‘My fight to speak out over HS2’

BCC Cllr Steven Lambert PNL-141224-121843001
BCC Cllr Steven Lambert PNL-141224-121843001

A Lib Dem councillor is mounting a challenge after being told he is not allowed to speak at the House of Lords select committee hearings into HS2.

Steven Lambert, who represents Aylesbury West on parish, district and county councils , says the decision denies him the right to represent affected residents in Fairford Leys, Prebendal Farm, Hartwell Estate and Walton Court.

He said: “I am stunned, shocked and appalled that the non-elected Lords can say I am not allowed to represent the people in my patch who will be so badly affected by HS2, people who voted for me and expect me to fight their corner.

“I am also personally affected, living just 350 metres from the line, but that doesn’t count for anything either apparently. This ruling makes a mockery of democracy and is a travesty for so many residents across the area.”

And Mr Lambert, who first heard of the decision in early May, says he is ‘disappointed but not surprised’ by the move.

He said: “After more than six years of poor engagement and limited communication with HS2 Ltd, nothing surprises me. Their only aim is to build the high speed railway and it seems that nothing will stand in their way, not even the understandable concerns of local people.”

Mr Lambert has now enlisted the help of Roll B agent Marcus Rogers, who will fight HS2 Ltd’s challenge in the House of Lords.

Mr Rogers first spoke with the Lords about Mr Lambert’s case in May.

He said: “HS2 Ltd claimed that Steven was not ‘specially and directly’ affected.

“I asked the Lords how that could be when his house is a short distance from the line and will suffer noise nuisance from the first day of construction?

“I also asked them to exercise discretion because of his important role as councillor, representing others ‘specially and directly’ affected in his wards.”

He added: “As local people with extensive knowledge, both Steven and I know that there are many residents across Aylesbury who rely upon their counillors to be heard.

“Not because they don’t care, but because they don’t have the knowledge or expertise to do it themselves.

“This is the job of a councillor, particularly for a project as expensive and damaging as HS2.”