‘BIL­LIONS ARE AT STAKE’

Calls for full in­quiry af­ter HS2 con­tract col­lapse

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by KATY CLIFTON katy.clifton@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Katy_Clifton1

MP CH­ERYL Gil­lan has called for a full in­jury into HS2 Ltd’s deal­ings with its for­mer con­trac­tor and said to the Com­mons “bil­lions of pounds of tax­pay­ers money is at stake”. The MP, who rep­re­sents Che­sham and Amer­sham, aired her con­cerns to the Trans­port Sec­re­tary on Thurs­day, March 30, about CH2M’s re­la­tion­ship with HS2 Ltd. CH2M was con­tracted as HS2’s Phase 2b de­liv­ery part­ner ear­lier this year – a de­ci­sion which prompted ri­val bid­der Mace to threaten le­gal ac­tion against the com­pany.

Mace ac­cused the two of hav­ing a “re­volv­ing door re­cruit­ment pol­icy” af­ter a num­ber of HS2 Ltd staff, in­clud­ing then CEO Roy Hill, were on sec­ond­ment from CH2M.

Now, CH2M has sur­ren­dered its £170mil­lion con­tract.

The MP from Bucks was joined by oth­ers when she asked for an of­fi­cial in­quiry into their deal­ings dur­ing trans­port ques­tions.

Mrs Gil­lan said: “This an­nounce­ment about the con­tract il­lus­trates that there needs to be to­tal trans­parency by HS2 Ltd.

“Con­cerns like this have been brushed aside and what hap­pened this week shows that there is a need for rig­or­ous scru­tiny.”

The MP then in­sisted that “there should be no fur­ther con­tracts be­fore a full in­quiry can be con­ducted into the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process”.

Mrs Gil­lan also asked the Leader of the House David Lid­ing­ton, MP for Ayles­bury, to make time in the

Com­mons so that there could be “an ur­gent de­bate on con­flicts of in­ter­est”.

Joe Rukin, the cam­paign man­ager for Stop HS2, sim­i­larly called for con­tracts to be scru­ti­nised.

He said: “With the next set of con­tracts run­ning into the bil­lions, we call on the gov­ern­ment to im- me­di­ately in­ves­ti­gate the award of all HS2 con­tracts.”

HS2 re­leased a state­ment af­ter CH2M dropped out of the con­tract and said: “As they have an­nounced, CH2M have de­cided to with­draw from the Phase 2b Devel­op­ment Part­ner bid process, a de­ci­sion which we wel­come.”

Cam­paigner Joe Rukin

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