Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4660 - 4679)

  4660. CHAIRMAN: Now, where were we? I keep on interrupting, so I cannot remember!

  4661. MR ELVIN: Neither can I! I think I had stood up to answer some of my Lord, Lord Brooke's questions and I think I have answered those. As I said, they were either options to amend before committee, to request an additional provision or, even at Third Reading, it would have required a recommittal to the Select Committee, but the issue undoubtedly, fairly and squarely before the Commons by Third Reading, which was nearly a year after these reports had been produced, which was last December of course, was that this issue could have been recommitted to Select Committee had an MP decided, with the support of the Government, to promote another alternative.

  4662. CHAIRMAN: I should think the joy in another place would have been intense if that had happened!

  4663. MR ELVIN: I have to say, the joy of the Commons Select Committee being told that they had to continue, I think, would have been interesting to observe, yes!

  4664. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: The cup would have runneth over!

  4665. CHAIRMAN: Mr Horton, that, I think, is the factual situation. This was before the Commons Select Committee. They did have powers to ask for additional provisions to be put forward which would then have been submitted to Petitioners and they would then have had an opportunity to decide upon it. In relation to Route B, that did not happen. Is that not right?

  4666. MR HORTON: Yes.

  4667. CHAIRMAN: Now we have got to the stage where you are asking this Committee in the second House not specifically of course to deal with the southern route, Route B, because we cannot for the reasons that I have given already, but what you are trying to do is you are trying to persuade us to advise the House that Route B was part of a main alternative that was not considered as part of the EIA process and that the House of Lords, as such, should be requested to have further consideration about this so that it might be possibly given effect. Is that what you are doing?

  4668. MR HORTON: Yes.

  4669. CHAIRMAN: And the House of Lords has got no powers to do that because of Standing Order 73, so, even if the House of Lords decided that there was something wrong with the environmental impact assessment and that this part of the central London area ought to have been part of a main alternative to be considered, the practical result is that it is now too late to introduce additional provisions to give effect to that.

  4670. MR HORTON: Well, my Lord, I would have to take instructions on whether your Lordship is correct about that.

  4671. CHAIRMAN: Well, of course you take instructions.

  4672. MR HORTON: I have to defer at the moment of course to your Lordship's greater experience of procedures in this House, but I am asked just to emphasise one point to you. On 30 January ----

  4673. CHAIRMAN: Of which year?

  4674. MR HORTON: Of 2007. At the time that the Petitions in respect of AP3 were being considered, Mr Carpenter, who was representing the Woodseer and Hanbury Street Residents' Association ----

  4675. CHAIRMAN: Yes, we know Mr Carpenter very well.

  4676. MR HORTON: This is at paragraph 18837 and it would probably help if I asked for this to be put on the screen and I will read it from the screen.[10] Mr Elvin says, "Can I add that this, quite apart from the fact that it is going back on material which was dealt with in the summer, is departing from the principle of the Bill. The House has approved the limits of deviation at Second Reading; arguments along the lines that seem to be suggesting the issue of the southern alignment is completely outside the principle". Then at 18838, the Chairman says, "Can I just respond to that—

  4677. CHAIRMAN: Mr Horton, this is the point I have dealt with this morning.

  4678. MR HORTON: Well, the only reason I am referring you to this is that the Chairman says, "I made it clear yesterday that there is no question of us rerouting at all. I made it absolutely perfectly clear that decision has gone but we will hear evidence where there were mitigations in relation to the AP3 changes", so plainly the Commons did not consider that they had any power any longer in relation to asking for an additional provision in relation to Route B.

  4679. CHAIRMAN: I do not think that can be right because there were additional provisions being considered at the time, AP3, on to which some of the Spitalfields groups tried to clamber in order to attach the Route B point to it, and there were also additional provisions, AP4, about the station at Woolwich, so it was not the end of APs.

10   House of Commons Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill, First Special Report of Session 2006-07, Crossrail Bill, HC 235-V, paras 18837-18838 (SCN-20080311-012 to -013) Back

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