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Camden does not stand shoulder to shoulder with residents on HS2

21 March, 2019

• IT is not true that Camden’s cabinet are “standing shoulder to shoulder with residents on HS2”, (Letters, March 14).

The key HS2 assurance to Camden in the House of Commons in 2015 gave Camden a seat on the Department for Transport’s Euston Strategic Station Regeneration Board in return explicitly for Camden dropping their opposition to HS2’s proposals.

Residents’ groups on the other hand are united in their opposition… particularly as a response to the escalating enabling work which is wrecking people’s lives.

And this assurance has had many consequences which have undermined residents’ organisations (whose umbrella group is called CHARGE). Here are two examples…

1. Camden’s failure, obfuscation, and delay re communication of Euston Strategic Board (and Strategic Management Board) transactions. Also failure to invite a residents’ rep to attend board meetings, when almost a year ago the board approved such a future invitation. This has kept residents in the dark.

2. Camden’s recent recruiting (on behalf of ESB) of a new paid “Residents Assembly” by outsourcing their “residents engagement” via a consultant for an undisclosed sum… effectively sidelining the existing residents’ organisations.

And this has happened without consultation with CHARGE despite CHARGE being the named umbrella group for Camden residents’ organisations in the comprehensive engagement plan document for Camden regarding the HS2 related development… and despite Councillor Danny Beale’s year-old assurance to CHARGE that he would facilitate Camden’s engagement with CHARGE (particularly regarding involvement in the ESB).

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