The structure of the engagement forums set out by HS2 Ltd has meetings at national, regional and local levels.
The community forums are beginning to hold their second meetings – details are on the HS2 Ltd website. However these are covering issues at quite a local level – there are seven different ones for Buckinghamshire, and even the Chilterns AONB is spilt across two forums.
The regional forums will be meetings between HS2 Ltd staff and county level highway and planning officers.
The national ‘environmental’ forums will have attendees who are “national representatives of environmental consultees and government departments”.
One problem with the structure is that it includes no engagement mechanism for the leaders of County Councils to be involved with discussions with HS2 or the Department for Transport.
In contrast HS1 had leaders of affected county councils meeting transport minister at regular intervals. This is what should be happening with HS2 – and it is not.