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Part of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 5:00 pm, 15th July 2019

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend—a real friend, quite apart from being an hon. Friend—and I would add that we only have to look at clause 61 to realise the financial implications and how costs will be dealt with. There is talk about the overall cost being about £51 billion—there has been an upgrade in the amount of money intended to be applied to this part of the proposal. We cannot separate out the cost of distance between London and Birmingham, and then leave out Birmingham to the ultimate destination. The reality is that we are faced with a proposal under the Bill that is excessive in its totality and unjustified in the unbelievable havoc it will cause my constituents.

The other point I would make on new clause 2 relates to the compensation scheme for tenants, an idea I put forward on a number of occasions. There is no doubt that a huge number of people will be adversely affected by the scheduled works. It is not just tenants who will be affected but property owners. They will be severely damaged. Many of my constituents have been put under the most incredible stress and anxiety. There have been suggestions that some people, elderly people in particular, have been under such intense stress that they have died prematurely.