Come along to our next StopHS2 meeting  

Wednesday 14th September 2011

 7.30PM at Bit End Pavilion, Whittingon


Thank you to everyone who came to our meeting on 18th August

Previous minutes will follow shortly


Meeting Minutes – Wed 4th May 2011

1) Attendance Register – 39 attendees, various new members from areas
surrounding Whittington. Apologies from Clive Wormley, Steve and Di Thompson,
Claire Bennett, Sarah Beswick, Alan Cope, Emma Tennent, Dave and Pat Smythe.

2) Welcome & re-cap on previous meeting – The meeting was chaired by John
Heeler and Ali Smytheman. John Heeler welcomed everyone, in particular new
members and asked everyone to ensure they give their email address on the
attendance register so the distribution list can be updated.

2.1) WFEG event – John told how the recent WFEG event was a success, very
well attended, raising awareness and collecting further names on the petition. Latest
update on the balloon race, winner due to be announced. Furthest balloon so far
has reached Bodmin Moor. Funds raised from event = £350.

2.2) Lichfield Merger – John thanked Lichfield members for joining the
Whittington meeting. Following the merger of the groups John suggested a name
change to ‘What public consultation Stop HS2’. A difference of opinion within the
group, some worried about the group losing its identity if the name is changed now
but others suggest it’s a good idea to move away from the local concentration and
opening to a wider audience.

John Cannon said local groups need to compliment national groups not all try and
become national groups.

Ali reminded everyone that the WPC letters in the name WPCSTOPHS2 don’t mean
that much to people, it’s the STOPHS2 that is significant.

A compromise may be to have a South Staffs Group to encompass Whittington,
Lichfield, King’s Bromley etc.

JH asked that this is discussed again at a later date.

2.3) 51M Group research – Greg Lynch reported that there is very little information
online about this action group. The name stands for the £51 million HS2 is going
to cost each parliamentary constituency. The group is actively working on a plan to
oppose HSR proposals. Their website is supposed to have gone live but Greg was met
by ‘error’ when trying to access it.

Action – Greg to report back with update at next meeting

3) Transport Select Committee submission – Robert Macdonald and Geoff
Hanson have been working hard on the draft submission which was circulated within
the group prior to the meeting. Rob reported that they are open to feedback, but
would like to finalise the submission over the weekend, so it is ready to send next
week. Rob and Geoff have got the factual content and the tone of the submission
just right and they have kept away from emotional issues. They responded to the
four guideline areas relevant to the group but not the environmental case. They have
attacked the consultation process in the summary but otherwise have stuck to the

The security aspects of HS2 were questioned and whether it should be included in the
submission. Will there be airport style security checks at stations, adding extra time to
journeys? Rob said safety was not on the brief so this has not been included.

Ali said that anyone can write their own submission to be sent in by 16th May, but to
stick to the guidelines and not be emotional or it may be discounted.

Action – Rob and Geoff to agree final amendments and who will submit the
document with John Heeler.

4) National Response to the Consultation’s ‘7 Questions’ – John reported that Jerry
Marshall and HS2 Action Alliance have issued guidelines on how best to answer the
consultation questions. The submitted answers are to be electronically scanned so it
is important to answer them correctly. The suggested answers to the 7 questions will
be added to our website but it is important to craft your own answers, do not just copy
and paste, or they may be discounted.

Geoff Hanson suggested we use our MP Michael Fabricant and push for him to agree
that the consultation process is flawed.

5) Defining our ‘Constitution’ – When John Heeler first set up the website he wrote
on the home page what he felt the group stood for. John would like input from the
group to redefine this.

Action – feedback from members to John to be discussed further at the next meeting.

6) Finance and Expenditure – All finances are to be made visible with a balance
sheet added to the website soon.

7) Media and Promotion Activity

7.1) Rekindling Lichfield and supporting local groups – following recent
successful activity in Whittington John suggested repeating some of these in other
areas, Boley Park for example. The aim would be to raise awareness with another
sound event and leaflet drops. May is going to be a month of awareness raising.

Action – John to suggest dates for these events and has asked for volunteers for
upcoming events. Please let John/Ali know if available to help.

7.2) Bower Parade Update (30th May) – everyone was asked if anyone can help
with building a float for the parade. Alan Cope has been asked for the loan of a
vehicle for the Bower. Charlie Wylie from Hopwas has also been asked for the
loan of his trailer. Sarah Dyott stated that all vehicles/tractors used need to be very

7.3) Protest Rally (proposed 9th June) – Lichfield is the last consultation roadshow
on the line so we should make ourselves heard. It was proposed that we have our own
shadow road show on the market square and hand out leaflets, but not outside the

Rob Macdonald stated that his daughter had been to the Euston roadshow and the
roadshow staff make their own assessment of how the day went, and don’t make note
of any public feedback.

We need to prove how the consultation roadshow is flawed. It was suggested that a
list of questions to ask is compiled and the answers are recorded as evidence. An exit
poll from visitors as they leave the roadshow was suggested.

Action – Tom Reed and Stuart Thurleby to suggest questions and arrange recordings.
John suggested a sub committee is formed to make plans for the roadshow dates.

7.4. Church Fete (11th June) – John Smith said we should contact the organizer of
the fete regarding a stand. He said we need to be aware that we may not be able to
fundraise for the group since the fete is to raise funds for the church.

8. Any other Business

8.1. Ali reported that the national petition is now just under 40,000 signatures.

8.2. King’s Bromley are holding a meeting on 26th May at 7.30pm, in their village
hall. Their speaker will be Jerry Marshall, who is fronting the national Stop HS2
campaign. The Whittington group will support King’s Bromley for the event and they
will be borrowing some marketing material. Ali reminded everyone that although
King’s Bromley are not on the HS2 route, they are the voice of the route north of
Whittington and it’s important for them to spread the message.

8.3. It was reported that Jerry Marshall has the funds to allow him to work for a
further six months.

8.4. Geoff Hanson questioned whether Staffs County Council will be submitting a
proposal for the Transport Select Committee. Geoff is going to write to Matthew Ellis
asking this and also whether Staffs have joined the 51M group.

8.5 Geoff Hanson asked whether there were any WI members within the group, since
the WI may have their views listened to.

Action – Geoff to contact local members and speak to the group at one of their

8.6 Thank you to Gordon Poxton for speaking to the captain of Whittington Golf
Club about their involvement in the Stop HS2 campaign. Gordon was anxious that
the club have not been seen to be making an effort to oppose the HSR proposals.
Gordon received a letter from the captain stating that they had ordered posters and
banners but not yet received them, and had asked members to write to local MPs
opposing the plans. Some members are pro HS2 and others have been asking how
much compensation they may be due if the plans go ahead.

JH reported that Staffordshire wildlife trust have been asked to investigate the effects
of the HS2 line on the wildlife on the golf course. Jenny, the secretary at the golf club
has been asked for their input.

8.7 – The use of Facebook was raised and 15 of the 38 members present at the
meeting have Facebook accounts. It was suggested that we all link up to flag events.
Perhaps it would be an idea to produce a local StopHS2 group rather than link
everyone individually as friends.

Minutes of meeting – 14th April 2011

1. Attendance Register 3 new members – total number of attendees 32

Apologies from John Heeler & Steve Rushton

 2. Welcome & Re-cap on previous meeting – as John Heeler is on holiday the meeting was jointly chaired by John Smith and Ali Smytheman.

2.1 Contact with the Bishop of Lichfield – Geoff Hanson reported that we had still not received a reply from the Bishop and given the length of time this has been outstanding it was agreed that a reply would no longer be pursued.

2.2 Transport Select Committee document update – Geoff Hanson and Robert McDonald have been working on the production of a document to send to the Committee and are now on the 4th edition.  Geoff explained that at the meeting the group had with Michael Fabricant we notified him that the Transport Select Committee did not have HS2 on their agenda as an issue to consider.  Michael took this up with the Committee on our behalf and we were tasked to produce a document outlining all the issues we felt needed further consideration. Geoff and Rob have been working on this document for some time as they also need to provide evidence of the facts quoted which have proven difficult to obtain.  The Committee will comment on all our issues in due course.  Geoff advised that the Government are required to take serious account of the findings of the Committee. The document is now nearing completion and will be shortly be ready for group members to view and comment on. Rob suggested that we put the document on the website with guidance notes andany comments should be emailed back to the website. Comments on the document will be welcomed. As the document has to be with the Committee by mid May it will need to be signed off at the next meeting.

Action points: – Geoff and Rob to complete transport select committee document and forward to John/Ali

– John/Ali to add document to website

 – All to view and comment on document before next meeting

2.3 DEAFinately Noisy Campaign update – John Smith commented that the event undoubtedly raised the profile of the groups mission. The leaflet drop reached most of the village and good media coverage was achieved via the local press, BBC website, regional news and regional radio.

2.4 Bower Parade – Di Thompson has been in touch with the Bower Parade organisers to check if we can still apply to attend.  We are able to join the procession and an application form is on its way. There is no fee to join the procession however if we wish to have a stall this could be arranged inBeaconPark at a cost of £45.  A discussion took place as to whether or not we would be able to fundraise. Di will check with the organisers but the general consensus was that we would not be able to fundraise for our specific cause as the funds raised are usually shared between several selected charities.

2.5 Parish Council Contact – John Smith advised that he had not had any contact from any other Parish Councils in response to his email.  Guy Allsopp from the newly formed Kings Bromley group expressed surpise and advised that he felt that Kings Bromley would reply in the near future. He added that the Kings Bromley group plan to join us and copy our Noisy event.  He is hoping to hold a public meeting in Kings Bromley and asked if we could recommend a speaker with HS2 knowledge who would be capable of answering questions from the public.  John suggested that Matthew Ellis and/or Ali.  Richard Dyott also recommended Graham Long. Mr Allsop complimented the group on the website.

2.6 National Response to the Consultation –  as the questions posed are closed questions there is limited opportunity to add comments.  Answers are suggested on the national stop hs2 website although Rob McDonald added that Action Alliance are still working on their recommended answers. We will continue to monitor the recommended answers before replying.

2.7 The Booking of the Town Square for the Lichfield Consultation (8th & 9th June) – the group plan to hold an event in theTown Square whilst HS2 are hosting their consultation event. Sara Dyott may have booked this Square but this need to be confirmed.  Volunteers will again be required to man the stand. Action point: Ali to check with Sara Dyott if Square has been booked.

3. Constitution– as John Heeler not present this item is to be carried forward to the next meeting.  Action points– Ali to add Constitution to next agenda.

                      – John Heeler to investigate an appropriate constitution for the group.

4. Finance & Expenditure –  John Heeler has not yet confirmed the financial position but this will be updated asap on the website.

Action point – John Heeler to confirm financial position and add to website.

5. Big Green Fair – to be held this Saturday. We have a stand on the car park with Gazebo, notice boards, leaflets, car stickers etc. We will also be holding an environmentally friendly balloon race a with prize for the balloon which travels the furthest.  The prize is a white elephant toy and tin of celebrations – elephant has been named Phillip! The balloons are biodegradable and tags are made from renewable sources. Balloons have kindly been donated by Excelsior of Drayton Basset and helium kindly donated by Bristol Street Motors. A net has been purchased although not at full price thanks to a donation by Steve. Di offered the net to other areas perhaps for a small donation if they wish to run a similar event. Ali thanked Di and Steve in particular for their help this week in arranging the event. Balloon race tickets were offered at £1 prior to the event. Balloons to be released by Fiona the vicar at 3.45. Helpers are again required for Saturday and volunteers sought on list passed around during meeting. Derek Freer asked if we needed any permission to hold the balloon race?  Ali advised that this has been investigated and no permission is needed. We have 200 balloons to sell. The closing date for returned labels is 14th May. In the unlikely event that no tickets are returned we will hold a draw for the prize after the closing date.

Action Point – volunteers required to attend Big Green Fair.

6. Media & Promotion – the groups twitter address is wpc_stophs2.

John smith advised that new signs have been put up on the entrances to the village. Karen Brittan has written an article for the Parish Council Magazine.

There have been 2500 hits to Johns short film of his children.

7. Church Fete (11th June 2011) – we have asked to attend on the 11th June and volunteers will again be required.

8. Investigation Volunteers – Staffordshire Wildlife Trust  are to survey the affected areas to establish the impact HS2 will have on local wildlife. A letter published in the Telegraph was read out by Jane – it mentioned a 51M group and Ali enquired if any group member was aware of this group.  No-one had any knowledge of 51M so Greg Lynch offered to look into this.

Action Point – Greg Lynch to investigate who 51M group are and report back at next meeting.

9. Staffordshire HS2 Ltd Meeting & SNOW Meeting – A rail seminar hosted by Staffs CC was attended by John and Ali and representatives from HS2 were in attendance.  John queried the new route and asked why the consultation process did not include the route.  The response from HS2 as that they had been advised to strategically exclude the route from the consultation process which they accepted may appear controversial.  John has written to Michael Fabricant asking him to take action regarding this response.

Ali advised that the frequency of trains was queried as we had been advised there would be a train every 6 minutes. The response was that there are 18 trains planned per hour in each direction, each one containing 1100 people.  Ali commented that the projected passenger figures are therefore way in excess of current passenger figures and wonders how these projected figures were calculated?

Stuart Thurlby advised an architect colleague of his thought that the costs being banded about were forLondontoScotlandrather thanLondontoBirmingham.

The price of tickets was discussed and HS2 advised that ticket prices are not expected to be higher than current ticket prices.  However, this statement is believed to be based on current first class tickets and as such for most passengers the tickets will be much more expensive that the prices currently paid for standard class tickets.

The general consensus was that it is clear that the information in the public domain is unclear and does not show the true picture.

The event was communicated as a seminar rather than a consultation event.  Immediately after the event the press were requesting comments from attendees.

10. Other issues discussed – 

10.1 Parliamentary debate – Geoff advised that a debate has recently taken place in Parliament lasting 2.5 hours. His analysis of the 27 speakers views was:

Conservative speakers –  11 for, 5 against

Labour speakers – 3 for , 4 agains.

There were a number of indifferent speakers and in total 14 speakers were proHS2 and 9 against.  As such we have a battle on our hands to convince all MP’s that HS2 is not a viable project.

10.2 Update on our affiliation with national stop HS2 group – Ali advised that  Gerry Marshall has given up his job for 6 months to run the national group full time. The National  group have asked each local group to make a contribution of £600 to pay Gerry a salary for the 6 month period whilst he is not working.

Richard Dyott commented that he believes this is a good idea as Gerry Marshall is very knowledge and has done some good work for the anti HS2 cause to date. As theLichfieldgroup are planning to merge with the Whittington Group and as they have been fundraising for a longer period they offered to pay £400 and asked Whittington  to contribute the remaining £200.

Staffs CC were asked if they were making any contribution and have advised that  they are funding a statistical study byKeeleUniversitybut are not making a direct contribution.

A discussion took place and it was determined that fund raising is vital as is promoting the message outside of our area. To date the National petition only has 38,000 signatories as people outside of the area still do not know about the issue. Di had been approached by 2 Scottish men at the barracks who asked if Scottish residents would be required to contribute to the cost of HS2?  It was agreed that the message needs to be spread far and wide.

Action point – All – ask as many people as possible to sign the national petition and spread the word.

10.3 Merchandising – A visitor from Kings Bromley asked where we obtained our tshirts etc from. Ali advised that Sara Dyott had sourced them fromLondon. Richard Dyott will pass on the details of whom we purchased our items from.  Ali recommended linking up with other groups as bulk orders are often cheaper.

Action Point – Richard Dyott to advise where merchandising has been purchased from.

Ali showed the group an oversized train ticket which is being printed free of charge by a company who are sponsoring the tickets and have their Company logo printed on. She noted that sponsorship is a good way to get items at reduced price.

It was recommended that we pass on to Gerry Marshall our sources for obtaining promotional items in order that he can notify other groups.

Action Point – Ali to notify Gerry Marshall of merchandising sources.

10.3 Weekly update email – Ali advised that the weekly update email is bouncing back from some incorrect email address and asked attendees if they had not received the update email to let her know.

10.4 Protest Rally –  Phil Moore asked if a rally inLondon or some similar event had been planned by the national group?

John Smith commented that media interest is likely to increase during the Hybrid Bill process and that therefore it might be a more appropriate time for a rally during this process. . Steve Thompson added that the extended route will also be published by then which hopefully we create more opposition.

10.4 Golf Club – Gordon Poxon advised that Golf Club appear to be in limbo.  HS2 cuts the course exactly in half and will ruin the ancient course. The Committee are currently consulting for compensation rather than opposing HS2.  He made a request for more posters.

On the subject of likely compensation it seems that most people applying do not appear to be eligible.  Indeed, some £50m has been put to one side to pay out but only £5m allocated.  Geoff Hanson advised that some constituencies will have many more claimants than others due to the number of affected homes.

Richard Dyott advised that John Tipper, chairman,  has obtained some large banners which should be put up shortly.

Ali offered to discuss with Gordon Poxon a way for the Golf Club members to become more involved and perhaps hold a meeting with the club members.

Action point – Ali to discuss Golf Club member involvement with Gordon.

10.4 British Waterways – Derek Freer advised that British Waterways have now discovered that they will need to redirect canals to make way for HS2 which will be enormously costly.  As such they are very concerned and taking appropriate action. .

10.5 Adertising/Promotion of anti hs2 message – Richard Dyott asked if we could ask Dan Downes to put some signage in his shop window prior to the new estate agency opening.

Action point –  John Smith to speak to Dan Downes.

Date of the next meeting Wednesday 4th May 2011

Below are the minutes of this years previous meetings

Minutes of Whittington Community Action Group Meeting 31st March 2011 

1. Attendance Register– 44 attendees

2. Welcome & Re-cap on previous meeting minutes– John Heeler welcomed new members and reiterated the groups objective which is to promote awareness of HS2 within the community and work towards opposing HS2.

2.1 Bishop of Lichfield/Church stance – Geoff Hanson reported no response from Bishop. Jane Warden has contacted local vicar but was advised that she does not work with the Lichfield Diocese however she is supportive of the group.

2.2 Transport Select Committee document update – Geoff advised that the terms of reference have now been received. He also advised that as Michael Fabricant is a party Whipp he cannot stand up in Parliament and debate this issue on our behalf.  He has however been in contact with the national action group and Transport Select Committee on our behalf.  A debate took place today in Westminster which was on Parliament TV and can be seen retrospectively. As advised above, MF is not expected to speak out in this debate but Christopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, is expected to announce that all MP’s in Staffordshire are opposed to HS2.  The Group have until May to respond to Transport Select Enquiry and Geoff Hanson and Rob MacDonald are working towards this. Members of the Tranport Select Committee have now been announced. Geoff also commented that a recent article in The Telegraph was useful – Geoff has been in touch to ask where their information was gained from. Ali Smytheman asked all group members to notify her via website if they discover any useful articles.

Action points  – Geoff to report back on response from The Telegraph

– Geoff/Rob to continue to work on response to Transport Select Committee

– All to report any useful media articles via website

 2.3 DEAFinately Noisy Sound event – John explained the concept of the evening and what it would entail. Radio WM are visiting John tomorrow morning and at 5pm on Friday Midlands Today are coming to record event which will be televised on Saturday.  Radio WM will also interview John and broadcast on Saturday.

2.4 Bower Parade – a sub committee is needed to work on this event.  Any volunteers to assist with this were asked to advise Ali at end of meeting.  Ali asked for input from anyone who has had any previous input in the Bower event.

Action point – volunteers required for Bower Parade sub committee

 2.5 Parish councils up the line – Ali reported that John Smith has sent an email to the National Parish Council group who have agreed to promote the issue in their areas.

 2.6 National response to consultation – Robert MacDonald advised that once this issue has been fully researched they will communicate suggested answers. Geoff Hanson advised there is no structure as to how answers will be dealt with and that they are trying to establish what HS2 Ltd will do with the answers. The advice is to do nothing as yet.  Ali suggested that the questions appear loaded and Claire Bennett advised that HS2 Ltd have produced glossy literature promoting the need for Britain to have high speed rail. Derek Freer advised that the National HS2 site has suggested some draft answers.

Action point – Geoff/Rob to communicate suggested answers to consultation questions.

3.0 Constitution– John advised that the group need to have a Constitution and asked for anyone with any skills in this area to volunteer to assist with this.

Action Point – volunteer required to research Constitution.

3.1 Lichfield Group inclusion – John advised that the group are now joining forces with other groups – Stuart Thurlby is helping with this.  Ian, from the Lichfield Stop HS2 was introduced.

4. Finance & Expenditure – Funds currently stand at approx £600 – balance sheet to go on website this week.

 5. DEAFinately Noisy –  A Route has been planned with 20 stops. A map of the route was shown – we plan to stop every 6 minutes to play the soundtrack – this is in line with the expected frequency of the train.  It is not possible to visit the whole of the village on this occasion due to time constraints so a 2nd event may be required. The event will start at the Bell, volunteers to arrive 5.30 – 5.45.  The press are arriving at 5pm so if possible please arrive early. Invitation to attend was extended to all – we currently have approx 20 volunteers but all would be very welcome. The plan is to knock at doors to advise what is about to happen and issue a leaflet.  Some residents may not be happy but if so they will not be happy with the train either!

Advisory leaflets have already been issued to most houses in the village so residents should be aware of the event.

Safety of volunteers is important – please take care.  If possible, wear an HS2 t-shirt which can be bought for £7.50 – if not we will provide hi-visibility jackets.

Action point – all to attend DEAFinately Noisy event if possible

6. Big Green Fair – the group will be attending the Fair which is to be held on the 16th April 2011. A gazebo to be located outside the fair – PA system will be used to play the recording again. Volunteers required to man the stall, hand out leaflets and promote Stop HS2 to visitors.  Stand will be set up with posters, maps etc.

Action point – volunteers required to attend Big Green Fair

7. Consultation roadshow – Official Government Consultation Group are visiting Lichfield on the 8th & 9th June 2011.  We will be holding another event in Lichfield outside the Guild Hall and volunteers will be required. It was noted that not all households have received a letter and literature from HS2 Ltd Consultation Group and it was agreed that we need to look into this.

Action points – volunteers required to attend Consultation roadshow event

– look into why not all Whittington residents have received

information from HS2 Limited

8. Media & Promotion -John Heeler advised that we are planning to issue a weekly update email to all group members and will communicate this issue on the next weekly update. The National HS2 group now has a new Chairperson who is employing professional PR groups.

A member of group mentioned that we need to promote the issue outside of the local area to ensure that UK residents countrywide are aware and singing from the same hymn sheet. The huge cost to every citizen was raised and it was recommended that MP’s outside of the areas directly affected must be notified.  Ali advised that MP’s outside our area are not duty bound to answer us but that they must reply to their own constituents. Therefore it is crucial that we spread the word outside the area advising that every household is expected to pay £2500 toward HS2.  This message must be delivered nationally and locally.

The use of promotion via Twitter was raised – John asked for a group member to take this on – Steve Rushton is working on this.

John Heeler is attending a seminar on Tuesday at Staffordshire CC. John emailed Matthew Ellis as soon as the communication was made that CC were opposing HS2.  Hopefully he will have an update after this seminar. Matthew Ellis is supporting us.

Rob MacDonald recalled that Matthew Ellis had offered to provide us with support. John Heeler to chase this up.

Action points – communicate weekly update email to all – John/Ali

– promote awareness of HS2 outside our area – all

– promotion of WPC StopHS2 group via Twitter – Steve Rushton

– communicate info from Staffordshire CC seminar – John H

– chase up action update from Matthew Ellis – John H

 9. Any other items – a request was made for the group to attend the Country Fair with the PA system on the 3rd September.

Steve Thompson congratulated John Heeler on his fantastic film and brought it to everyone’s attention. (available to view on line at

 Next meeting 14th April – 7.30 – Pavilion.


 Notes from Whittington Community Action Group Meeting 16th March 2011 

1. There were 31 Present

There were 8 guests from Kings Bromley, who were planning to set up there own Action Group.

2. It was agreed that Ali Smytheman will manage our Web Site.

3. John Heeler (JH) said that we all need to spread the word that HS2 had no business case, there was not a capacity problem to solve, and there were so many other things on which we should spend £100,000,000,000.

4. Derek Freer had not had a reply from Prince Charles, nor had Geoff Hanson (GH) from The Bishop of Lichfield.

5. John Craven from Countryfile was not allowed by The BBC to express his personal opinion on HS2.

6. GH had prepared a first draft of our response to The Transport Select Committee which has been posted on our Web Site. All comments welcomed to . We now have The Terms of Reference from The Committee, and therefore the draft will have to be modified to ensure that it fully meets them. Our submission must be received by the 16th May, & so our deadline for it to be posted is 9th May.

7. There is a petition on the HS2 Action Alliance Web Site for everyone and their friends & family to register.

8. Our Group has so far accumulated £450 of funds for future expenses.

9. GH has formally sent The Group’s complaint to Michael Fabricant regarding The Official Consultation.

It has not explained the structure of how responses will be analysed, and it will not be Independent, as HS2 Ltd will be dealing with it. (Turkey’s voting for Christmas!). Michael Fabricant has forwarded our complaint to The Transport Select Committee.

10.  JH asked for The Group’s preferred Day & Time for ‘DEAFinately NOISY’ Sound Event in the Village. It was agreed that The Group should meet at 1pm at The Bit Pavilion, & The Tour would begin after any necessary business had been completed Saturday 2nd of April. This has since been changed to Friday Eveing, of the 1st April when it would have more impact.

Steve Thompson will provide the transport, sound system & JH the CD which emits the sound you would hear if you were 300yds from the train.

11. It was agreed that we should consider having a Float in The Lichfield Bower Parade which is on Monday 30th May, which is a Bank Holiday.

12.   JH asked if anyone had Media Contacts, would they please contact him. John Smith (JS) said that he will publish updates in The Whittington Report in The Lichfield Mercury. We can also put flyers in The Mercury for no charge.

13.   JS said that he would communicate with The Federation of Parish Councils regarding The HS Project.

14.   There is advice on The National Action Group Web Site regarding our response to The Consultation. Replies must be in by 29th July.

15.   Car stickers are available from The Village Pharmacy for £1.

16.   Gordon Poxon asked JH for some posters for The Golf Club. JS would also like more for The Roadside.

17.   JS will make contact with The Barracks.

18.   JH said that he would collect The Whittington Petitions from The Shops & Pubs, and find out whether they can be added to The National Petition

Date of next meeting Thursday 31st March. 7.30pm @ Bit End Pavilion

Notes from Whittington Community Action Group
Meeting 24th February 2011

1. John Heeler (JH) reported that the Conference organised by The National Action Group at
Stoneleigh Abbey galvanised the many Action Groups from along the route. 600 people were
there, & Geoffrey Robinson MP led the political debate, and was expecting to cause a debate
to be held in The House of Commons on the 10th March. There was a great emphasis that
everyone should communicate the reasons for our concern about the High Speed project to as
many people as possible, asking them to cascade our concerns to their contacts.

2. There will be a “Summit Meeting” in Aylesbury on 15th April, and The Government’s
Consultation Paper will be issued on 28th of this month.

3. A Beacon will be lit at 6pm at Packington Moor to coincide with 37 other Beacons that will be
lit along the proposed line of HS2. Geoff Hanson (GH) was asked to formally invite Michael
Fabricant (MF).

4. The meeting agreed that our meeting with MF on 22 January, following which he & other
MP’s had caused The Transport Select Committee to follow up The HS2 Project, and had
forwarded The HS2 Action Alliance report “More capacity on WCML(West Coast Mainline):
an alternative to HS2” to Philip Hammond, asking him if he could refute any findings in the

5. JH stated that the CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) had stated in their
report of 10th December that The Government had not carried out a review of a National
Transport Policy.

6. We have also heard that The Treasury Select Committee will be reviewing The Project.

7. Sarah Dyott (SD) had found it impossible to find out the route north of HS2.

8. JH said that he had purchased a DVD at Stoneleigh which played the noise of HS2 at a distance
of 350yds from the track. It was agreed to ask Round Table if they would tour the village with
it, JH said he would possibly play it at The Village Market.

9. JH promised to train people on the use of Facebook so that our message could be cascaded to

10. Derek Freer said he would write to Prince Charles and GH will write to The Bishop of

11. Gordon Foxon said that MF had met with The Golf Club, and walked down the 9th Fairway.
He had advised them to work on the basis of the HS2 Project would go ahead as far as their
Compensation Claim was concerned.

12. Mike Kingham will consult WFEG about having a stand at The Big Green Fair on 3rd April.

13. At our next meeting it was agreed that we will discuss The Consultation Paper, The Road
Shows, A Village Awareness Evening, and delivering a pamphlet to every house in the village.

Date of Next Meeting 17th March, venue to be arranged by John Smith and posted on The Website.

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 27th January 2011
Whittington Parish Community HS2 Action Group:
1. John Smith (JS) reported that a good meeting had been held with Michael Fabricant on
Saturday 22nd January, & that Sarah’s minutes of the meeting would be published on our
Website. He then welcomed County Counsellor Matthew Ellis (ME).

2. ME said that Buckinghamshire had become a Political Group, and therefore Staffordshire had combined with Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, & Oxfordshire to co-ordinate their County opposition to HS2.
The Chief Executive of Staffordshire will be leading our campaign.
All the alternatives have not yet been explored but a subterranean American Model using new signalling technology was being explored.
He stated that HS2 Ltds assertion that travelling time saved was a cost saving was ridiculous in the age of Laptop Computers. He had detected a growing number of M.P.’s who were now against HS2. He urged as many local communities as possible to communicate their concerns to their M.P.
He had met the National Action Group, & discussed the issue with the M.P. for Tamworth
Chris Pincher, who is now acknowledging that the case has not been made for HS2.
He had met London Businessmen who had said that if HS2 went ahead, they would close their satellite offices in Birmingham, and so instead of creating jobs HS2 would reduce employment. He agreed that it was “cart before horse” & that a proper independent strategic investigation should have been carried out before huge costs of HS2 & Parliamentary Time with The Hybrid Bill were committed.
He had met with HS2 management, & they did not display outright confidence in The Project. He asked our Action Group to allow SCC to carry out their independent review unhindered. He thought that Petitions did not carry much political weight. Votes at Elections did. He added that HS1 was the best proof that jobs would not be created by HS2. Somehow we must get TV programs to convey a much clearer message that all three parties were proposing to spend one hundred thousand million pounds on The High Speed Train Project.
The follow up meeting by SCC was likely to be in Lichfield after the SCC’s Feasibility Study
had been completed at the end of February.

3. John Heeler (JH) reported that our Action Group was now affiliated to both National Action Groups.
He would put details of other local action group meetings on our Website.
He thought Christian Woolmart would become the national figure for anti HS movements.

4. The next meeting was arranged for Thursday 24th February after the publication of The
Consultation Paper on the 11th and The National Action Group Meeting at Stoneleigh Abbey, The National Agricultural Centre at Kenilworth on the 19th..


Minutes of Meeting Thursday 13th January 2011

1. Number in attendance at our 4th Meeting – 34….Thank You.

2. John Heeler (JH)& Steve Thompson had both sent messages to The Communications Director of Virgin Rail, but neither had yet received a response.
He welcomed two representatives from The Tamworth Group, & referred to Road Shows that were to happen during The Consultation Period. There was discussion concerning The Group approaching various Media Bodies & in particular Emma Tennant who has connections at Central Television. There is also The Lichfield Blog, JH said that he had not yet succeeded in making contact with The National HS2 Alliance Action Group, but he would now telephone them as recommended.

3 Many members were extremely concerned about a variety of exaggerated statements regardingfuture demand for rail travel from Birmingham to London, & the meeting agreed that this would be a major issue to be taken up with Michael Fabricant.

4 Gordon Poxon stated that he had been in touch with The Golf Club, & they had 500 members, one of whom was a Q.C. JH said that he would be attending a meeting there on Friday 14th.

5 Paul Wade said that he had received permission from the Primary school to hand leaflets out to Parents at The School gates and place a poster on the school gates promoting the campaign.

6 The Lichfield Boat Cruising Club at Streethay were extremely concerned about the new route.

7 John Smith asked members to sign up if they were happy to Door step canvass – to which the group affirmed support.

8 JH referred to an Email from Matthew Ellis on our website news, which stated that Ann Outen from Staffs CC had been invited to join the National Campaign Group.
He also reported that our petition forms were now in many shops and pubs throughout the parish, and stressed that it was important to go on-line and register your protest on the GOPETITION Website. Tamworth stressed the importance of registering all of your family to get the numbers up.

10 Tamworth outlined there efforts to date which had alerted many in their area to recognise the ridiculous waste of their money and pledged continued partnership/support

11 Rob Golding reported that he had done much research on The Europe Issue, and he still had suspicions of their significant involvement…(Rob’s points were rousing and can be seen now on our FACTS, stats & myths page click here

12 JH asked everyone to Email all their friends & family on the issues, reminding them that this huge investment in HS2 would mean that there would be a significant reduction in other rail investment.

13 Robert McDonald had a précis of his research into the flawed economic case, which would be posted on our Website shortly.

14 The Group agreed  the benefits that would accrue if were part of a ‘Staffordshire Action Group’ – or coherant National lobby.

15 JH said that serious consideration would be given to Fundraising at a future meeting, but that
our next meeting on Thursday 20th January at Bit End Pavilion at 7.30 would be wholly devoted
to assembling our questions for a meeting with Michael Fabricant on Saturday 22nd at, and deciding who would be the members attending that meeting.

WPC STOP HS2 CAMPAIGN:Notes of meeting held at 19.30 hours in BEF Pavilion on 6 January 2011

The meeting was opened by John Smith (Parish Council Chairman), who welcomed those attending and briefly referred to the Council’s early involvement in campaigning against HS2, before handing over to John Heeler to chair the meeting.

At JH’s request John Cannon (Parish Council Vice Chairman) acted as minute secretary for the meeting. (Distribution to be based on contact details taken at the outset of the meeting.)


JH in opening the discussion reviewed progress made by the Action Group to date. Its achievements included:

Setting up a Group web site

Building up a residents’ database

Carrying out a leaflet drop to every house in the Parish

Setting up a local petition with forms available in various village outlets

Printing roadside signs and posters (to be distributed)

In addition the Parish Council had:

Written to every resident living within 500m of the proposed route (JS) and Drafted a detailed rebuttal of the claims made by Michael Fabricant MP in the wake of the December announcement, asking for answers to questions posed in their letter to him dated 31 October 2010 (JC). This second letter (copied to the Secretary of State, Phillip Hammond) will – subject to endorsement by the Full Council on 10 January 2011 – be sent early next week.


JH emphasised that there was a crucial need to spread the workload. Initially the printed road signs need to be put up in a variety of locations. Subsequently there would be an ongoing requirement to spread the message as widely as possible both in and beyond the community. After extended discussion the meeting agreed it would be appropriate to:

Seek Staffordshire County Council support and advice on how best to engage in the imminent consultation process

Get Michael Fabricant on side by taking up his offer of a meeting with the Group, using any such meeting to raise carefully researched and structured questions rather than indulging in recrimination

Delegate individuals to take on specific tasks identified in the discussion where action/research was required or expertise needed to be gained to develop the campaign

Specific areas of endeavour together with the names of those prepared to take the lead in each case are listed below. It was agreed that, where appropriate, each sub group or individual would report progress at the next and subsequent meetings of the group.


1. Consultation Stage procedures: Karen Brittan, Sarah Beswick, Jane Hall

2. Viability of upgrading existing network: Derek Freer, Phillip Moore, David Taylor

3. Highlighting key aspects of proposed route on map: Stuart Thurlby

4. Publicity at Golf Club AGM: Gordon Poxon

5. Promote School involvement: Paul Wade

6. Involve Cruising Club (MF a member): Derek Freer

7. Place petition forms in Plough Inn: John Smith

8. Door step canvassing with petition forms: Names to be confirmed

9. Contact Staffordshire CC for advice: John Smith

10. Research Europe’s possible rôle in HS2: Rob Golding

11. Contact Virgin Rail (see item 2): Steve Thompson

12. Economic Case for HS2: Robert McDonald

NEXT MEETING: Thursday 13 January 2011 at 19.30 hours in Bit End Field Pavilion


1 Response to MEETINGS

  1. Andrew Bodman says:

    I saw on your website in a report from your last meeting that you were trying to discover what the 51M group is. I realise that by now you may have discovered the answer.
    In case you haven’t, it is a group of county and district councils which oppose HS2. It is being kicked off by Buckinghamshire County Council who hope to have a new website up and running very soon. I attended a meeting they organised in Aylesbury on 15th April.
    Kind regards
    Andrew Bodman

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