"My constituents and other conclude that the Oakervee Review is a sham" MP David Lidington writes to minister as HS2 works start in Steeple Claydon

MP for Aylesbury David Lidington has written a letter to Transport Minister Grant Shapps saying that enabling works should stop until the outcome of the HS2 review is known.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 2:12 pm
MP for Aylesbury Sir David Lidington

Mr Lidington warned that if works, like the ones that began in Steeple Claydon this week, are allowed to continue constituents and the general public will believe that the entire review is a sham.

In the letter, the newly knighted MP, said that he was writing on behalf of Bucks County Council leader Martin Tett, and Aylesbury Vale District Council leader Angela Macpherson, who have both spoken out against the move.

He said: "To proceed with enabling works like this before the Oakervee Review has reported and indeed whilst Mr Oakervee is currently consulting Members of Parliament and others, leads my constituents and others to conclude that the entire Oakervee Review is a sham.

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Residents and campaigners launching direct action in Steeple Claydon this week

"You have always assured me personally that this is not the case. However, proceeding with such far-reaching works in Buckinghamshire and elsewhere before the review has concluded is seriously undermining public confidence that the Department for Transport can be believed.

"Please, even now, I would urge you to reconsider your approach in allowing enabling works to take place, and ask that you call for them to be halted until the Oakervee Review has concluded and your department has responded to its recommendations."

This newspaper has the led the HS2: Enough Is Enough campaign and we have voiced our scepticism about the validity of the review. Douglas Oakervee who is leading the review is a former HS2 Ltd Chairman, and the councils represented on the panel are primarily those which will benefit from the scheme.

We have also called for all works to be stopped, as if the HS2 scheme is eventually scrapped, ancient woodlands, natural habitats and people's homes and businesses will still have been lost and damaged beyond all recognition, all for no reason.

We echo the sentiments of Mr Lidington, Mrs Macpherson and Mr Tett.

To find out all the latest on our Enough Is Enough campaign you can click HERE and sign up to our Facebook group.

This week residents and campaigners staged a direct action in Steeple Claydon, in a bid to stop works to remove hedgerows in the areas taking place.

The works had been postponed earlier this year, after protesters shamed the company for attempting to proceed during nesting season.

Speaking about the direct action taking place Frank Mahon, chair of the Steeple Claydon HS2 Save our Countryside group said: "We arrived on site at 8am as was our intention and noticed the diggers were being taken out.

"We ran down and stood ten metres away from the compound which forced them to stop the machines.

"They came back and told us we were trespassing and claimed they had an injunction that allowed them to complete the works.

"We asked to see the injunction and they said we don't have it on us to show you so we said we would stay put.

"They called the police and several hours later the police arrived and said it was a civil matter.

"We told the police we would be conducting a peaceful protest and only intended to cause a nuisance not to do anything criminal.

"We are working as a team to supervise the site and will carry on doing so for as long as it takes."