Editor’s Comment: Who was looking out for Aylesbury Vale?

Roger Hawes

Roger Hawes

  • by Bucks Herald editor Roger Hawes

It is rare for me to write consecutive comments on the same subject but I feel I must draw a line (for the time being) under the matter of Aylesbury’s MP David Lidington’s failure to show up at last week’s HS2 Commons vote.

Of course his attendance would have made very little difference to the vote which went 451 in favour for the Government and 41 against .

But what has made me and many others angry is that in an area widely affected by this huge £50bn project, the Aylesbury Vale had no representation from its elected MPs in the House.

Mr Lidington as we know was absent and giving a talk in Estonia, the Vale’s other MP John Bercow, as speaker of the House of Commons cannot vote.

So what happened to our democratic system?

Right from day one I have fully understood the difficult position Mr Lidington has faced over HS2. But whilst I sympathise, it is vital he must represent his constituency first and foremost and if necessary resign from government to do so.

Imagine if David Cameron and Co decided to build the next international airport here in the Vale (ok I accept I am being a bit dramatic) you would expect your voice to be heard in Parliament and for your MP to fight the case.

Our councils are pumping taxpayers money into fighting against the current plans for HS2 even down to this week’s proposal for a £1.8bn extended tunnel under the Chilterns.

So it is not too much to expect the sitting MP to join the people’s army and march shoulder to shoulder.

It took over a week of phone calls before Mr Lidington finally responded to questions from the Bucks Herald and it was no coincidence it was on the eve of the crucial vote.

Now under a lot of criticism and pressure from top Tories Mr Lidington has finally suggested he is prepared to ‘resign’ but only if the deal for residents is not good enough. This presumes the project will go ahead. So once again our MP is not giving a clear message on HS2.

As a member of the community I have been able to listen to the views of those who gave Mr Lidington his 12,000 majority and they are not happy.

A third reading of the Bill is due in the House of Commons later this year when once again the spotlight will shine on our long standing MP.

Could it, next time, be three and you’re out?




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