Lidington: It beggars belief that HS2 Ltd were up for award

David Lidington
David Lidington

Aylesbury MP David Lidington says it ‘beggars belief’ that HS2 Ltd were nominated for a community engagement award.

Although the government agency did not ultimately win the award, Mr Lidington said the fact they were nominated at all by publishers Rail Media was ‘shocking in light of their attitude toward community engagement’.

The Europe Minister said: “While I was relieved to see that HS2 Ltd did not, in the end, receive an award, I was amazed that they were ever considered.

“In my experience, HS2 Ltd has been generally sluggish in its response to reasonable queries from MPs and members of the public and grudging in providing answers to detailed, well informed questions. A lot of my constituents feel angry and frustrated that it takes such an effort to get detailed replies to even very obvious questions.

“The nadir was reached in the autumn of 2013 when HS2 Ltd wrote to more than two hundred residents of Aylesbury with inaccurate information about proposed construction works. Their mistakes meant that many families were frightened that their homes were about to be compulsorily purchased. This was not in fact the case but HS2 Ltd has steadfastly refused to write to those people formally to apologise.

“I accept that Rail Media is not an official body but a group of organisations related to the rail industry. In a free country it is up to them to decide who should be nominated for their awards. But the decision to nominate HS2 for this particular award frankly beggars belief.”