Nick Jewers from Touch FM accompanied me to the hearing doing various interviews along the way and then sat in on the hearing. As I entered the room the austerity of the surroundings struck me, all so serious, and, of course, it was a very serious matter…potentially life changing for my family and myself.
As the room was called to order, Joe Rukin, who had very kindly accompanied me, started to cover the technical errors in HS2’s evidence as his experience in such matters is far superior to my own. Once he had finished he passed the floor over to me, I had broken a rib 10 days previously so I requested permission from the committee to stand up as it was much more comfortable for me. Permission granted, I then started to go through my presentation which centred largely on the issues my family have faced, and continue to face, with all of the children’s difficulties and how HS2 had affected them and why.
It was an emotional time for me, 5 years of frustration, stress and anxiety all poured out as I spoke to the assembled group of MP’s, other petitioners and onlookers. Fighting back the tears, I told everyone how HS2 had caused so much heartache to my children. When my husband committed suicide I had promised the children that I would fulfil their wish to stay in our home, no matter what it took for me to achieve that. Two years after his death HS2 came along, all the hard work I’d done trying to reinstate their sense of security was ripped from them with that one piece of news. The train, at that time, was going through the house so the news I had to give them was that we would no longer be able to live there once HS2 had compulsorily purchased the house.
We’re now in an even worse position with the train only 140m from the house and the nearest safeguarded construction zone only 15m from our front door and in negative equity. We are completely trapped, with no choice but to live with the train in a house that has diminished in value even more, putting me in an even worse financial situation.
And it’s all perfectly legal, which by definition, must mean that it’s also all perfectly ethical and moral?
I was, however, delighted that one of the committee members asked HS2 to get the key decision maker to explain why we had been treated the way we have as he wasn’t happy about it. I don’t have any great expectations for the outcome of this but at least I finally have acknowledgement that we have been treated extremely shoddily by HS2.
So, to all of my fellow petitioners out there who have yet to appear before the committee, they do listen, whether they have any actual power to change anything remains to be seen
So, on Monday afternoon I had my day in front of the committee in order to give my evidence against HS2. It was a funny old day! After submitting my Powerpoint presentation on Wednesday afternoon in line with the deadline I’d been given, I then received HS2’s evidence. Why I shouldn’t have been able to see theirs, which, by the way, had been ready since early January is beyond me, unless it was tactic designed to ‘wrong foot’ me so I didn’t see what they had to say and therefore couldn’t answer any of the questions they raised in theirs? Shady, and somewhat sinister, I would call it.