9-May-2019

Parliamentary Questions

May-2019 - Questions Roundup

whether the total budget for High Speed 2 will be uprated from 2015 to 2019 prices; (Tulip Siddiq)
The decision whether to uprate the total HS2 budget from the current 2015 price base will be taken alongside the Spending Review.(NG) Some chance ?? About time ...
what steps he is taking to ensure that HS2 Ltd and his Department are[taking] to maximise the movement of material by rail... in order to minimise the number of additional HGV lorry movements through Camden.(Kier Starmer)
HS2 Ltd has identified an option to maximise the movement of material by rail. (NG) (which is ???)

Apr-2019 - Questions Roundup

what are the latest estimated costs of the HS2project; and when the line is expected to open
(Lord West of Spithead)
The 2015 Spending Review confirmed a funding envelope for the whole of HS2 of £55.7bn in 2015 prices... Once completed we will make these details public as part of the Phase One Full Business Case, which is due for publication later in 2019.
what support the Government is providing to UK companies to help ensure rolling stock for HS2 is built in the UK.(Kevan Jones, Alex Cunningham)
The procurement of the new HS2 Phase One fleet is being undertaken in accordance with the Utilities Contract Regulations 2016. The regulations require all tenderers be treated equally on a non-discriminatory basis. This means that HS2 cannot mandate that the design and manufacture of the new fleet should be undertaken in the UK.
what derogations under EU law they (1) have made, and (2) contemplate making, in relation to HS2.
(Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb )
we have not made any derogations under EU law in relation to HS2, and as of this date we are not anticipating making any 
(Will he) provide an update at today's costs of the total cost for the construction (DCG)
No Chance
Cost of National Police Group to guard HS2 ? (DCG)
There is no National Police Group established to guard HS2 and there is no special police force planned for policing the construction of HS2. (NG)

March-2019 - Questions Roundup

Cost and Expenses of the Design Panel ? (Dame Cheryl Gillan)
This is a matter for HS2 Ltd. (Nusrat Ghani)
What the average length of time is for HS2 Ltd to answer complaints.
How many complaints have been made for noise disturbance from HS2 works (Dame CG)
HS2 Ltd publishes a community engagement progress report on a six monthly basis, which includes data on complaints received by HS2 Ltd.
How many claims have been received under the Small Claims Scheme (Dame CG) 
This is a matter for HS2 Ltd. (Nusrat)
What assessment he has made of the capacity of the rail freight industry to support the construction
(Andy McDonald)
 HS2 Ltd and its supply chain continue to engage with the rail industry to move these plans forward. 
 What steps [DEFRA] is taking to ensure that HS2 will not affect the bird nesting season ? (Jon Trickett)
 High Speed Two must demonstrate how it is ensuring that the project does not affect birds during the nesting season. High Speed Two and its contractors have ecology technical standards, which set out how they will reduce risk if work is needed in the bird breeding season. 
Planting ratio 'to ensure conservation' ?? of ancient woodlands
 what steps his Department is taking to prevent loss of ancient woodland  (Jon Trickett)
whether he plans to adopt the finding of Natural England on the planting ratio of 30:1 to ensure conservation of the ancient woodlands 
Where losses of ancient woodland are expected to occur, a range of compensatory measures may be proposed ...
The Government has a manifesto commitment to ensure stronger protection for our ancient woodlands (and to leave the EU)

Feb-2019 - Questions Roundup

Why non-standard platform height ? (Lord German)
at the new HS2 stations, platforms will be circa 1115mm above rail height. This is higher than most current UK Network Rail platforms (which are nominally 915mm above rail height)
Disclosure of Non-disclosure agreements (Dame Cheryl Gillan)
"to the extent I can identify local authorities", 30 have entered into NDAs with HS2 (Nusrat)
Cost of Closures of Euston (DCG)
The Department does not hold any estimate of the cost to the economy of these planned engineering works. 
Bids for Old Oak Comon, Euston works (DCG)
[Will he] publish (a) the names of the companies that made successful bids to build (i) Old Oak Common station and (ii) Euston station,
On what date he expects the main contractors to commence their work (DCG)
Stage 2 of the contracts will commence when Government authorises Notice to Proceed later in 2019 and contractors will begin civil construction activities.
How much power ? (Lord Berkley)
What is the peak electric power demand for the operation of the planned number of trains per hour for HS2 phases 1, 2A and 2B meeting speeds and performance criteria that comply with the design specification.
How much are barristers etc paid ? (Dame Cheryl Gillan)
Each barrister has been remunerated at government hourly rates agreed ...
(£60 to £120/hr, nice work if you can get it) 
And how much did each one get ? (Dame Cheryl Gillan)
The HS2 overall funding envelope is £55.7bn
(Come on Nusrat, you can do better than that ..)
And how much has it cost us ? (DCG again)
how much has been disbursed from the public purse in legal fees for solicitors, parliamentary agents, barristers and their staff ?
Same answer as before ! Bad day at the office ?
How much HS2 Ltd spent on agency staff (DCG)
and how many agency staff were hired each such agency; and which agencies those agency staff were hired from...
And again - dog ate my homework ??
How many complaints have been made (DCG)
During the period January to June 2018 165 complaints were received by HS2 Ltd. (see report)
 
Where will the Power come from ? (Viscount Ridley)
HS2 will have a gargantuan appetite for electricity—about 3 terawatt hours per year, or 1% of the entire UK electricity demand—costing several hundred million pounds per year. 
Vegetation Clearance - Steeple Claydon (DCG)
 will he publish the (a) permissions and (b) legal assurances for clearances of vegetation planned to take place on 200 acres near Steeple Claydon 
Staff Turnover (DCG)
how many HS2 Ltd staff left the company in each month of the last two years;
Environmental Mitigation (DCG)
how many HS2 Ltd staff are working exclusively on mitigating the environmental effect ...
Breaches of Assurances (DCG)
when HS2 Ltd will publish the protocols for dealing with breaches of assurance ?
"A protocol for how to report a possible non-compliance with an Undertaking or Assurance will be published no later than Royal Assent for the HS2 Phase 2a hybrid Bill. " (NG) A bit late ??
list the assurances ... that have been breached ? (3, in one incident)

Jan-2019 - Questions Roundup

Panorama - property budget (Dame Cheryl Gillan)
with reference to the BBC Panorama programme of 17 December 2018, what assessment he has made of the validity of the reports on that programme of the financial situation of HS2
Cancel HS2 (Dame Cheryl Gillan - PMQs)
Why can we not face up to reality, Prime Minister, cancel HS2 and spend the money on the people’s priorities for transport...
On the question of HS2, it is not just about a high-speed railway; it is about ensuring that we have the capacity that is needed on this particular route, (Theresa May, negotiator extraordinaire) [Expres&Star, Building, Mix96 ]
Lord Framlington
 how many trees have been felled to date in London ...
whether they have finalised plans to link HS2 to Euston station...
how many properties have been affected by HS2; and what is the total cost of compensation...
what is their current estimate of the total cost of the construction of HS2.
you should be so lucky
To ask the Secretary of State ... when he plans to publish the barn owl mitigation plan. (Antoinette Sandbach)
HS2 Ltd has been working closely with stakeholders ... early this year. (Watch this space ...)
Additional costs identified through the ground investigations (Dame Cheryl Gillan)
Updated cost estimates will be published in our next updated business cases for Phase 2a and 2b.
(and when might that be ?)
Funding for the section of HS2 between Old Oak Common and Euston. (Lord Berkley)
Where third parties such as local authorities and transport bodies have requests for additional requirements ... HS2 Ltd is delegated to consider incorporation of these requests, subject to an appropriate funding agreement with the relevant third parties.
 
Properties in Chalfont St Giles (Dame Cheryl Gillan)
how many of the 38 owner-occupiers in Chalfont St Giles who were sent a Land Interest Questionnaire... will now have their land or part of their land taken on a temporary basis; 
How many Trains ?(Lord Berkley)
what is the number of trains, per hour and per direction, planned ... when Phases (1) 1, (2) 1 and 2A, (3) 1, 2A and 2B are operational.