HS2

18.02.16

HS2 promises new community engagement in response to criticism

HS2’s community engagement will improve in response to a recent critical report from the Residents’ Commissioner, the company has promised.

In response to Deborah Fazan’s report, which found that HS2 has made “limited progress” in re-establishing links with communities to share information, HS2 said that it had three new senior engagement managers in place, working in Greater London, the Thames Valley and Northamptonshire, and the West Midlands.

The new managers will engage with communities through methods such as door-knocking, telemarketing, community engagement events, partnerships with local authorities, faith organisations and schools and HS2 drop-in centres. They held seven property consultation events for the West Midlands to Crewe route in January.

They will also continue working with the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Department for Transport to ensure that the best decisions are made in their property compensation schemes.

David Higgins, HS2 Ltd chairman, said in the company’s response: “There is still much for HS2 Ltd to do to reach people affected by the project, specifically if they may be eligible to apply for property compensation schemes.

“While I believe that what we are doing is robust and will deliver this necessary step change, I will continue to ensure both the Land and Property and Community Engagement teams work very hard to make sure they are doing all they can in this critical area.”

The Woodland Trust recently accused HS2 of multiple errors in its assessment of its impact on 63 ancient woods.

Further engagement manager and engagement executive positions are open for application on HS2’s website until the end of February.

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