I voted against HS2 at the Second Reading stage (the principal of the project) and the Paving Bill to provide HS2 Ltd its funding however it has now passed and will go ahead. It is important that now I and affected local communities focus efforts to ensure that we get the best possible financial deal from the project.
I have been sharing resident concerns with the Committee reviewing HS2 and with the new independent review. While the process of acquiring land and seeking compensation has been swift and efficient for some, for others it has been a very slow and frustrating process.
I am also regularly raising concerns over how HS2 will affect our local environment, pressuring the company to not only plant more than 12,000 trees in the constituency, built homes for bats and birds and offer landscaping bunds to reduce the visual and noise impact but I have also been pressing for HS2 to give back to the communities affected.
There is a local pot of money which projects can apply to and there has been a lack of applications across Staffordshire, so I would urge you, if you are affected by the project, to see if any of your ideas, community groups or projects can bid.
I am always happy to raise resident concerns directly with HS2 Ltd, be it about your land, the wider impact or facts and figures about the process. I will continue to lobby for less waste, better progress and ensuring that those affected get a good deal.