HS2 Select committee in Wendover by chair of WPC

  |  Published: Jun 15th 2015
St Mary's, Wendover
The tranquility of St Mary's is threatened by HS2, photo courtesy Nigel Copelin

You will be aware that the Parliamentary Select Committee for HS2 visited Wendover on Thursday 11 June to see for themselves what those of us in Wendover feel about HS2 and what best mitigation options exist. I, as Chair of the POP Group and Wendover Parish Council, was lucky enough to gain the last seat on the bus that travelled around the Parish with the Select Committee. As we travelled around, I was so impressed by the turnout at each stop. The speakers at each stop did well and were ably supported by what I would like to call ‘passionate’ opposition. There was no shouting, chanting or abuse. It was respect for the Select Committee and the realisation they had a job to do. Some may have been disappointed not to get a word in but timing was at a premium and with Sir Peter Bottomleys whistle the visit was kept to a strict timetable. I felt proud to be one of only two representatives from Wendover on a bus dominated by HS2 ltd and, seemingly, AVDC.

Two special highlights for me!

One was the impact that a full silent church has with just the noise of a train to shatter the silence. Well done William Avery and your team in the church for organising such a powerful demonstration of the effect of noise. A special thank you also to Mitch from Motion Media, a Wendover company, who produced an excellent video, which was well received. If you wish to obtain a copy they are available from the Clock Tower at a price of £5 per copy.

The second highlight was the effect that a well organised team has. The POP Group has had its growing pains along the way but the four elements of the group really came together on the day. We need to keep that spirit of teamwork going right through this process of opposition to everything HS2. Halton PC (very special thanks to Brian Thompson) and Wendover PC worked well together and this partnership needs to be strong right through to presentation of Petitions and beyond. Special thanks to Andy Dunn our Groundsman, who was up bright and early on the day, who worked tirelessly to make sure things were in place at the right place and the right time. Wendover Society members helped in the background and a lot of help was provided by members on such mundane things such as putting up balloons, cones, tape etc. Thanks also to the members of Wendover HS2 for organising things such as putting up signs, bunting, cherrypickers etc. All part of a team which worked so well. 

In conclusion, I was impressed with the way that the ‘Wendover’ team worked with David Lidington and his office as well as Bucks CC (Sarah Gibson) especially. A true team effort which all should be proud of. Our MP was impressed with the way there was a focus on mitigation rather than just shouting. Im sure, as he was, that a very powerful message has been given to Parliament about what Wendover feels about HS2.

Robert Duggan

Chairman of Wendover Parish Council

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