High speed rail campaign row

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COUNCILS have been accused of a “disgraceful misuse” of public funds for using more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money to fight Government plans for the new high-speed rail network.

Nine councils have set up a fighting fund to oppose the route from London to Birmingham - the first phase of a £32bn network that would slash journey times between South Yorkshire and the capital.

Campaign for High Speed Rail director David Begg said: “This is an absolutely staggering amount to be spending in the midst of cuts.”

Chairman of the group opposing the line Martin Tett, leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “Our residents rightly expect their councils to represent them.”