FIGHT FOR TUN­NEL SET TO GO TO THE LORDS

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

THE chief ex­ec­u­tive of HS2 Ltd has apol­o­gised for the way in which the com­pany has dealt with com­plaints from res­i­dents af­fected by the rail pro­ject.

The apol­ogy from Si­mon Kirby came fol­low­ing an in­quiry by the Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Con­si­tu­tional Affairs Com­mit­tee (PACAC), which found HS2 Ltd to be guilty of mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion.

De­spite the apol­ogy how­ever, MP Bernard Jenkin, chair­man of the com­mit­tee, said: “You are strong on in­ten­tion and fine words, but you are short on de­liv­ery.”

When Mr Kirby apol­o­gised for the han­dling of com­plaints, Che­sham and Amer­sham MP Ch­ery Gil­lan re­sponded: “Do you not feel this all far too lit­tle too late, and there’s been six years of dam­age done by your or­gan­i­sa­tion?”

She then read out a long list of com­plaints from MPs along the first phase of the route.

Rail min­is­ter Robert Good­will ad­mit­ted that peo­ple along the pro­posed route felt like they were be­ing ig­nored, but blamed a lack of staff within HS2 Ltd.

Stop HS2 cam­paign man­ager Joe Rukin said af­ter the hear­ing: “This com­mit­tee of MPs has quite rightly found that HS2 Ltd are great at mak­ing prom­ises about learn­ing from mis­takes and treat­ing peo­ple bet­ter in the fu­ture, but they are all mouth and no trousers, be­cause no mat­ter how many times they make th­ese prom­ises, noth­ing ever hap­pens and they treat both res­i­dents and the MPs who rep­re­sent them like an in­cove­nience.

“It has gone be­yond the point where HS2 Ltd can prom­ise they will get bet­ter, be­cause all hope that there could be trust in the or­gan­i­sa­tion has long since been de­stroyed by their ac­tions over the last six years.”

Stop HS2 chair­man Penny Gaines said: “What the ses­sion showed is that six years into the pro­ject, HS2 Ltd are still fail­ing to en­gage with peo­ple who are af­flicted by the pro­posed rail­way.

“Claims that the man­age­ment want to learn to do bet­ter are be­lied by the fact they have not got bet­ter.”

It has gone be­yond the point where HS2 Ltd can prom­ise they will get bet­ter, be­cause all hope that there could be trust in the or­gan­i­sa­tion has long since been de­stroyed by their ac­tions over the last six years

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