On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Last month, the House approved the amended High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill, which includes Labour’s clause requiring the Government to launch a consultation with the residents of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, and to take steps to implement its findings. I welcome the fact that the Government have now begun the consultation, but in a letter sent to residents they warned that at the outset they do not
“intend to make changes to the Phase 2a scheme or to its planned construction programme in light of this consultation.”
That suggests that the Government will not listen to what the residents of the three counties tell them or take steps to implement the findings, as instructed by Parliament.
Mr Deputy Speaker, could you please advise me what opportunities exist to ensure that the Government deliver a proper consultation with the residents of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, as they are obliged to do under the Bill and in accordance with the will of Parliament?
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order and for giving notice of it. It is not for the Chair to determine whether the Government’s consultation is adequate, as he has illustrated, although I am sure that those on the Treasury Bench will have heard exactly what he had to say and will pass that on to Ministers, and that there will be other opportunities for him to raise this issue in the House.