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Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Petition to Halt HS2 Enabling Work

This petition was created by Joe Rudkin.

"Because HS2 is an unjustifiable project, with terrible management that has not been subject to enough scrutiny, it will not face 'notice to proceed' tests before December. Consequently, HS2 Ltd must be stopped from trying to make it harder to cancel HS2 by maximising expenditure and destruction now.

Whilst supporters of HS2 pretend construction has started, the DfT has confirmed that only the highly destructive enabling works are taking place, years behind schedule. Construction and the release of full funds cannot happen until HS2 Ltd gets notice to proceed, by passing “Management Capability, Affordability of Contracts & Robustness of Revised Business Case” tests. If it is tested impartially on these bases, I believe it will fail all of them and be cancelled, so they should stop causing damage now."

If you agree, you can sign the petition here:



You may also find the following of interest:

HS2 Must Be Cancelled Immediately

Andrew Brigden, Conservative MP for NW Leicestershire, has written an article about HS2 on the Conservative Party website. This is not yet official policy, just his opinion...

"It has never been clearer than now that HS2 is a complete mess. There has already been a 13-month delay in phase one getting signed off for ‘Notice to Proceed’ because the project has been unable to demonstrate management capability, affordability of contracts and the robustness of the business case. Add to that the fact that both the former and current chairmen have admitted that it can’t be delivered on time on budget and to scope, and becomes clear that HS2 should be immediately cancelled before any more money is wasted on it....

... Following the news of even more cost escalations, gagging of whistle-blowers and assertions that the true costs of the project have been kept secret and Parliament misled for years, it is now a national scandal...

... With Lord Berkeley, the former chair of the Rail Freight Group, saying that HS2 Ltd is ‘rampant with fraud’, and several other parliamentary colleagues very angry and determined to get to the bottom of this, it is clear that this scandal will not go away... One also has to ask that if we have been misled about the cost of HS2, what else has been said in support of the project that has no basis in reality? I would say almost everything..."


The Inflection Point Has Been Reached

A government leak, originally reported in the Financial Times, has been re-reported via the BBC. It says...

"... there has been a subtle shift of tone in recent months from both HS2 and the government; a creeping acceptance that the project, in its current form, is increasingly unlikely to come in within its £56bn budget... This leak comes at a very sensitive time... Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who has repeatedly insisted that the project HAS to be delivered within budget, is possibly leaving his post in a matter of days..."


Northern Powerhouse Has Priority

Boris Johnson has made a major speech about a plan for a railway - from Manchester to Leeds (44 miles), to be constructed ASAP. The Labour Party have countered by saying that that's not sufficiently ambitious, and what is really required is railway from Liverpool to Hull (128 miles), which is what they would build.

That scenario envisages that the Northern railway would be constructed first, with the result that construction of the London to Birmingham section would be deferred by some 10 years, or cancelled.

Monday, 22 July 2019

Minutes of Resident's Association Committee Meeting July 17th 2019

Dianne Adams; Hilary Cox; Paddy Deeley; Andy Gibbs; Judi Hibberd; Janet Hickinbottom; Bron Putnam; Rona Taylor; Faith Ward; Mary Webb

1 Apologies and Minutes of the last meeting

Apologies had been received from Helen Hehir

Summary of actions following the meetingResponsible
Cala Homes to be asked again about refurbishment of the former air warden’s shelterRona
Copies of the Bugle to Cala HomesMary
Add to November agenda discussion of priorities ready for next application to PCJudi
Monitoring of recycled materials being litteredAll
Removal of rubble from ditch - ask Cala HomesPaddy
Speak to Peter Hallam re rut in Hob LaneRona
Letter to HS2 regarding empty house in Hodgett’s LaneJudi and Rona
Police Watch. Link to be sent throughPaddy
Letter to Hedgerow NurseryRona
Contact with Cheryl about websiteRona
Minor wording changes to donations policyJudi
Finalising of Welcome Leaflet, printing and distributionJudi, Paddy and Mary
Clarify the re-route of the GreenwayHilary
Regular agenda item on the Greenway TrustJudi and Hilary
HS2 Community Fund to be added to September agendaJudi
Contact William SlaterRona
Add VE Day celebrations to next agendaJudi
Weed killer to be purchased to use on the Jubilee vergeMary
Add bulb planting to September agenda Judi

Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising

See Minutes of May 15th meeting

The minutes of the meeting were approved. 

Matters Arising from the previous minutes
  • Cala Homes to be asked about refurbishment of Red Lane air warden’s shelter. Rona had approached them, and they seemed interested, but no progress had been made. Rona would try again. Action: Rona
  • Liaison with Cala Homes re Bugle entry. The entry had been declined because of cost.
  • Progress litter posters. Completed.
  • Add Village Hall chair to agenda distribution list. Completed.
  • Update Welcome leaflet. Completed.
  • Arrange for copies of the Bugle to go to Cala Homes. Mary would progress this. Action: Mary
  • Speak to Berkswell charities regarding bench and plaque. Completed. 
  • Collapsed bench removed and plaque returned to BGRA for future use.
  • Include thank you from Canley Community Centre in next edition of the Bugle. Completed.
  • Rona had also spoken to the resident near the Cromwell Lane Bridge regarding an overgrown hedge and this was dealt with in a very timely manner.
All other matters arising were to be agenda items.

2 Treasurer's Report

A report had been circulated. Dianne explained the items. The only item of income was a cheque just received from the Parish Council for £1275. This was to replace the collection of subscriptions, as agreed. A question was asked about the need to repay if all the funds were not spent and Cllr Andy Gibbs replied that this would be the case. There was some concern that the BGRA would not be able to build contingency funds, but Cllr Gibbs said the payment did not prohibit further applications.

Cllr Gibbs also mentioned the Community Infrastructure Levy which resulted from the building of new houses and a percentage would be available for the Parish Council (currently an estimated £41k). This was something to be aware of in the future.

It was decided to discuss priorities at the November meeting in readiness for a further application for 2020.
Action: Judi and all

3 Residents’ views/concerns
  • A resident had complained about dogs barking in Cromwell Lane, but this problem seemed to have been overcome.
  • A resident had reported seeing recycled materials being rejected by collectors and thrown into a hedge. This would be monitored. Action: All
  • Lights being left on overnight at the Cala Homes site had been reported. It was suggested that if this was witnessed, residents should go to the site and mention it. It was thought that most lights were now on timers.
  • There had been a complaint about a significant rut in Hob Lane. An attempt had been made to fill the rut but there was also rubble in the adjoining ditch. It was unclear how the rut had been caused and it was believed Cala Homes had attempted to remedy this. There was concern that ditches must be kept clear. Paddy agreed to speak with Cala Homes to see if the ditch could be cleared. Action: Paddy
  • Rona would contact Peter Hallam to discuss the rut in the road. Action: Rona
Post meeting note: Response from Peter Hallam:
I refer to our telephone conversation of yesterday concerning the above.

I have a look at the site yesterday and someone has had a go at filling the edge of carriageway erosion at this point. Road sections without kerbs are always a challenge for a Highway Authority as if you drive off the road you can encounter a dip. We normally fill such voids with stone and top soil to try and maintain the verge and not widen the road in such cases. It looks like someone has had attempt at doing this.

We are carrying out some carriageway patching works on Hob Lane on 23rd July but I will keep on eye on this section of verge.
  • The question arose again of Marlene’s old house in Hodgett’s Lane (now an HS2 property). It had been reported that the house would cost too much to refurbish and HS2 were looking for ideas for community use. BGRA were opposed to this idea and would contact HS2 to ask them to reconsider so the property could be improved and let. BGRA was opposed to empty properties being left in the village. A letter would be sent. Action: Judi and Rona
  • A query had been raised as to whether Neighbourhood Watch was still in operation. Police Watch was in operation and anyone could sign up for this to receive updates electronically. Paddy would send through the link. Action: Paddy
Post meeting note: https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/register
  • A letter had been received from Hedgerow Nursery outlining a proposal to operate Hedgerow 2 in a separate property on Cromwell Lane. 22 children would be accommodated in the house which would be an additional facility to the original Hedgerow Nursery. Parking was the main query posed by members of the committee, but it was agreed that neighbours’ views should be sought. Rona would respond. Action: Rona

5. Update on and discussion of Residents’ Association initiatives and issues
  • Cala Homes update on the site. Paddy reported that 8 houses had been sold with one completed and one to complete in August. Cala Homes were planning to tidy up the Red Lane entrance and this had been hindered by problems with the ditch. Once Severn Trent had installed new piping, the entrance would be completed with a culvert beneath.
  • Thanks were extended to Barry Putnam for erecting the litter signs
  • Website update. There had been some queries about the BGRA information on the Village Hall website. Rona agreed to speak to Cheryl to sort this out. Action: Rona
  • Residents’ Association donation policy. The donations policy was reviewed and minor changes to wording made to update it. It was agreed the policy remained valid.Action: Judi
  • Welcome leaflet – what next? Now that this had been completed, a decision needed to be reached about how to distribute it. It was agreed to have copies printed to include with the Bugle. Within the Bugle an article would ask residents for their opinions and whether any other information was needed. Action Paddy, Judi and Mary

6. Village Hall
  • The VH Chair was now on the meeting’s distribution list but had sent apologies as she was on holiday. Deirdre had reported that payment of bills by HS2 had now taken place so the tender for the building of the new VH was no longer delayed. There was some confusion over the proposed re-route of the Greenway and this was to be checked with HS2 via the Greenway Trust. Action: Hilary
  • It was suggested that there could be a regular agenda item on the Greenway Trust. Action Judi and Hilary

7. Parish Councillor's Report
  • Andy reported that there had been a meeting the previous Monday following an unproductive meeting with HS2. The meeting had been attended by Cllr George Illingworth, Chair of the District Council. Discussions were held about the link road. The roundabout at the A46 was destined to go ahead followed by the university link road but the road that had been proposed through Burton Green was no longer likely because Solihull MBC showed no interest in it.
  • The PC would be pursuing the problem with Marlene’s former house.
  • Although initial indications had been that the HS2 Community Fund would be available to owners of the land where any projects were proposed, it was now stressed that ideas could be put forward irrespective of land ownership. This would be added to the next agenda. Action: Judi

8.  Any Other Business
  • At the HS2 meeting mentioned above, Rona had made contact with William Slater, a computer aided designer who had agreed to present at an open meeting so that residents could have a better idea of the look of the cut and cover tunnel etc. Rona would contact him to arrange a date for a meeting. Action: Rona
  • A thank you card had been received from Kenilworth Helping Hands
  • Mary had copies of a leaflet about scams and taking measures to protect oneself
  • Mary asked to purchase plastic bags to contain the Bugles when she gave them to distributors. Agreed
  • The Village Hall has been booked for Friday May 8th, 2020 for VE Day celebrations. This needed to be added to the next agenda. Action: Judi
  • Sincere thanks were given to all those who had arranged the recent breakfast event.
  • Thanks were also sent to Bill Homes for mowing the Jubilee verge.
  • A suitable weed killer would be purchased for use on the Jubilee verge. Action: Mary
  • Bulb planting needed to be added to the Jubilee verge.Action: Judi
  • Thanks were extended to all who had involvement with the flower tubs, whether through planting or watering.

9. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting

The next committee meetings were scheduled for: 

Sept 11th, AGM Sept 30th, Nov 27th