Quarterly reports on environmental impact, costs and progress

Part of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:24 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee 4:24 pm, 15th July 2019

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 2—Compensation scheme for tenants—

‘(1) The Secretary of State must by regulations make provision for a scheme to compensate tenants adversely affected by the scheduled works.

(2) Regulations under this section may contain such supplementary, incidental, consequential or transitional provision as the Secretary of State considers necessary or expedient.

(3) Regulations under this section must be made by statutory instrument.

(4) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.”

New clause 4—Independent peer review—

‘(1) The Secretary of State must commission an independent peer review of the High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) project.

(2) The review must include consideration of the project’s—

(a) environmental impact,

(b) economic impact,

(c) engineering, and

(d) governance.

(3) In this section, “independent” means it is carried out by persons who are independent of—

(a) Government,

(b) HS2 Ltd, and

(c) persons contracted or subcontracted to carry out the scheduled works.

(4) In this section, a “peer review” is a review conducted by experts of equivalent professional qualifications, expertise and standing to the persons responsible for each aspect of the project set out in subsection (2).

(5) A report of the review in subsection (1) must be laid before the House of Commons within 12 months of this Act receiving Royal Assent.”

New clause 5—Non-disclosure agreements—

‘(1) The nominated undertaker, or any subcontractors thereof, must not enter into any non-disclosure agreement with any party in connection with the scheduled works unless the assessor of non-disclosure agreements related to the scheduled works (“the assessor”) has certified that it is in the public interest.

(2) The Comptroller and Auditor General must appoint a person to be the assessor.

(3) The assessor must be—

(a) independent, and

(b) a current or former high court judge, higher judge or Queen’s Counsel.

(4) In this section, “independent” means independent of—

(a) Government,

(b) HS2 Ltd, and

(c) persons contracted or subcontracted to carry out the scheduled works.

(5) The assessor must undertake his or her work with a presumption in favour of transparency and public accountability in matters connected to the scheduled works.

(6) The assessor must review any non-disclosure agreement between the nominated undertaker, or any subcontractors thereof, and any party in connection with the scheduled works and in place before this section comes into force to certify whether it is—

(a) in the public interest, or

(b) not in the public interest.

(7) The assessor may not determine that a non-disclosure agreement is in the public interest for the purposes of subsection (1) or (6) except for the reason that it is justified because of exceptional commercial confidentiality.

(8) If the assessor certifies under subsection (6) that a non-disclosure agreement is not in the public interest that non-disclosure agreement immediately ceases to have effect.

(9) In this section, a “non-disclosure agreement” means any duty of confidentiality or other restriction on disclosure (however imposed).”