WESTMINSTER DIARY by Dame Caroline Spelman MP: On HS2 and prorogation of parliament - The Solihull Observer

WESTMINSTER DIARY by Dame Caroline Spelman MP: On HS2 and prorogation of parliament

Solihull Editorial 5th Oct, 2019   0

Many of you will be pleased to learn that the Prime Minister recently launched an independent review of the HS2 project.

The review will be led by Douglas Oakervee, who has considerable experience of major projects over a 60 year career.

Through thorough analysis of evidence, the review will look into whether and how HS2 should go forward. It will consider HS2’s benefits and impacts, affordability and efficiency, deliverability and scope.

Whilst the construction of HS2 will cause disruption, it also offers wide-ranging opportunities for local communities. The HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) give local communities and businesses disrupted by the construction of HS2 the opportunity to receive funding for projects to improve their local area or support their local economy. Over £110,000 has already been awarded to projects across the constituency. Please visit hs2funds.org.uk for further information on how to apply.

Throughout October there will be a series of HS2 community drop-in events:

· Thursday 3 October, Saint Peter’s Church Hall, Bickenhill, B92 0DN, from 4pm to 7pm

· Tuesday 15 October, at Birmingham International Station (Air Rail Link concourse area), 12pm to 3pm

· Tuesday 15 October, at Balsall Common Library, 283 Kenilworth Road, Balsall Common, CV7 7EL, from 2pm to 4pm


Recent news has been dominated with the ‘prorogation of parliament’, which is the discontinuation of the current parliamentary session. This commonly happens once a year and usually in May, but only for a few days, with a new Queen’s Speech given to open the new session.

In the Queen’s speech, the Government set out their legislative intentions for the coming session. We have not been prorogued for over two years and will still need a prorogation at some point.

Earlier in September, the Prime Minister asked the Queen to prorogue parliament for five weeks over the recess conference period and for a week beyond.

As a result, Parliament would have been closed until mid-October and MPs would not have been able to debate and scrutinise the issues facing the country.

However, the Supreme Court has since declared that the prorogation was unlawful. As a result, MPs have now returned to Westminster and business will continue as normal.

Dame Caroline Spelman MP


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