HS2: CLA Response to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman report

One can never just hope that organisations, such as HS2, will simply do the right thing – you need robust measures in place to ensure they do.

CLA Chief Surveyor Andrew Shirley
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A Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has published a report (Thursday 27 May 2021) on a complaint made against HS2.

Following this report, Andrew Shirley, Chief Surveyor for the CLA which represents 28,000 landowners, land managers and rural businesses across England and Wales, said:

“We have long since argued that HS2 Ltd needs to improve its communication and provide swift compensation to farmers whose land has been bought under compulsory purchase. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. While the scale of the infrastructure scheme often grabs the headlines, too little attention is paid to those whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by the scheme – the financial impact and prolonged emotional pressure of which is unimaginable.

“One can never just hope that organisations, such as HS2, will simply do the right thing – you need robust measures in place to ensure they do. That is why we petitioned the HS2 committees, requesting that an independent body be established to achieve a quick resolution to complaints made by those affected by the scheme.

“It is now essential that government establishes an independent body to deal with complaints and hold HS2 Ltd and its contractors to account as soon as problems become apparent - not years later after several levels of a tortuous complaints’ procedure have been exhausted.”

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman provides an independent and impartial complaint handling service for complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England and UK government departments. It looks into complaints where someone believes there has been injustice or hardship because an organisation has not acted properly or has given a poor service and not put things right. It shares findings to help Parliament scrutinise public service providers and to help drive improvements in public services and complaint handling.

You can read the PHSO report here

Key contact:

Andrew Shirley
Andrew Shirley Chief Surveyor