British Tunnelling Society Lobby Group
In a drive to raise the profile of the tunnelling industry in Parliament, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Underground Space (APGUS) was founded in 2002. The British Tunnelling Society is its secretariat and sponsor.
APGUS consists of around twenty MPs and Peers who have expressed an interest in tunnelling and underground structures. The current Chairman, the Rt. Hon. Nick Raynsford MP, is a past Construction Minister and an expert voice on construction matters in Parliament. Support is given on behalf of the BTS by Lobby Group Chairman Helen Nattrass.
Lobbying takes a number of different forms:
- By arranging site visits for Parliamentarians, we show-case our design and construction expertise and demonstrate specialist equipment like TBMs. Parliamentarians can get down to the tunnel face and speak to the construction team including managers, engineers, miners and TBM drivers. A site visit also offers opportunities for Clients to speak directly to Parliamentarians about issues affecting their businesses.
- By giving presentations in the Houses of Parliament the BTS informs APGUS members about issues of topical interest; giving as far as possible unbiased information. This also furnishes Parliamentarians with a range of expert contacts to whom they can refer for further information.
- More rarely, the BTS writes to Ministers about particular issues of concern. A letter from a Learned Society has to be taken seriously by Ministers and must receive a proper reply. By having a nucleus of Parliamentarians supporting the tunnelling sector, we can exert more influence in gaining access to Senior Politicians for meetings and discussions if required.
We organise about three meetings a year for APGUS; a mixture of site visits and presentations. We respond to individual issues as the need arises. To raise issues for action or to express an interest in the activites of the Lobby Group and APGUS please contact HELEN NATTRASS: firstname.lastname@example.org