Jupp  jumps into action

 

Residents in the constituency of Devon East are unaccustomed to their MP speaking in parliament on local issues (or indeed speaking at all). Owl thinks they might be interested in reading a small extract from Monday’s Hansard which records Simon Jupp’s intervention and puts it in context.

From an earlier post:

I decided to stand to be a member of the Transport Select Committee and was successfully elected on February 4. I plan to use this new platform to scrutinise the government’s transport plans and highlight the need for investment in the South West. I can’t back HS2 when the main and branch railway lines in Devon simply are not fit for purpose. (Simon Jupp)

 

High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill: Revival – Debate Hansard 2nd March extracts:

 

9.25 pm

Chris Loder (West Dorset) (Con)

As someone who worked in the railway industry for 20 years, I come to this debate from the opposite direction to my hon. Friend the Member for The Cotswolds (Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown). I was a firm supporter of HS2 and believed it was the right thing to do, but I am afraid I have become much more sceptical of the project.

That said, the Government’s decision has been made, and so has the strategy for HS2. West Dorset has one of the worst rail frequencies in the country—the line between ​Yeovil, Dorchester and Weymouth has one of the worst frequencies—and, for those of us in the wider south-west, it is important that the Government Front Bench understands we have great concerns that HS2, and particularly phase 2a, should not deflect the Government’s attention and their requirement to deliver the infrastructure projects we require in the south-west.

Simon Jupp (East Devon) (Con)

Warm words for the south-west are welcome, but cold, hard cash is what is needed. The south-west voted for this Government en masse, and it is time we also saw the chequebook.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Eleanor Laing)

Order. There is very little time left, and I made it clear at the beginning that this is not about other constituencies. The hon. Gentleman can refer to his constituency, but this is about a very specific matter.

Chris Loder

I equally want to make sure that we are as supportive of the Government as possible. Those of us who are moving in this debate need to be absolutely assured so, in his summing up, I would like to hear the Minister give us the confirmation and assurance that HS2, particularly phase 2a, will not affect the Government’s previous commitments to deliver schemes such as the A303 and Great Western diversion resilience for the people who supported them.

……………………

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Andrew Stephenson)

I should like to reply to as many of the issues raised today as I can while discussing the motion. First, I am grateful to all right hon. and hon. Members who have taken part in the debate this evening. In his speech, the Prime Minister made it clear that things at HS2 need to change, and decisive action is being taken to restore discipline to the programme. I have been appointed to oversee High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the trans-Pennine route upgrade, ensuring that there is one Minister dedicated to focusing on this project, allowing many of the other issues that have ​been raised in the debate, such as the issues in the south-west, to be focused on by my ministerial colleagues in the Department.

This was a highly procedural debate and ended:

Question put and agreed to.

Ordered,

That if a Bill is presented to this House in this session in the same terms as those in which the High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill stood at the last stage of its proceedings in this House in the 2019 session—

(a) the Bill so presented shall be deemed to have passed through all its stages in this House, and

(b) the Standing Orders and practice of the House applicable to the Bill, so far as complied with or dispensed with in the 2019 session, shall be deemed to have been complied with or (as the case may be) dispensed with in this session.

That the above Orders be Standing Orders of the House.

 

Comment by Owl: Obviously investment in our region is welcome but who would be the payee on any cheque? Great South West, Heart of the South West or who? And what would they spend it on?