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Solihull Council's HS2 working party criticised

A working party set up by Solihull Council to reduce the impact of high-speed rail on the borough has been labelled ‘inefficient’ and ‘time consuming’

A working party set up by Solihull Council to reduce the impact of high-speed rail on the borough has been labelled ‘inefficient’ and ‘time consuming.’

The council’s HS2 working party held its second meeting last Wednesday, which was attended by Andrew Skidmore, area manager for HS2 Ltd West Midlands.

Malcolm Hickin, secretary of the Solihull HS Rail Consultative Committee (SHCC), a committee set up by residents who will be affected by the new rail scheme, spoke at the meeting.

He said: “We want the working party to succeed but we need to have that dialogue and communication with you.

“There is an opportunity for the working party to involve the way Solihull deals with issues and concerns about HS2.”

Mr Hickin said he was concerned about a lack of dialogue with residents and businesses.

“There has been a lot of discussion but the working party still don’t seem to know the answers - the process seems inefficient and time consuming.

“There also seems to be insufficient information available for residents and businesses.”

Chairman of the committee, Councillor Ian Courts (Con, Dorridge and Hockley Heath), said in response: “There has been serious criticism of our processes but this is a members working party.

“We are obviously keen to engage people in any way we can and I am open to suggestions from members.”

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman, who was also in attendance, suggested an online forum where members of the public could leave comments and ask questions.

l For more from the meeting turn to Page 12.

 

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