HS2 Bill gets thumbs down from Stone MP Sir Bill Cash

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: March 29, 2016

Sir Bill Cash

He also proposed an amendment which declines to give a Third Reading to the Bill ahead of last week’s vote.

His proposal was that the House of Commons “while recognising the need for additional north-south rail capacity to meet the demands of rail users, declines to give a Third Reading to the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill because the Government has not yet adequately addressed the shortcomings of the discretionary compensation schemes being offered in relation to HS2 Phases One and Two, and in particular the shortcomings identified by the select committee on the Bill, which remain to be fully answered; and because it is essential for such shortcomings to be rectified during the passage of this Bill in order that proper compensation arrangements apply in relation to both Phases One and Two.”

He has further proposed an amendment requiring a review of compensation available to those affected by HS2, including the position of those whose property is subject to mortgage, and might be unable to remortgage or find themselves in negative equity;

He has also asked whether:

  • A property bond system would be as or more effective in compensating those affected while maintaining a functioning property market;
  • The current rateable value limit for owner-occupiers should be amended or abolished;
  • Loss payment ceilings are fair and appropriate;
  • A higher proportion of advance compensation for relocation than the current 90% should be payable in certain circumstances;
  • There should be an advance payment of fees for professional advice for those considering a claim for compensation;
  • The time limits for claiming compensation where no land is taken should be re-evaluated.

Sir Bill has previously campaigned with leading local action groups against HS2, including the Swynnerton HS2 Action group, and in his own right as MP for the Stone constituency.
Although this specific Bill confers the powers required to construct phase one of the proposed HS2 scheme from London Euston to Birmingham, Sir Bill has argued that the Stone constituency is directly affected as the principles and decisions reached in respect of Phase one will set standards for the Hybrid Bill for Phase two, where it will be more difficult to challenge such arrangements.

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