Stop HS2 members have been to the first two Environmental Statement consultation events, and they weren’t impressed.
Primrose Hill to Kilburn at the Swiss Cottage Community Centre
S said: Wednesday 22nd and the launch of the HS2 Environment Statement Road Shows, so off to the Community Centre in Swiss Cottage. We arrived at 6.45 to be greeted by a very svelte Miranda Carter at the head of a large number of staff including, as she was at pains to point out, several HS2 engineers. The message was clearly supposed to be ‘We know what we’re about’.
All round the sides of the hall were was whizzy IT – interactive maps and kiosks and a PowerPoint presentation on a loop. Unfortunately the maps seemed a bit flaky – eventually a helpful HS2 lady managed to get one of them to show a construction site but no sooner had she brought it up than it vanished, to be replaced by the home page. She remarked, a touch grimly, that they would be ‘seeing to that’.
The interactive kiosk was just the consultation documents on screen, with rather fiddly controls. Small wonder that most people were huddled over the large-scale paper maps in the middle of the room.
There were lots and lots of copies of the consultation documents and a presentation, the most interesting bits of which were the artist impressions that preceded it. And that was it.
Perhaps, as with the 2011 Consultation, they will jazz it up once the road show heads out of London.
South Ruislip to Ickenham, The Emerald Rooms, West End Road
K said: In terms of resource/set up I would say it is somewhere in between the rather shoddy compensation event and the big showy 2011 events (some of us had showy ones, I appreciate others didn’t).
Fewer people came than the 2011 consultation event, which was probably due to the lack of notice / communications and also an inconvenient venue quite far from people who are most affected and not near public transport.
There were around 25 staff who seemed to be mostly standing about. Seems a waste having so many staff to ask questions off when no one has had time to read the docs.
Maps weren’t great, just on tables. Fair amount of docs dotted around and displays. Also some maps and docs on computer terminals that didn’t seem to be work too well. Described by HS2 as “tricky” and they recommended we look at the tables.
The displays were so generic as to be useless.
Quite a few cross people attended over the day.
Warning to community forums members – we were all invited to a community forum briefing at 1pm – thinking this was to replace a recently cancelled forums and would contain forum updates. I couldn’t make it, but people may have been tempted to change their schedule to attend. Apparently the briefing involved the stakeholder manager pointing around the room and saying here are some maps, have a look.
They have changed our community forum boundary for their convenience without letting us know.
Miranda Carter was there as bold as brass despite having overseen 2 flawed consultations. We asked what has happened to our responses to the previous compensation consultation and she said they are being looked at but the new consultation won’t include them
Really nothing much to say for us it was a disappointing waste of time, money and resources for them, with nothing like the amount of info and detail that was available in 2011. If I had £1 for every time I’ve heard ” I’ll take that one back” or ”this is very much a work in progress and we don’t have that detail at this stage ” I could probably pay for HS2 myself.
I popped into Ickenham library before hand and very helpfully was able to get maps and information about, Southham/ Ladbroke, Balsall Common and Brackley!
HS2 Ltd went as far as to say they realised there had been some ‘mix up of areas’
And ‘it was regrettable that more notice hadn’t been given for the event.’
An absolute let down for residents – especially as most of them didn’t know about it and therefore couldn’t attend.
Outside there were loads and loads of local maps and documents piled up in boxes.