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Budget2014 Osborne says we are growing faster than any other advanced economy - we will stick to plan @itvcentral @itvnews

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Residents fight quarry's big plans for the future

by Chris Halpin

People living by one of the largest quarries in Europe are starting a fight to stop it from getting even bigger. Granite has been taken from the ground at the Mountsorrel Quarry in Leicestershire for more than 150 years.

Now the firm which runs it says new stone is running low. Plans could secure the site until 2040, but residents say they're not being consulted about the changes. Chris Halpin reports.

Article: Residents fight against Leicestershire quarry's expansion plans

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Birmingham business welcome faster HS2 build

Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, is calling for the building of Phase 2 of the project to be brought forward by six years Credit: HS2 Ltd

Business leaders in Birmingham have welcomed calls by the chairman of HS2 to speed up construction of the line northwards from Birmingham through Staffordshire to Manchester.

Jerry Blackett, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said:

“I welcome Sir David’s comments on the potential of HS2 to drive transformational regeneration. “HS2 has always been about increased rail capacity and the potential to use the station investment in particular as a catalyst for a far-reaching programme of physical and skills-led transformation.”

“Sir David is right to highlight the cost advantages of building quickly. There are also huge commercial benefits to be had from connecting, for example, the great cities in the North as soon as possible so that we can reap the rewards of the new business that will be created.

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HS2 boss to say he would like to start second phase

Launching his report in Manchester, Sir David Higgins, HS2's recently appointed chairman, will say that he would like work to start on the second phase at the same time as the first phase.

An anti HS2 sign in Whittington, Staffordshire. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The second phase, taking the line in a Y-shape to north west and north east England is set for completion around 2032/33. He is also expected to recommend a completely new station at Euston - the site for the line's London terminus.

Sir David, the former London Olympics supremo who has joined HS2 Ltd after being Network Rail chief executive, is also expected to recommend scrapping plans to link HS2 with HS1, the London to Kent coast Channel Tunnel high-speed line.

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Campaigners: HS2 costs an 'attempt to con the public'

Campaign manager for Stop HS2 campaign has said any "pretence" that costs of the High Speed rail network are under control are a "con".

Joe Rukin said: "David Higgins has spent three months looking for cost savings for HS2 and he hasn't found a single bean. Any pretence that the costs of HS2 are under control are a fraudulent attempt to con the public."

An anti HS2 sign in Whittington, Staffordshire. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He added that the £50 billion cost was "always too low, and represents the cost if the whole project was built in one year and that year was 2011".

"We know that these costs will continue to escalate. The only answer is to cancel the project and go back to the drawing board right now," he said.

Read: HS2 boss wants to fast-track high speed rail project

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