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By Tim Hart and Kathryn Gurney
We are your local volunteer group campaigning against the HS2 proposals. Recent news has shown that public opinion can change Government policy. The proposal to sell off forests was scrapped following significant public outcry after half a million signatures were mustered in a short time. The current plans for HS2 can be defeated.
As many of you are aware, the public consultation on HS2 is due to start shortly and by the time you read this we will know much more. The consultation is due to last a number of months and so there is plenty of time for a measured response.
Chiltern Ridges HS2 Action Group supports the view that there are viable and much cheaper alternatives which have not been given due consideration by the Government and that there are more pressing priorities for transport investment in this country than a new High Speed line to Birmingham. We oppose the very costly HS2 proposal as it is the wrong project, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. We would urge you to do the same.
The Chiltern Ridges HS2 Action Group has been formed to support you in the consultation period, to join forces with other groups up and down the line and to ensure that the interests of our community are protected We will provide a fact sheet and hold letter writing clinics in The Lee during the consultation period. We have set up a network of ‘local area coordinators’ (LACs), probably a near neighbour, who will be your first point of contact. Your LAC will already have visited you, or will be shortly be doing so, to establish contact and to check contact details, particularly e-mail which we think will be a very useful communication tool during the consultation process. A leaflet requesting donations to the fighting fund has also been delivered to you.
Funding is now an urgent issue to enable us and other like minded groups along the proposed route to work together to commission analysis to refute HS2 Limited and Government claims on the project. It will also be used to ensure that these views are well publicised. It won’t be enough to win the intellectual arguments, we need to ensure that those arguments are heard in the press and in social media and, with your help, we will join with others to pay for vital PR and media support. Please give generously; this is a proposal that can be defeated with your help.
Further information is available at www.thelee.org.uk and please also register to join The Lee Forum.
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