Wednesday, 30 January 2013

For the sake of jobs and sanity we must say no to HS2 in NWL

I have lived, very nearly, my whole life in North West Leicestershire.

I love this place. We have history, fantastic countryside and some of the most decent and hardworking people you could ever have the privilege to meet.

I want the very best for my district, our district.

I want to see North West Leicestershire benefit from the economic regeneration it deserves.

I want to see local people in good, well paid jobs and children receiving the very best education.

I want to see our elderly cared for and the disabled contributing as much to our community as the able bodied.

I want North West Leicestershire to be a place we can all be proud to call home.

It is for these precise reasons why I believe we must respond loudly and strongly to the government's announcement this week on the proposed route of the HS2 railway line from Birmingham to Leeds.

We live in an area which suffered since the close of the pits.

Our strength has very much become our location. We are blessed that our place in the country means we are an ideal place to distribute goods.

Over the coming years our position as a logistics centre will strengthen. We know, for example, a company called Roxhill want to build a major distribution hub bringing 6,000 jobs to the area.

Or they did until HS2 proposed a high speed route right through their proposed location.

I don't want HS2 to ruin the prospective livelihoods of thousands of families.

But just as importantly I don't want HS2 to ruin the economic and psychological wellbeing of thousands more families whose lives will become blighted by this issue for decades to come.

If HS2 goes ahead along it's proposed route hundreds of families in this district will face massive devaluation to their properties.

Just as many will face noise disturbance on a constant basis.

And existing employers will be forced to relocate their businesses, potentially out of the district, or not expand as they had previously planned.

Every single one of us will face years of inconvenience brought about by construction on a scale previously unknown to us.

And not least future development in our district will face such uncertainty that planning blight will become inevitable.

And all of this for absolutely no discernable benefit. We don't even get a station near to us.

It is precisely for these reasons I believe we must say right here and now 'No to HS2 in North West Leicestershire'.

I am not saying HS2 shouldn't happen. I am well aware that some areas, particularly those who will or would seek to host a station, would welcome HS2. Good luck to them.

I am saying HS2 is wrong for our district.

Over the coming months and years I will fight to keep HS2 out of North West Leicestershire and will stand alongside anyone who seeks to achieve the same aims.

This isn't about party politics it's about listening to and working for the people of our district in what is the biggest threat to the future enjoyment of our area in living memory.


  1. Hi Leon, I believe that you have already seen the Ashby de la Zouch petition?

  2. I read that they eventually want a line to Heathrow, if this is to be foisted on us why haven't they decided to have the station at East Midlands Airport it would surely bring more business for the airport or do they only want expansion in the south ?