Urgent Question – Tuesday 14 March 2023 – 'HS2: Revised Timetable and Budget'
Stone MP, Sir Bill Cash, who has always been a vocal opponent of HS2 has asked an urgent question on HS2
HS2 goes from the very bottom to the very top of my constituency, and I am extremely glad that the Minister has agreed to come to see my constituents soon—I wish he would confirm that. We have put in some proposals called phase 1-plus. Those are very important, and the delay should help to work through them.
On a personal note, many of my constituents are aware that work is continuing now, despite the announced delay. They are suffering from extreme stress, bullying and harassment, of the kind described by my right hon. Friend the Member for Elmet and Rothwell (Alec Shelbrooke). Staff have taken possession of their homes against their will, without adequate or timely compensation, and of land that they do not need. One example is Mr John Evanson, aged 79. He was born on his farm, where he worked his entire life, but it has been taken away from him. He and his partner are now prisoners in their own home, surrounded by fencing and with as many as eight security guards, which is utterly intolerable. Will the Minister guarantee to look into that issue and sort it out?
I am always happy to meet my hon. Friend, and to discuss cases brought by my colleagues and Members across the House. It is essential that HS2 treats those whose land is being possessed or worked on nearby with compassion, and offers the right element of compensation. A lot of good work has been done by my predecessors on that front, but we know that there is more to do and I am happy to meet my hon. Friend to discuss that case. Indeed, I have offered to view some of those cases to get a better understanding.