Campaigners fighting plans for a high speed rail line have launched a fundraising appeal.
The Stop HS2 campaign has been battling the route – which will cut through parts of Lichfield and the surrounding villages – since it was announced.
However, it now needs to generate more funds to help it replace a number of items used to highlight their arguments, including Ellie the inflatable elephant.
The mascot has appeared at more than 100 events in the last 12 months as Stop HS2 attempted to drive home their message that the planned line was a white elephant. However, it is now damaged beyond repair and campaigners are keen to purchase a replacement.
The group’s chair Penny Gaines said: “Sadly Ellie has now developed as many holes as the HS2 Ltd business case: she needs to be constantly pumped full of hot air if she is to remain standing. We’ve tried patching Ellie up, but just like the patches on the HS2 Ltd case, these don’t really help.”
Campaign co-ordinator Joe Rukin added: “Although we have achieved a great deal with very little in the way of resources, Stop HS2 as an organisation has always been underfunded, which has a knock-on effect in terms of our capacity and how much we can do.
“We have always wanted to do more, but we have just not been able to. What we really need is regular funding which we can rely on, more than lumps sums, we need people to set up standing orders. They don’t have to be a massive amount if enough people get behind us financially, they just have to be regular so we can plan ahead.
“We know that when Stage 2 is announced there will be a colossal amount of work which we have planned for, but we need to be able to deliver and make the most of the opportunity to double the size of the campaign when it comes. The sad reality is that we will not be able to do this without funding.”
Anyone wanting to donate to Stop HS2 can send a cheque made payable to “Stop HS2″ to Stop HS2, c/o Roger Waller, Treasurer, The Outlook, Dunsmore, Wendover, Bucks. HP22 6QJ. To pay direct into a bank account or set up a standing order, the details are Lloyds-TSB, Sort Code 30-94-93, Account no, 34934760.