Jon Trickett

Hemsworth Labour

HS2 Update

I recently wrote once again to the Minister to complain about the company which is dealing with HS2.

My letter was prompted by local residents who told me that HS2 are writing to property owners, who live near the proposed track. They were being asked to give access to their properties to allow engineers to carry out surveys and tests on their land.

It’s clear from the people I have spoken to that many feel very worried about the request, are unsure how to respond, and are frustrated that they were not given any prior notice or full explanation.

I am not surprised that people are worried by these mysterious surveys.

HS2 have continually promised to improve the way they deal with the local communities but once again the first we heard of their intentions was when letters to residents started to arrive through their letter boxes.

Now it has become clear in the Times newspaper that HS2 have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of public money on no less than seventeen public relations companies to promote the benefits of the project.

This involves a staggering £280,000 spent on delivering educational courses in primary schools along the route!

Some people have told me that this amounts to an attempt to "brainwash" young children.

Rather than spending this extravagant amount of money on PR defending a route which is incredibly unpopular in our area, HS2 should be using it to ensure local people are properly consulted and informed on any key developments. A proper information day which had been promised in Crofton would be a good place to start.

But the proper answer would be to abandon the route as it is presently proposed and which is so damaging to local communities.

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