Byrne welcomes HS2 Committee call for Plan B at Washwood Heath
Liam Byrne MP has welcomed a major breakthrough in the battle for jobs at the LDV-Alstom site earmarked for a marshalling yard.
Following a major campaign led by Liam Byrne MP. The HS2 Bill Committee has ordered the Government and HS2 Ltd to change their plans to maximise the number of jobs on the site.
Although the committee has not ordered the marshalling yard to be moved, the committee have ordered HS2 to report on how they will work with site owners.
The proposed site is the size of 100 football pitches and makes up one third of the industrial land in Birmingham.
It lies at the junction of Ladywood, Erdington and Hodge Hill – these three constituencies are together home to 45% of the City’s unemployed.
The site owners, together with Liam Byrne MP, have now submitted a ‘Plan B’ proposal that would see 2,334 jobs be created.
Liam Byrne MP said:
“This is a real breakthrough. The HS2 Committee has heard our call for jobs. Now HS2 Ltd must work with us on a Plan B that could see 2,334 jobs created in the inner city.”
Lorely Burt MP for Solihull said today:
"I have long argued for jobs to be protected at Washwood Heath whilst also being conscious of not damaging UK Central's prospects for delivery. The Select Committee's decision on Washwood Heath is quite obviously a 'win-win-win'. A win for the people of Washwood Heath, Solihull and also HS2. Now we need HS2 to engage fully with all interested parties to deliver the 2300 private sector jobs set out in the alternative plans referred to by the Committee plus the 600+ new railway jobs as soon as possible."
Caroline Spelman MP for Meriden said today:
“The decision from the Select Committee is common sense in action in relation to the Washwood Heath site. This is a win-win situation where HS2 get to build some of the infrastructure they need while the rest of the site can be used to create many more jobs, without needing to displace the marshalling yards into my constituency. HS2 should now engage and respond positively to the AXA proposals. Anything less would not be in accordance with the Select Committee's wishes."
Notes to editors:
Statement from Robert Syms MP (Chairman, HS2 Select Committee) dated 16th December 2014:
“On Washwood Heath, we were impressed by the submission from AXA and our colleague Liam Byrne and we sympathise with the need to address high unemployment in and around his constituency. We do not believe there is enough evidence to support a move of the RSMD from Washwood Heath. We impress on HS2 the need to adjust the scheme so there is minimum land take and for the shortest time … We expect to hear from HS2 on that and on whether they can reach agreement on that taking account of the more recent AXA proposals which are dated 12th December.”