Northants county council cabinet could vote to oppose HS2 Bill

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The county council’s cabinet could next week decide to oppose a Government Bill on the HS2 rail link.

A report about the proposed HS2 includes a recommendation to oppose the HS2 Bill – which is currently going through Parliament – as a means of highlighting that it wants changes to be made.

But Northamptonshire County Council has insisted a vote to oppose the Bill would not mean it opposes HS2 itself, which the authority has said it approves of in principle.

The formal opposition of the Bill is legally necessary to indicate that the county council wants changes to it.

The changes are designed to assist those parishes and residents in the south west of the county, who are adversely affected by the construction of HS2.

Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “There’s been a lot of talk about whether HS2 will bring benefits or not and we’ve heard opinions which are both positive and negative.

“However, the council wants to offer practical, relevant and useful support to those who will be affected in the south west of the county.

“There is a recognition that the Government will be pressing ahead with HS2 and we have a desire as a county council to deal with issues pragmatically as we want to make sure that the people of Northamptonshire are not negatively impacted.”

There are a number of respects in which amendments to the Bill need to be sought to reduce the impact which the scheme has on the interests of the county council and the communities it represents, the authority says.

There are concerns about the Bill’s environmental statement as well as a number of highways issues, which are outlined in the council report.