From 51M, the alliance of local authorities fighting HS2. From more on the responses to the 2011 consultation, which Dialogue by Design and the Department for Transport lost, see Some of the missing HS2 consultation responses, HS2 Ltd admit to ignoring consultation responses from those opposed to HS2. and Department for Transport admit to ignoring another set of HS2 consultation responses.
Dialogue by Design (DbyD), the company being used by HS2 Limited to collate and analyse the responses to the Environmental Statement consultation, announced yesterday that they will only accept files of up to 20mb.
Martin Tett, Chairman of the 51m, the alliance of local authorities fighting HS2, said:
“Unbelievable! This is the very same company that ‘lost’ hundreds of responses in the 2011 HS2 consultation. DbyD hardly inspire confidence due to their past incompetence. The content of the Environmental Statement is far from perfect so the best way that many people have of presenting their concerns is through images, maps and photographs. As a result, many of the responses being sent into this consultation will far exceed 20mb, especially those from local authorities.”
When challenged by officers at the London Borough of Hillingdon about the unfairness of this, the response from the HS2 petition office was:
“.. unfortunately Dialogue by Design (DbyD) are unable to lift the limit on the mailbox. The alternatives are to post a hard copy or you could also put everything on a disk and send it by post or courier. Another option is to break up the response into two emails (maybe by putting all maps, photos in one email and the written response in another) highlighting that both emails make up the response. Emails confirming receipt of your ES response will then be sent out.”
Martin Tett added: “Our past experience of DbyD was of them losing vital consultation response emails, so this is just not good enough. We insist that they raise this mailbox limit to give everyone a fair chance of submitting what they need to. Why should individuals and any other respondents incur costs through printing out hard copies, getting couriers or posting via recorded delivery? Submitting hard copies is ridiculous in this electronic age. With the amount of money that has already been squandered on this pointless project, surely increasing a mailbox isn’t too much to ask?”
NB The Environmental Statement consultation finishes on Thursday, 27th February.