New role to oversee HS2 compensation
Opponents angry about ‘another big salary’
THE search is on to find someone to fill a new HS2 post that will help the people who are eligible for compensation because they live close to the proposed highspeed rail line.
HS2 is looking for a Residents’ Commissioner, an independent role introduced in April, at the same time as the revised property compensation packages.
HS2 director general David Prout said then: “People felt they were not happy to talk with HS2 so we will be appointing an independent commissioner to hold the company to account and set out how HS2 will behave towards residents as the various compensation schemes get under way and to ensure it meets the standards to be set out in a new Residents’ Charter.”
HS2 says the charter will state what people entitled to compensation can expect from HS2 in terms of communication standards and personal support.
It includes a promise to promote awareness of the property schemes that are available so that no one misses out, and HS2 has made a pledge to use clear communication with plain, non-technical language in correspondence and provide a timely response to all enquiries.
HS2 chairman David Higgins (pictured) said: “Britain needs a new railway line to ease crowding on the current network and to improve connections between our biggest cities, but it is essential that people living close to the planned route understand what payments may be available to them.
“The residents’ charter and commissioner is our commitment to making that happen. The commissioner is independent and will make their views, findings and recommendations publicly available every three months.”
Lottie Jones of Ruislip Against HS2 said: “It’s appalling that yet another big salary is required to oversee this situation and it’s yet another example of how HS2 has failed to deal with residents fairly.
“This is something that should have been in place from the start and will do nothing to help those who have already been treated so badly by HS2.”
The Residents’ Commissioner is expected to be appointed by HS2 before the end of the year.
More details of the role and the charter will be available when the final government package is announced in December.