Sarah Green, MP for Chesham and Amersham

Sarah Green MP calls on HS2 to improve community relations ahead of ‘decade of debilitating destruction’


Sarah Green, MP for the Chesham and Amersham constituency, has joined constituent calls for HS2 to be scrapped. Speaking in a parliamentary debate on the petition entitled “Stop work on HS2 immediately and hold a new vote to repeal the legislation”, Sarah warned of a “decade of debilitating destruction” caused by the construction of the high-speed railway in her constituency. She also criticised HS2 Ltd. for their lack of transparency when communicating with her constituents.

 

Sarah commented: [W]hat strikes me is the persistent lack of trust in HS2 Ltd, which is openly acknowledged by the team at HS2. They have assured me more than once that they are working hard to address that with the local community, but we have been here before […] I therefore ask the Minister whether he is satisfied that he is seeing enough improvement in this area from HS2 Ltd.”

She went on to highlight the fears of Chesham and Amersham residents regarding irreversible damage being done to the Chiltern chalk aquifer, which supplies water to thousands of people in south east England. Referencing a report from HS2 contractor Align, which surfaced in August as the result of a Freedom of Information Request, Ms Green revealed: “[I]t has come to light that, during diaphragm wall excavation at the Chalfont St Peter vent shaft late last year, there was a significant loss of bentonite. There is a clear correlation between that loss and changes in water quality in the area. HS2 Ltd chose not to share this information with the community”.

Concluding, Sarah called on HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson “to come and meet some of [her] constituents and decide for himself whether HS2 Ltd’s commitment to openness and transparency is being fulfilled”
In response, Stephenson stated: “Let me be clear that the continued supply of high-quality drinking water from the Chilterns aquifer is a high priority. I would be happy to meet the hon. Lady.”

Reacting after the debate, Sarah said: ‘I am pleased that the Minister is willing to discuss HS2 Ltd’s failure to communicate with affected communities, and I will be writing to him to follow up on this offer. However, I hope that he will commit to meeting with not only me, but with the committed local campaigners who have spent years fighting for answers against HS2’s opacity.”


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