An announcement from HS2 Ltd that it is recruiting ‘dedicated community engagement specialists’ to consult with people living along the route was met with sarcastic laughter by Kenilworth Town Council (KTC) members.
According to HS2 Ltd, the role of the new specialists will be to ‘ensure that HS2 is both talking and listening to all those who are affected by the project in their area’.
They’re about five years too late.Cllr George Illingworth
When this was announced by Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) at the last KTC meeting on Thursday February 11, his fellow councillors scoffed.
Cllr Illingworth said: “They’re about five years too late.”
Cllr Dave Shilton (Con, Park Hill), was very critical of HS2’s attitude towards Kenilworth, describing its management as “an absolute disgrace”.
He added: “I’m still very concerned on the impact construction traffic will have on our shops and our town.
“We haven’t been given a proper answer yet on how much damage it will be doing to our traders.”
In a previous statement, HS2 Ltd senior area engagement manager Jonathan Lord said: “As HS2 moves towards construction we recognise it will have a significant impact on the lives of residents and businesses who live and work along the line of route.
“We are looking to build a strong team of experienced community engagement specialists to put the concerns of people at the heart of what we do and to give us a thorough understanding of local issues.
“We need to continue to listen to and act on concerns about HS2 and having the right people on the ground is critical.”