Ward at Bramley HS2 rally
LOCAL MAN’S CAMPAIGN TO SHINE SPOTLIGHT ON NATIONAL FOLLY
On Saturday 8th October Nicholas Ward from Greatworth, who is standing as and Independent Candidate against HS2 in the Witney By-Election, travelled to Bramley in Yorkshire to support yet another community desperately trying to urge the Government to think again about HS2.
This is the latest in a long list of actions Ward has taken both in Parliament and on the ground up and down the country.
Ward says “I was initially concerned about the impact of HS2 on the immediate South Northants area but soon came to realise that it effects all of us, even if we live many many miles from the line”.
Over the last few years Ward has:
· Petitioned to Parliamentary Select Committees in person on three different occasions against HS2.
· Sat in on hearings of the House of Commons Select Committee over ten days watching it deal with petitions covering over 25 miles of the line.
· Stood as an independent candidate opposed to HS2 in Westminster North constituency in the 2015 General Election. This made him wonder how tearing up the area round Euston station in London helps to boost the economy of Northern England.
· Attended many meetings with HS2 and with local action groups and local Councils to hear both sides of the debate.
Ward is now standing in the Witney By-Election as he believes this is the last chance for an electorate to focus public opinion against the project and make the Government think again before the diggers start work in April 2017.
Why does Ward want Witney voters to support him and shine a spotlight on this national folly?
Ward has spent much of the last thirty years serving as an independent director on the boards of companies and public and voluntary sector bodies and believes passionately in due process.
He is very concerned that, because it is supported in the House of Commons by the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National parties, (only 41 MPs voted against it and the remaining 600 MPs either voted for it or abstained), the current Bill is not being subjected to proper scrutiny.
From his experience listening to many petitions in person, he believes that the standard of HS2’s behaviour and evidence before the Select Committees in both Houses would not be tolerated in a court of law, nor in a planning appeal, nor in a company seeking to raise money on the London Stock Exchange. Furthermore, he is particularly dismayed that the House of Lords seems to have given up on its role as a revising chamber and is actively helping the Government to push the Bill through without proper consideration.
“The standard of evidence used by HS2 Ltd’s representatives should not be allowed before a Parliamentary Committee deciding how to spend our money and it has not enabled a forensic scrutiny of this scheme to have taken place. Everyone knows there are very good affordable alternatives to HS2, and that the enormous amount of money for the scheme, £56billion and counting, should be spent on much higher priorities like the NHS. Why are people across Oxfordshire having to march to save the Horton Hospital? Locally we have to bear the financial and environmental cost, but nationally everyone will face damaging cuts to pay for it. Yet the Government is determined to press ahead. They still have time to think again. And this they must do”, says Ward.
Please contact Nicholas Ward at