In her fight for better HS2 compensation and further mitigating measures, Caroline Spelman has secured vital support from Members of the House of Lords, who have agreed to debate and table amendments to the Bill to get a better deal for constituents Meriden.
Last month, Caroline participated in the final debate in the House of Commons on HS2. In advance of the debate she also tabled a number of amendments in order to secure a number of small, but significant changes to the High Speed Rail (HS2) Bill.
These amendments sought to introduce; stricter rules of noise limitation; preventative measures restricting larger construction vehicles from accessing the tracks via certain roads and through designated communities/villages; greater planning controls for local Council’s regarding HS2 local infrastructure planning; and, a ‘green route’ for Diddington Lane in Hampton in Arden. However, due to the strict time limits placed on debates in the House of Commons and, the overwhelming cross party support for the HS2 Bill, Caroline and her colleagues were unsuccessful having their proposed amendments adopted during this stage.
However, following a number of meeting with cross party peers in the House of Lords, Caroline has gathered a number of supporters, including the Bishop of Coventry, to represent the views of local residents who are being negatively impacted by the HS2 rail line between London and the West Midlands.
Caroline said: ‘I would like to reassure local residents that in advance of Bill being read in the House of Lords, I have long been working behind the scenes and meeting with peers to ensure that they understand, in full, the views of local residents. Moreover, in the final HS2 debate in the House of Commons, I lobbied the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, to ask that he meets with the Lords Speaker and asks that more time is afforded to debating amendments to the Bill in the House of Lords. I am pleased to tell you that he agreed.’
‘In particular, I am very grateful to my friend, the Bishop of Coventry, for his commitment to support local residents in Meriden who deserve better safeguards than those currently being offered in the bill’.
In addition to the support that Caroline has won for Meriden in this debate, she has also submitted a petition to the House of Lords on behalf of residents, which will be considered during the House of Lord’s ‘Report Stage’.
Caroline added: ‘Just because the Bill has been approved by MPs doesn’t mean my fight for better HS2 compensation is yet over. Local residents can be assured that I will continue to work hard to guarantee that the concerns of residents in Meriden constituency are heard in the Lords and that I will continue to encourage peers to back any amendments which would guarantee better compensation and safeguards for local people and our communities.