Council chief pleased with HS2 wishlist reaction (he’s only had one email claiming he’s chucked in the towel)

Martin Tett - leader of Bucks County Council with a copy of the HS2 blueprint
Martin Tett - leader of Bucks County Council with a copy of the HS2 blueprint

A raft of demands to mitigate against the impact of HS2 will give Bucks a strong voice when the rail line is scrutinised by MPs in parliament, according to a council chief.

With the tagline ‘seeking the best, if it comes to the worst’, the blueprint for HS2 sets out what the county expects in terms of mitigation if the controversial rail line gets the green light.

It has been endorsed by Bucks’ county and district councils and several conservation and business groups. Click here for a list of the demands

Martin Tett, leader of Bucks County Council, said feedback had been excellent since the document was published last week.

“I had one email saying we had chucked in the towel but everybody else realises that is not at all the case, we are going to fight HS2 but if it did go through we don’t want to have put all our effort into fighting it and local communities miss out.”

He said Aylesbury MP David Lidington had sent the document to key ministers, including Chancellor George Osborne.

He does not expect HS2 Ltd to change the plans before a bill goes before parliament – perhaps as soon as the end of the year – rather, the document is aimed at the MPs who will be voting on and scrutinising the rail line.

“This is really aimed at the politicians. Do I expect them to include all the points in the blueprint? It would be lovely but probably not.

“I hope they will make some concessions before the bill is introduced but then the select committee [which scrutinises and can influence overnment policy] will have it before them.

“We can show them we have been very reasonable and the Government has had lots of chances to respond and I hope we can persuade them to do the very best on behalf of the residents in this county.”

He said the demands had not been costed – that is something HS2 Ltd should do.

“One of the rules I learnt in business is you have got to ask for what you want and then negotiate if necessary.

“The other option for the Government for years to come is a resentful community.”