The debate was secured by the Rt Hon Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, Chair of the West Anglia Taskforce, and was attended by the Rt Hon Paul Maynard MP, the government's Rail Minister.
Paul Maynard said: "the report is one of the most helpful and constructive of the many I am sent and which, as has been pointed out, all too often litter my office floor. In the present case, the report is a constant companion in my red folder everywhere I go, because I use it as an example to show other people looking at their local railway areas what a real, proper value-adding taskforce looks like, and what they should aim to achieve.”
He commented on the strength of the case for investment and stated that the government would give it careful consideration. He also referenced the role Local Enterprise Partnerships have to play in this process; the Hertfordshire LEP is extremely supportive of the Taskforce, recognising the economic benefits to the county which would accompany investment.
Councillor Linda Haysey, Leader of East Hertfordshire District Council and Herts LEP Board Member, commented on the Taskforce's work: "We are actively looking at how the economic value related to the huge levels of growth projected in this rail corridor can be captured to support this investment. For example, "Greater Harlow" [which includes areas in East Hertfordshire] is developing plans to deliver 51,000 new homes, and we need the infrastructure to support this level of growth."
Read the Taskforce's report here.
Read the full transcript of the MPs' debate here.