Search

Camden Council hires giant global PR firm in battle against HS2

PUBLISHED: 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 Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

The Alternative Clothes Show returned to Crouch End last Saturday, March 25, where students from City and Islington College joined local models to showcase a range of dazzling outfits crafted using recycled materials.

13:57

A former MOBO award winner took part in a five-hour drumming marathon at King Alfred School to raise money for Comic Relief on Red Nose Day.

Detectives from Camden have released CCTV footage of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a burglary at Holborn Mosque.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Parents are concerned their toddlers’ dirty nappies will be abandoned by Camden Council once they cut services, following chaos when they tried to register for a free weekly collection.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A British Transport Police officer was today fired for using “excessive and unnecessary force” on a member of public during an arrest at St Pancras station.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hampstead couple Haleh Babavand and her husband Ash Parsa spoke to the Ham and High about their experience of home schooling.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Runners preparing for the YMCA North London’s Crouch End 10km event on Sunday May 21 can now join weekly training sessions every Tuesday evening up until race week.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A team of Hampstead schoolgirls have beaten 8,000 rivals to reach the final of a competition to find the best code breakers of the future.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now