• We're pleased to advise that our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk, which helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase, has had some recent improvements, including PlusBus support. Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

HS2 - impact of Amersham and Chesham by-election?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Kingston Dan

Member
Joined
19 Apr 2020
Messages
212
Location
N Yorks
With news that the local MP Cheryl Gillan has sadly died there's going to be at some point a by-election in this heavily anti HS2 part of the Chilterns. I'd expect all the parties to pick candidates with views in line with the constituents and therefore in opposition to their party policy - I can't see a pro HS2 candidate winning for a major party. Regardless of the outcome - does the fact the Westminster circus will be viewing things exclusively through the prism of Chilterns nimbys for several weeks in the summer make the HS2 (and particulalry phase 2b) more difficult for the government to support?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Hadders

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
12,281
I doubt it. Construction is well under way, it's not going to get stopped now.
 

Starmill

Veteran Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
22,431
Location
Bolton
We're some way past the point at which this might have been a serious issue. Candidates could however still influence the margins of HS2 policy, things like local traffic diversions etc.
 

21C101

Established Member
Joined
19 Jul 2014
Messages
2,510
It is too late now.

Had the local MPs instead of opposing the whole thing campaigned for a parkway station, either at Aylesbury or north of Amersham with a tube interchange where HS2 crosses the GC/Met Joint line as was, in return for dropping opposition then I suspect they might have prevailed (as was reluctantly conceded in several places in France).

As it is they achieved nothing.
 

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
15,216
With news that the local MP Cheryl Gillan has sadly died there's going to be at some point a by-election in this heavily anti HS2 part of the Chilterns. I'd expect all the parties to pick candidates with views in line with the constituents and therefore in opposition to their party policy - I can't see a pro HS2 candidate winning for a major party. Regardless of the outcome - does the fact the Westminster circus will be viewing things exclusively through the prism of Chilterns nimbys for several weeks in the summer make the HS2 (and particulalry phase 2b) more difficult for the government to support?

Depends whether all parties stand candidates surely? With some MP deaths (e.g. Jo Cox - albeit a murder in that instance) they don't as a mark of respect/ not wanting to be accused of taking advantage.
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
20,146
Location
0035
With news that the local MP Cheryl Gillan has sadly died there's going to be at some point a by-election in this heavily anti HS2 part of the Chilterns. I'd expect all the parties to pick candidates with views in line with the constituents and therefore in opposition to their party policy - I can't see a pro HS2 candidate winning for a major party. Regardless of the outcome - does the fact the Westminster circus will be viewing things exclusively through the prism of Chilterns nimbys for several weeks in the summer make the HS2 (and particulalry phase 2b) more difficult for the government to support?
Doubt it. I live in a neighbouring constituency to Amersham & Chesham which is even worse affected by HS2 than that one is although like them we will get absolutely no benefit from it despite the noise and other disruption which we have already been facing for over a year now.
 

DynamicSpirit

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2012
Messages
7,761
Depends whether all parties stand candidates surely? With some MP deaths (e.g. Jo Cox - albeit a murder in that instance) they don't as a mark of respect/ not wanting to be accused of taking advantage.

I'm pretty sure they'll all stand candidates. Jo Cox was a very special situation, with parties wanting to avoid standing in order to communicate that acts of terrorism won't achieve political change. But generally speaking, if an MP dies of illness, the following by-election is a free-for-all - and seats have changed hands in that situation. However Amersham and Chesham is about as safe a Tory seat as you can get, so especially with the Tories being relatively popular at the moment, the outcome is basically a foregone conclusion. Whoever the Tories select will be the next MP. Which - to go back to the point of this thread - is another reason why the by-election is not going to have any impact on HS2.
 

mikeg

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2010
Messages
1,715
Location
Selby
I too am sure they will all stand candidates as has historically been the case. Given that it's a local issue, no doubt most candidates will take selfish and unpatriotic NIMBY line. Another disadvantage of our narrow one member constituency system is every MP represents local, not national issues, so eveytime there's sometihng some well heeled NIMBY group from Littlewater-on-the-Brayne objects to, it gets held up even when beneficial for the nation as a whole.

In any case as others say it's too late. Still someone will try to get the ****kicker vote by bringing more reviews, making it more expensive and the moaning it (for some reason) costs too much.
 

Class465pacer

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2020
Messages
177
Location
London
Nah, the Tories will be fine regardless of who they pick. They had 6,015 more votes at the last election than the Lib Dems, Labour and Greens combined.
 

Busaholic

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
13,568
Absolutely no reason for candidates of all parties (and none) to stand. Death of the sitting MP is the reason for most by-elections, even in these fractious times: the Jo Cox murder was a very different (and, let's hope, unique) situation and, even then, there were those who thought that a ballot should be provoked. Any Tory candidate selected would have to pay lip service to being anti the part of HS2 which affects the local population which, given the proximity to the London end, in effect means the whole scheme.
 

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
6,596
Location
Taunton or Kent
So much for the Tory candidate being the guaranteed next MP, the Lib Dems have just stolen the seat in a massive 25% swing, and a majority of over 8,000, so not even a close result:


The Liberal Democrats have won a parliamentary seat from the Conservatives in a constituency that had always been Tory.
Sarah Green won Chesham and Amersham, overturning a majority of more than 16,000, in Thursday's by-election that was called after the death of Conservative MP Dame Cheryl Gillan.
Tory candidate Peter Fleet came second in the Buckinghamshire constituency.
Ms Green won by more than 8,000 votes. Dame Cheryl's 2019 majority was 16,223.
Turnout was 52%, compared to 76% in 2019.
The Liberal Democrats had been hoping for an upset in the historically-safe Conservative seat, and party leader Sir Ed Davey tweeted that the result had "sent a shockwave through British politics".
He said that if they could "beat the Tories here, we can beat them anywhere" and added that "the blue wall can be smashed" by the Liberal Democrats.
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
20,146
Location
0035
So much for the Tory candidate being the guaranteed next MP, the Lib Dems have just stolen the seat in a massive 25% swing, and a majority of over 8,000, so not even a close result:

Agreed. There has been much talk over the past week that it wasn’t looking good for the Conservatives. I somehow feel that HS2 wasn’t the key issue but more of a general complaint about house building and other such complaints.
 

PeterC

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2014
Messages
3,980
Agreed. There has been much talk over the past week that it wasn’t looking good for the Conservatives. I somehow feel that HS2 wasn’t the key issue but more of a general complaint about house building and other such complaints.
LDs campaigned hard on HS2 and green belt. It got to the point where I was fed up with putting their flyers in the bin but on the day Sarah Green was the only candidate name that I could remember!
 

Typhoon

Established Member
Joined
2 Nov 2017
Messages
3,298
Location
Kent
Agreed. There has been much talk over the past week that it wasn’t looking good for the Conservatives. I somehow feel that HS2 wasn’t the key issue but more of a general complaint about house building and other such complaints.
I suspect that housing may well be a key issue in Blue Wall seats. The local BBC radio reporter writes:
The party tell me that on the doorsteps they'd spoken to many voters who had felt neglected in recent years and they had also voiced their concerns over how changes to planning laws would have an impact on the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
You will know that area much better than me but here, in Kent, some of the older MPs, with less to lose, are speaking out against Tory house building policies which seem to take much of the decision making away from the locally elected councils. In our case it is more to do with the loss of prime agricultural land. The Tory candidate's request that developers build on brown field land first may not have turned out to be totally productive both because of their reluctance to do so (because you can charge much more for the same property in a leafy setting) and the lack of available brown field sites.
There also appeared to be some who questioned his links to the constituency as his business career (with Ford) had taken him out of the country for much of his working life; (the alternative did appear to be a No 10 apparatchik, though).

I would also like to apologise to our Prime Minister for questioning whether he would have visited the constituency if there was any doubt about the result. He did; a walk along Chesham High Street, elbow taps and selfies aplenty, the candidate looking rather awkward. Still, he won't have to repeat that exercise for a little while.

Quote from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-57472032
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
4,856
Someone should point out to the voters of Chesham & Amersham that, at the last general election, the Liberal Democrats supported the building of HS2.

So they were being just a bit duplicitous by opposing it at this by-election.

Presumably if there is a by-election in the West Midlands any time soon, they will say that they support the building of HS2.

Also worth pointing out that the Conservative Andy Street won the recent election for Mayor of the West Midlands at least partly due to HS2 and the economic benefits it will bring to the region.
 

Gostav

Member
Joined
14 May 2016
Messages
410
Someone should point out to the voters of Chesham & Amersham that, at the last general election, the Liberal Democrats supported the building of HS2.

So they were being just a bit duplicitous by opposing it at this by-election.

Presumably if there is a by-election in the West Midlands any time soon, they will say that they support the building of HS2.

Also worth pointing out that the Conservative Andy Street won the recent election for Mayor of the West Midlands at least partly due to HS2 and the economic benefits it will bring to the region.
These parties have no principles at all and they don't really care about the future of the country or people.
 

mikeg

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2010
Messages
1,715
Location
Selby
These parties have no principles at all and they don't really care about the future of the country or people.
But honestly, I'm going to say something un-PC here:. Maybe it's the voters' fault?

I stood, on principle,in favour of more housing in the area fo my local council. This was in line with my party's national policy as a significant portion would be affordable.

Needless to say several people in my own local party wouldn't speak to me, and I got a very hard time on the doorstep. As long as voters act like spoilt children,. especially the older and more middle class ones, I don't see anything improving. I even heard them say they don't care about my principles. They were more worried about the price of their house they already owned and seeing it rise,even if to the detriment of their fellow countrymen.

Honestly thinking about emigrating as this country is now going well and truly to the dogs. You can't do anything in case concerned resident of Littlewater-on-the-Brayne objects to it, though since my European citizenship was wrested from me by the very same people that has become a more difficult proposition.

But yeah people say they want more principled politicians because it sounds good. In reality they want the opposite.
 

DerekC

Established Member
Joined
26 Oct 2015
Messages
2,002
Location
Hampshire (nearly a Hog)
But honestly, I'm going to say something un-PC here:. Maybe it's the voters' fault?

I stood, on principle,in favour of more housing in the area fo my local council. This was in line with my party's national policy as a significant portion would be affordable.

Needless to say several people in my own local party wouldn't speak to me, and I got a very hard time on the doorstep. As long as voters act like spoilt children,. especially the older and more middle class ones, I don't see anything improving. I even heard them say they don't care about my principles. They were more worried about the price of their house they already owned and seeing it rise,even if to the detriment of their fellow countrymen.
All very understandable and I am sure that's the reaction you got, but I am not sure that things have changed very much. People have always wanted more affordable houses, just not here. They want a beautiful unspoiled landscape to look at out of their window with lots of wildlife, but also cheap food. They want climate change fixed but also to drive at 80mph in their 4x4. They want renewable electricity, as long as it's cheap and the wind turbines go somewhere else. Honest politicians who try to explain that in the end the compromises have to come down to a local and personal level tend not to get elected, because the Johnsons of this world will tell them that they can have everything. I think that the creeping centralisation of everything in the UK which has happened since the days of Thatcher probably has something to do with it - it's now central government's job to sort out the compromises and all I have to do is protect my own interests. To that extent I think the Lib Dem approach of localising as much as possible is good. If you push the objectives and the decision making down to local level it makes people think about what they are doing more.
 

brad465

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2010
Messages
6,596
Location
Taunton or Kent
Someone should point out to the voters of Chesham & Amersham that, at the last general election, the Liberal Democrats supported the building of HS2.

So they were being just a bit duplicitous by opposing it at this by-election.

Presumably if there is a by-election in the West Midlands any time soon, they will say that they support the building of HS2.

Also worth pointing out that the Conservative Andy Street won the recent election for Mayor of the West Midlands at least partly due to HS2 and the economic benefits it will bring to the region.
It's very easy to shout against the project if you're from a position where you stand to gain votes/support from doing so, but at the same time if someone suddenly stands to gain from either supporting it or staying quiet they'll change their mind. Thinking specifically of Jacob Rees-Mogg, who as a West Country MP while on the backbenches could very easily oppose the project. But since he became Leader of the House of Commons I don't recall ever hear him talk about it, probably because it now benefits him to keep quiet. If he ever found himself in a position like Business Secretary I wonder if he'd suddenly voice support for it.

I imagine Andy Street's days as Mayor will be finished by this point (for the sake of time), but I do wonder if the Midlands would suddenly be as kind to the Tories if it was announced the project was cut short to be Phase 1 or 2a, where were this to happen the Midland's potential to benefit is depleted.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
24,261
Location
Nottingham
Someone should point out to the voters of Chesham & Amersham that, at the last general election, the Liberal Democrats supported the building of HS2.

So they were being just a bit duplicitous by opposing it at this by-election.

Presumably if there is a by-election in the West Midlands any time soon, they will say that they support the building of HS2.

Also worth pointing out that the Conservative Andy Street won the recent election for Mayor of the West Midlands at least partly due to HS2 and the economic benefits it will bring to the region.
The Tory candidate in C&A also opposed HS2, contrary to his party policy. It would probably be difficult to get elected there with any other viewpoint, given the amount of genuine disruption plus the hype by the antis. And to be fair, HS2 doesn't bring much benefit to the constituency except perhaps for more seats on trains through Princes Risborough, which some of them may choose to use, due to capacity release.

In a feature on the BBC the LibDem did mention that MPs won't get the opportunity to stop HS2. However a constituency MP can and should hold HS2 to account if construction activities or the compensation arrangements disbenefit consitituents.
 

Typhoon

Established Member
Joined
2 Nov 2017
Messages
3,298
Location
Kent
But honestly, I'm going to say something un-PC here:. Maybe it's the voters' fault?

I stood, on principle,in favour of more housing in the area fo my local council. This was in line with my party's national policy as a significant portion would be affordable.

Needless to say several people in my own local party wouldn't speak to me, and I got a very hard time on the doorstep. As long as voters act like spoilt children,. especially the older and more middle class ones, I don't see anythingimproving. I even heard them say they don't care about my principles. They were more worried about the price of their house they already owned and seeing it rise,even if to the detriment of their fellow countrymen.
All very understandable and I am sure that's the reaction you got, but I am not sure that things have changed very much. People have always wanted more affordable houses, just not here. They want a beautiful unspoiled landscape to look at out of their window with lots of wildlife, but also cheap food. They want climate change fixed but also to drive at 80mph in their 4x4. They want renewable electricity, as long as it's cheap and the wind turbines go somewhere else. Honest politicians who try to explain that in the end the compromises have to come down to a local and personal level tend not to get elected, because the Johnsons of this world will tell them that they can have everything. I think that the creeping centralisation of everything in the UK which has happened since the days of Thatcher probably has something to do with it - it's now central government's job to sort out the compromises and all I have to do is protect my own interests. To that extent I think the Lib Dem approach of localising as much as possible is good. If you push the objectives and the decision making down to local level it makes people think about what they are doing more.
Underlined text - exactly. And it didn't start with Johnson, by a long way. For years we have been promised better services to be paid for by 'taxing the rich'. or tax cuts for all to be paid for by 'efficiency savings', or similar magic. The difference with Johnson is that it is difficult to call him out, firstly it is difficult to arrange an interview with, then he just blusters, chucks in a few phrases ('Sunlit Uplands', 'Oven Ready') and doesn't answer the questions.

However, I feel that you may be guilty of a slight exaggeration over what people want; some will be happy with a job they are reasonably certain of still holding in six months time paying something they can live on, a property that they can't be kicked out in six months time, where they can reasonably expect to bring up a family, a (second hand but reliable) car because public transport is rubbish and finishes at 6pm. But they are pushed to want home ownership (by making rental insecure and expensive), every piece of smart tech under the sun, electric cars, exotic holidays. It is getting ridiculous, Father's Day gifts - a TV for getting on for £1k, behave!

I would suggest that the reason why many people don't want house prices to fall (and this will be a particular issue for those living near to HS2 of course) is that most if not all their money is tied up in the house. They stretched themselves to the limit to get started and are mortgaged to the hilt - what happens when interest rates go up as I gather is being planned for because of the concern over the steep rise in house prices? Then we may need to debate how 'affordable' a property actually is; certainly I could not afford some of what is considered affordable when I was earning rather more than the average wage. To me, the housing ladder is like a roller-coaster that has run out of control, those that are on it are intent on saving themselves rather than looking out for others, and I have every sympathy, I'm just glad its not me!
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
24,261
Location
Nottingham
Housing is essentially a bubble that has been allowed to grow over several decades - I suspect driven more by cheap credit and the tactics of housebuilders more than by restrictive planning rules. The restrictive planning rules do however give the homeowners in leafy country locations some protection against development reducing the prices of their own properties.

The only people that actually benefit are the mostly older ones who can downsize and anyone who inherits from them, younger people certainly disbenefit in a big way but probably most important is that homeowners in between feel rich when they look at how much their house has appreciated. This is of course totally illusory until they decide to downsize (or choose to start renting instead, paying over the odds due to ... high property prices), because if they need to move to a house of similar or larger size they can sell their existing one at an over-inflated price but will have to pay a similar over-inflated prices for a new one. These people are by and large Tory voters, or the type of swing voter the other parties tend to have to court to win elections, so the Tories want to keep the bubble going and the others aren't much better.

This can only end badly.
 

camflyer

Member
Joined
13 Feb 2018
Messages
854
Someone should point out to the voters of Chesham & Amersham that, at the last general election, the Liberal Democrats supported the building of HS2.

So they were being just a bit duplicitous by opposing it at this by-election.

Presumably if there is a by-election in the West Midlands any time soon, they will say that they support the building of HS2.

Also worth pointing out that the Conservative Andy Street won the recent election for Mayor of the West Midlands at least partly due to HS2 and the economic benefits it will bring to the region.

Fairly typical of the Lib Dems to vote for something at the national level then against it locally. They really are the NIMBY Party.

I'm not even sure what the anti-HS2 brigade want now. Construction is well underway so there's no chance of it being scrapped and any major changes now would just add to costs and delays. Maybe they want to increase the budget just so that they can complain about the budget going up.
 

Gostav

Member
Joined
14 May 2016
Messages
410
The Tory candidate in C&A also opposed HS2, contrary to his party policy. It would probably be difficult to get elected there with any other viewpoint, given the amount of genuine disruption plus the hype by the antis. And to be fair, HS2 doesn't bring much benefit to the constituency except perhaps for more seats on trains through Princes Risborough, which some of them may choose to use, due to capacity release.

In a feature on the BBC the LibDem did mention that MPs won't get the opportunity to stop HS2. However a constituency MP can and should hold HS2 to account if construction activities or the compensation arrangements disbenefit consitituents.
Just take look those leaders - whatever the local or nation, how many members are "lawyer politicians" which only had law or news work experience. They are no experience about infrastructures and industrial economy or had a work on front line. For them, the votes from the workers (clerks in the office just as senior workers - the middle class does not really exist) are more import than their futures.
 

Typhoon

Established Member
Joined
2 Nov 2017
Messages
3,298
Location
Kent
The only people that actually benefit are the mostly older ones who can downsize and anyone who inherits from them, younger people certainly disbenefit in a big way but probably most important is that homeowners in between feel rich when they look at how much their house has appreciated. This is of course totally illusory until they decide to downsize (or choose to start renting instead, paying over the odds due to ... high property prices), because if they need to move to a house of similar or larger size they can sell their existing one at an over-inflated price but will have to pay a similar over-inflated prices for a new one. These people are by and large Tory voters, or the type of swing voter the other parties tend to have to court to win elections, so the Tories want to keep the bubble going and the others aren't much better.

This can only end badly.
If I provide you with a list of local estate agents, can you please explain that to them? I've tried and failed, and am fed up with flyers 'we sold this property at £10,000 more than the asking price, how much will we be able to sell your's for?', 'Mr and Mrs X have a budget of £370,000 and have identified your road as one of those that they would be interested in moving to'.

I take little enjoyment in being not the only one who realises that we are heading for a car crash (and fear that some of my relatives will be victims). Besides those living near the HS2 site, whose property may lose value while the construction work goes on, of course.

My solution would be lots of homes to rent (not purchasable) with long term leases; far too many are buying when they can barely afford it.
 

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
15,216
I'm not even sure what the anti-HS2 brigade want now. Construction is well underway so there's no chance of it being scrapped and any major changes now would just add to costs and delays. Maybe they want to increase the budget just so that they can complain about the budget going up.

There is something reasonable there is making sure that HS2 deliver their commitments to minimise local disruption and effect on residents.

But yes any idea that HS2 can, or should, be stopped now is fanciful.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
37,850
Location
Yorks
I must admit to being a bit dissapointed that it wasn't the Sarah Greene from the telly.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top