HS2AA Respond To House of Commons Committee

The House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee have asked for views on engagement and communication with HS2 Ltd, as well as inviting comments on the recent Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report that was highly critical of HS2 Ltd.

HS2AA provided a submission to the Committee which you can click here to review.

Our key conclusions were:

  • The Ombudsman’s report was thorough and the conclusions seem justified. The recommendations however lacked teeth in that they contained no means to ensure corrective action is taken and the compensation sums were not large enough to act as either a deterrent to HS2 Ltd or sufficient to compensate the affected individuals.
  • HS2 Ltd’s communications and levels of engagement are poor. HS2 Ltd are defensive, unforthcoming and often evasive. The reluctance to be open and honest has too often soured relations, and prevented winning the trust of the very people who must bear the brunt of HS2 for the rest of their lives.
  • There is an absence of independent oversight of HS2 Ltd eg with the residents commissioner, no appeals process for compensation, that does not help.
  • Too often engagement has been a frustrating and unrewarding experience for residents
  • We recommend a series of improvements, central to which is becoming a transparent organisation. HS2 Ltd should regard residents as clients to be satisfied rather than potential objectors that can be marginalised.

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