HS2: Concerns raised with community and business funds

51m, the group of 18 councils challenging HS2 which includes Camden Council, have received a disappointing response to their call for an increase to the community and business funds.

The response came in a letter from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Robert Goodwill MP, who stated it would not be possible to introduce a fund of the value 51m proposed.

Camden Council also outlined its concerns on the level of funds to support communities and businesses affected by HS2 plans in a letter to New Philanthropy Capital, who are writing a report on the funds, in December.

You can download and read both letters in the side bar.

The Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and a Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) were unveiled by the Department for Transport in October.

While the Council is generally supportive in principle of the funds, the letter expresses our concern that a total pot of £30m is an inadequate amount to split across both funds given the number of communities and neighbourhoods potentially affected by HS2 up and down the line.

Our letter stresses the importance of these funds being in addition to, and in no way instead of, mitigation. We do not believe it should be left to community and business groups to address HS2 impacts through a competitive bidding process.

We continue to call for a fair compensation and mitigation for London’s residents and businesses affected by HS2 through the Fair Deal for London Alliance and its petition to government.

Update: We received this letter in response from the Department for Trnsport on 26 March 2015.

More information

Camden Council opposes plans for HS2 as currently proposed. If the government does go ahead with the scheme, Camden is committed to securing the best deal for our communities. Find out more here.