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CALL TO ACTION!

The Government plans to move the Heathrow Express depot to Langley. This will create a huge rail depot by Langley station.

The Secretary of State for Transport is doing this via Additional Provisions to the High Speed Rail Bill. This is a Hybrid Bill which means it directly affects people and property.

So people affected by these changes can petition the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill Select Committee, asking them to change the proposals.  If you have submitted a petition you then have the chance to appear in Parliament before the committee to argue for proposed changes.

Individuals, groups of individuals, businesses and other organisations can petition against a Bill, it costs £20 for each petition although one petition can have many signatures on it. 

The petition has to be carefully worded and it’s a very formal procedure, which must be followed before other people can sign it to show their support for the text. There is a sample petition in the guide (see link below).

Although additional signatures make a difference the impact is greatest when there are a number of separate petitions.

The petition must set out the Bill title; who the petitioner is; the provisions of the Bill objected to; the particular damage caused to the petitioner by the Bill; and the form of relief sought by the petitioner, including amendments to clauses. Since the petition forms the basis of a petitioner’s case before a select committee, petitions should include all the points of objection a petitioner has against the Bill. Matters can only be raised in the committee if they are alluded to in the original petition.

Petitions are published online, so if you have medical conditions which you do not want to disclose in your petition, you are free to refer to that condition in very general terms and write to the Committee about it confidentially c/o Neil Caulfield (caulfieldn@parliament.uk).

If you do not want to have your address made public you can state your distance from the line and approximate location in your petition, and state your address on the covering sheet only (which is not published).

There is formal wording required for petitions to the House of Commons. Stick to the wording. If you are unsure, it is better to get it done early and get it checked over by Parliament’s Private Bill Office. The person to contact there is Neil Caulfield on 020 7219 3250 or email prbohoc@parliament.uk.  

The exact proposal will be published soon but you can see it in draft in this report at appendix C.

You will need to provide four stapled copies of the entire document, which all have to be signed where required. Two of the four copies must have the petition cover sheet attached.

You can deliver completed petitions to my office, 52 High Street, Chalvey, Slough, SL1 2SQ, (along with a cheque for £20) by Wednesday 12th August at 12pm at the very latest or to the clerk at the House of Commons by 2pm on Friday 14th August.

The petitioning process begins on 17th July.

Final checklist:

·         4 copies of your petition. Make sure it is signed where it needs to be and staple pages together.

·         2 of the copies should have the covering sheet stapled on

·         A cheque for £20 made to “GBS HoC Administration”

There is guidance available here on Parliament’s website, including the procedure and a template.

Once you’ve submitted your petition, you might have a chance to present it to the select committee, wait to be informed by the clerk.

For any further questions, please email Fiona.mactaggart@gmail.com