Search

Camden Council hires giant global PR firm in battle against HS2

11:00 13 March 2014

The new team will join Camden Council in helping represent their views on HS2. Picture: Dieter Perry

The new team will join Camden Council in helping represent their views on HS2. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

Camden Council has upped the ante in its campaign against the government’s High Speed 2 rail link after forking out £250,000 to hire a team of legal, PR and rail experts.

A panel of leading lawyers, lobbyists and engineers will join council officers to help the borough avoid what the council claims will be a “decade of blight” should the £50billion transport link go ahead as planned.

The proposals would see the borough transformed into a densely populated building site, with thousands of construction workers, hundreds of HGVs and a fleet of cranes making it their new home for the next 10 years.

Among those being drafted in by the council are leading QC Neil Cameron, an expert in planning and compulsory purchases, parliamentary agents Sharpe Pritchard, who advised Westminster Council and Canary Wharf Group on Crossrail, and leading public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.

At a time when the council is already under pressure to make significant savings to its budget, council leader Cllr Sarah Hayward said she “bitterly resented” council taxpayers having to foot the bill.

“All the parties elected to Camden Council have unanimously opposed the current plans, and now we’re stepping up our campaign into a new gear ahead of the second reading debate, anticipated as soon as next month,” she said. “The parliamentary process is arcane and massively complicated, which means we have to use external expert parliamentary agents, a top barrister and now Burson-Marsteller to boost our efforts.

“As we’re going to have to show that our alternative solutions, which are better for Camden people, also stack up in engineering terms, we also have to employ top engineering firms.

“The biggest threat warrants the best possible response, although of course I bitterly resent seeing taxpayers’ money spent on this, instead of front line services.”

The second reading of the HS2 Hybrid Bill in the Commons is estimated to be on April 28 at the earliest. Should the bill pass, this will be followed by a select committee process in which the council’s “petition” is likely to involve the council formally giving evidence to a committee of MPs for several days.

Next month, HS2 Ltd will bring in its own new employees, including Tony Blair’s former spokesman Tom Kelly as communications director.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:36
Ambulance

A man has been arrested on suspicion of drunk and dangerous driving and failing to stop after a 25-year-old was hit by a car outside Camden Road station on Sunday morning.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
International cosmetic surgery expert Cindy Jackson and Ian Carmichael, the Queen’s personal hair stylist, will both be speaking at the event at Lauderdale House

Highgate resident and international cosmetic surgery expert Cindy Jackson is helping Lauderdale House raise funds for a building project to transform its future.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Naushad Faruk. Picture: Central News.

A glamour model from Camden sobbed as she described how a cameraman persuaded her to engage in a sex act with him by threatening to take away the Chihuahua puppy he had given her as a gift.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Jihadi John

The secondary school that ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi John’ attended in St John’s Wood has said it is ‘shocked and sickened by the news’.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

And while we’re at it, why don’t we sell all the Queen’s homes and move her and Phil into a two-bed in Grimsby?

Technology experts have been giving their verdict on the first big smartphone offerings of 2015.

The Korean smartphone giants made the announcement at their Unpacked event ahead of Mobile World Congress.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder