prioritisation of other projects in the middle.
So he really needs to hear from you!

You can write to him at – House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Call his team on – 020 7219 4682
Or email – boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk

OFFICIAL REVIEWS
There are currently two reviews taking place, one by current HS2 chair Allan Cook, and one launched by Boris by former HS2 chair Doug Oakervee. Of course HS2 Ltd. are still scrambling to get things in order to try and pass ‘Notice to Proceed’ in December which gives the final official go-ahead for construction. The massive concern now is that despite – or maybe because – they still haven’t got ‘Notice to Proceed’, HS2 Ltd. have begun issuing land possession orders on Phase One and intend to start widespread habitat clearances from September. If you haven’t specifically signed the petition on that subject, please click here and do that now.

At this point in time, what we know is that the project is uncertain and HS2 Ltd. are accelerating their work to try and ensure that so much has been done and spent, that it makes the project impossible to cancel.

TELL THE CONSERVATIVES YOUR VIEWS
With the political environment looking like the Conservatives may be gearing up for a quick General Election, the party is asking for you to send them your views. So please follow the link to tell them your priority is getting rid of HS2.

RECENT VIDEOS
This great but very sweary video (you have been warned!) is from Jonathan Pie with Chris Packham, it probably covers all the main reasons why HS2 should be cancelled. Please watch and share via email and social media.

Jonathan Pie has also created this email tool which we hope you will use to send your objections about HS2 to your MP.
Please forward it on to friends and family to contact their MPs too.

There’s another great video in which Joe Rukin of Stop HS2 explains what the physical impact on the natural environment HS2 will have which is available on Facebook and Youtube. It’s really worth sharing too.

POLITICAL UPDATE    
As Andrew Bridgen MP recently pointed out, HS2 now has the potential to be the scandal that keeps on giving. Lord Berkeley said that parliament had been misled and HS2 Ltd is ‘rampant with fraud’ and whistle-blowers had been paid off. During the debate on Phase 2a, Labour called for a peer review of the project and their MPs backed an amendment from Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach asking to release former HS2 staff from gagging agreements, before the Labour whips abandoned voting for the actual HS2 bill. Rail Minister Nus Ghani of course stuck with the £55.7bn budget of HS2 and insisted that no HS2 staff had been gagged, before it turned out in less than a week that 47 former staff have been gagged ,that new HS2 chair Allan Cook has an estimate for HS2 of £70-85bn and subsequently the Government admitted HS2 are continuing to update their cost estimates.  Worse than that, it is being suggested, again by Lord Berkeley that the first two things were connected, and that figure was known three years ago before HS2 phase one got Royal Assent, and this is why staff were paid off to keep quiet.

GOOD NEWS ON THE LEGAL FRONT
The last few weeks have given us two things to cheer, first the funding appeal for taking HS2 Ltd to Judicial Review over the safety of the Euston approach has met its first funding goal (if you want to help it reach the stretch target, click here). Second was that the case against environmental protestors concerned about the impact of HS2 on the water supply to London was thrown out.  The case against Lora Hughes and Sarah Green from Harefield, was dismissed halfway through the hearing, for no other reason that the total incompetence of HS2 Ltd, because after a four month deferral they still hadn’t managed to prove that they possessed the land at the time of the pair’s alleged trespass.

ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION
Right at the moment, HS2 Ltd are gearing up to escalate their mass destruction of habitats to full scale ‘treemageddon’, starting in September. We are meant to be grateful that after all the controversy over ‘vegetation clearances’ earlier in the year that they have waited until nesting season is over, but with HS2 not due to get Notice to Proceed until December at the earliest this is still very premature, and many believe it is a deliberate and tactical act, to try and create as much destruction as possible and therefore make cancelling HS2 less worthwhile.
We are very concerned that a local resident in Harefield is currently facing eviction from their business next week, without an agreement on compensation being reached, see their story here. Please follow our facebook page for updates on this and for how you can help. This could happen to any of us.

FRAUD UPDATE
Following our initiative earlier in the year, the Serious Fraud Office has asked for more details from people who think their land and property has been undervalued. This has been timed perfectly as HS2 Ltd seem to be sending out land possession orders all over the place. There are more details on the Stop HS2 website, and remember, there may be protections under the 2006 Fraud Act, so please get that evidence in.

AND FINALLY
Thank you for your continued support and as we said at the start, action is needed now more than ever, so please make sure you;
sign the petition
email your MP
Follow and support Stop HS2 on YoutubeTwitter and Facebook
Forward this email to family and friends and ask them to do something – especially if they do not live on the HS2 route.
Donate to the campaign.
For more local information about Ruislip, Ickenham and Harefield and all the HS2 news in Hillingdon please join our local Facebook page
Sign up to HS2Ltd’s own information source for Hillingdon, this includes dates and times for local drop in events and HS2 works and road closures etc.

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