6 September 2022 – 9.5 Report – HS2B – Petition to Parliament and its implications

September 2022 Uploaded on September 1, 2022


6th September 2022



1.1 As members are aware, a petition has been submitted to Parliament on behalf of the Parish Council objecting to HS2B and in particular certain proposed elements of it (since Parliament has already accepted the principle of the scheme).

1.2 Council now awaits Parliament’s response, in particular as to whether the Council will be invited to send a representative(s) to appear in person before the Select Committee which is giving consideration to the Hybrid Bill.

1.3 Notice of any such invitation may not be substantial, and accordingly it is felt prudent to consider how such an appearance might be facilitated. In broad terms the questions will be:

• Does the Council wish for a representative(s) to appear before the Select Committee? If so how many representatives might be appropriate, and who might they be?
• Will Council pay the travelling and subsistence expenses of those representatives? Travel costs will obviously be significant and subsistence costs will reasonably include allowances for meals and refreshments, and may, depending on the timing of any such hearing, involve an overnight stay in London.

1.4 Initial enquiries suggest that the cost of a day return rail fare (2nd Class) might be in the order of £130, 1st Class perhaps £280. Cheshire East Council’s subsistence allowances for 2021-22, as shown on their website, are as follows. We are now in the financial year 2022-23 and obviously price inflation is an increasing factor. CEC’s allowances do refer to indexation of the costs scheduled below but these are not explicit on CEC’s website:

Rail Fares: The cost of train travel is reimbursed up to the open standard rail fare for the journey undertaken. Any expenses incurred must be at the minimum cost to achieve the purpose of the journey. First class rail travel is permitted only in the most exceptional circumstances to fulfil a business need, following the submission of a business case to the Head of Democratic Services and Governance supported by the member’s group leader. Financial savings can be achieved by use of an applicable rail card which reduces the cost of all train journeys by one third. Eligible members who regularly travel by train on council business and who wish to purchase a card may claim back the cost on the production of a receipt.

Occasional expenses: The actual amount incurred can be claimed in respect of: • Air travel • Car parking fees • Ferry • Overnight parking/garaging • Taxi fares • Tolls

The cost limitations on reimbursement are:
(i) Absence from home for more than 4 hours but less than 8 hours: 1 main meal
(ii) Absence from home for more than 8 hours but less than 12 hours: 2 main meals
(iii) Absence from home of 12 hours or more: 3 main meals

Claim Rate Limits – No more than:
• Breakfast allowance for a duty of more than 4 hours concluding before 12 noon £8
• Lunch allowance for a duty of more than 4 hours concluding after 12 noon £11
• Dinner allowance for a duty of more than 4 hours concluding after 6 p.m. £17
• Dinner allowance (London and abroad) for a duty of more than 4 hours concluding after 6 p.m. £37
• Overnight accommodation outside London (to include breakfast) £124
• Overnight accommodation in London (to include breakfast) £149

1.5 In accordance with these allowances, a single day trip to London staring at say 8.00 a.m. and returning home by 7.00 p.m. might incur an allowance for one person of Lunch plus Dinner of £48.

1.6 For a single day trip, the expenses incurred per person might be therefore in the order of £178 excluding taxi fares, assuming second class rail fare, and lunch and dinner being taken.


2.1 That members consider the report and decide accordingly.


Jack Steel
Clerk to the Parish Council