REPORT TO PICKMERE PARISH COUNCIL
5th July 2022
AGENDA ITEM 9.3 HS2 UPDATE
1.1 In recent weeks several relevant announcements have been made:
• The Second Reading of the HS2 Crewe – Manchester Bill was passed by Parliament on 20th June 2022 and the petitioning period is to run until 4th August 2022. A leaflet has been published on HS2’s website providing information about this process. This leaflet can be viewed from the following link:
• The Secretary of State for Transport intends on depositing the Crewe – Manchester Additional Provision 1 (AP1) in Parliament on Wednesday 6th July 2022. It is planned to deliver the material to the Parish Council (and other interested parties) between the 7th and 12th July 2022. This is a set of documents which will contain amendments to the scheme published in the Hybrid Bill.
• Public consultations on two reports that were published with the Bill – the Environmental Statement (ES) and the Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) – closed on 31 March. Responses received to the consultation on the ES have been analysed by an Independent Assessor appointed by Parliament. A report summarising the issues raised in the responses has been published by Parliament and is available via the Government website at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-phase-2b-crewe-manchester-environmental-statement-consultation Responses to the consultation on the EQIA are being analysed by a response analysis company and a report will be published in due course.
1.2 As members are aware, Cllr Flannery has been extremely active in recent months in seeking to oppose this project and in particular in seeking to persuade CEC and CWAC to take a more active and role in both opposing the HS2B project, but at least to pursue substantial mitigation measures. It is now open to the Parish Council to petition Parliament about the project – though any representations can only consider the detail of the project since the principle has been agreed by Parliament as of 20th June.
1.3 In this context it is particularly regrettable that Parliament has commenced the petitioning period already and that it will end on 4th August, since:
• This period is not only extremely brief, but is a major holiday period, and this will undoubtedly badly affect how organisations are able to respond to the proposals at this final stage. In the Parish Council’s case, Cllr Flannery is abroad at the time of writing until mid-July, and in addition your Clerk is away for just over two weeks from 7th July.
• Even worse is the fact that the ‘Additional Provision’ referred to in para. 1.1 bullet 1 above, might well contain detailed changes to the HS2 proposals as they pass through Pickmere. It is not planned to publish any such changes until at least 6th July, although it may be possible to view ‘draft’ changes at a presentation at High Legh Village Hall on 30th June. If so, Council will be updated orally.
1.3 These factors might substantially prejudice any petitioning comments your Council might be able to submit, although efforts are being made to mitigate these difficulties.
1.4 Council has previously (on 1st March 2022) delegated powers to the working group comprising Cllrs Flannery and Tarrant, in association with the Chair and Clerk, to submit representations on the HS2B project to the local authorities, HS2 Ltd, and Parliament. It is recommended that this delegation be continued with the supplement that the working group should include any other member who feels able to contribute.
2.1 That delegated powers be granted as described in paragraph 1.4.
Clerk to the Parish Council