This is the letter we are sending to residents near to the government’s proposed HS2 route in the wake of David Cameron’s speech in Leeds this week.
We are writing to you following Monday’s speech in Leeds by David Cameron and George Osborne, regarding the future of the HS2 project.
In what is likely to be the last major statement on HS2 issued by the Conservative and Lib Dem Government before they face the voters next May, no indication has been given that the route through our area is likely to change, and there is no new or improved deal on compensation. People living in Woodlesford, Oulton and Swillington would be right to feel let down. Their Tory and Lib Dem representatives have failed to stand up effectively for those they represent, and have failed to convince their own Government to act swiftly to remove the route from our immediate area.
A strong response could have seen a clear decision by Christmas to reshape the route. Instead there remain many unanswered questions, and little evidence that views of local people here have been given serious consideration by Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers.
Ever since the route was released in 2013 we have worked with local residents and although all the main decisions will be made by National Government, Leeds City Council has responded to the Government’s consultations citing that the route has unacceptable impacts on local communities; that further work is essential; and that the compensation arrangements need reviewing.
We continue to campaign with local people and will write to the Conservative Transport Secretary and Liberal Democrat Minister responsible for the route, expressing people’s anger frustration that a firm decision hasn’t been reached. People in Swillington, Woodlesford and Oulton face huge uncertainty about the future of their homes, jobs and livelihoods as a result of this government inaction. It simply isn’t good enough.
In order for voters to make a clear choice at the next election about whether they have been effectively represented by local representatives of the Conservative and Lib Dem Government we call for the Department of Transport to release final recommendations on the detail of the route before next May.
Veronica King – Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Elmet & Rothwell
Cllr Karen Bruce – Labour councillor for Rothwell ward
Cllr David Nagle – Labour councillor for Rothwell ward