HS2: Secretary of State urged to pressure HS2 Ltd into swifter and effective engagement with Camden residents
Update 16 August 2016: The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, replied on 25 July, and Councillor Hayward has sent a follow up letter to clarify the points in his response.
The Leader of Camden Council has written to the Secretary of State for Transport this week to express her concerns that promised improvements to HS2 Ltd’s community engagement are happening too slowly and their engagement plans remain inadequate.
The letter asks Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, for his support to ensure that HS2 Ltd work quickly to develop comprehensive community engagement that offers genuine scope for change, is responsive to community concerns and engages appropriately with all sections of the community, particularly the vulnerable and hard to reach.
Commenting on HS2 Ltd’s community engagement, Councillor Hayward said:
“Camden’s residents must be given a real opportunity to influence decisions and proposals about HS2, in the face of significant disruption for the next 17 years. Many of our residents, including the most vulnerable, continue to be rightly anxious about the impact HS2 will have on their lives.
“It is deeply disappointing that despite recommendations from two parliamentary committees, the recommendations in Ian Bynoe’s report on HS2 Ltd’s complaints handling and community engagement work, and the assurances they gave to us, HS2 Ltd have made such little progress on this front over the last six months. The whole organisation still appears to be woefully unprepared to carry out the vital community engagement that it has repeatedly been told is so vital to the people who are affected by its plans.”
Councillor Hayward has asked that the Secretary of State meets with her and MP for Holborn and St Pancras, Keir Starmer, at the earliest opportunity to discuss this matter and other issues relating to the assurances secured by Camden.