When I first learnt about HS2 and the impact it was going to have on communities right across England, one of the first actions I took in Parliament was to form the HS2 Compensation & Mitigation Forum to provide MPs in affected communities with a space to discuss common issues and to hold HS2 Ltd executive to account.
In the intervening years, we discussed a range of topics including property compensation, environmental impacts, construction traffic, and the cost of the scheme. I was very pleased that, when I became a Minister, my friend and colleague Dame Cheryl Gillan MP, the Member of Parliament for Chesham & Amersham, took over as Chairman of the group. We have since been joined by colleagues from along Phase 2a and 2b of the line of route, and the group continues to meet to this day.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak at the group’s most recent meeting and to address some of the specific issues that my constituents have raised with me. It is important that MPs are able to speak collectively on behalf of those residents affected by the same issue, and the group has resolved to write to the Secretary of State to raise our shared concerns with him, particularly around the issues of property compensation and engagement.