Bucks’ bid to launch HS2 review

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A COUNCIL is considering launching a judicial review into the anticipated decision made on HS2.

The investigation, proposed in a motion by Bucks County Council leader Martin Tett, would be carried out were the government to pass plans to build a high speed rail system through the Chilterns and the Vale and faults could be found in its processes.

What the government will decide however is still unknown, although decisions are expected to take place between Christmas and New Year.

In preparation for this, Mr Tett brought the motion before the county authority at a full council meeting last Thursday, so that should they decide to back a judicial review, an emergency meeting need not be called to gain the members’ approval.

Should the investigation be launched, Bucks County Council would be one of the 51 member authorities opposed to the plans to fund the review.

“The motion passed at council has given me the delegated authority to back a review, should circumstances allow,” said Mr Tett.

“But we have still to find out what the decision will be – we have no idea what’s going to be said.

“We will have to wait to find out the decision and then take legal advice, as to whether or not we would have an argument, and whether or not we would stand a chance at winning.

“We had to decide in advance whether the council would support a judicial review as, based on advice from the Queen’s counsel.

“We have to be ready to launch any review right away, as if we were to leave it too long a judge simply wouldn’t take our case seriously, as it could appear to be an afterthought.

“We as a council remain opposed to HS2 and plan to back our residents in any way we can.

“I am told we have sufficient money in our fighting fund to fund a review, but cannot say how much it would cost or when it would be – it’s like asking the length of a piece of string.

“I just want to ensure that we have all the tools in place, so that we may defend the people of Buckinghamshire to the best of our abilities.”