HS2 Chairman's Stocktake report: the unredacted version

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Department for Transport should normally have responded promptly and by (details)

FOI Department
Department for Transport

Dear Sir or Madam,

I note that in a written statement to parliament set out here,
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/h...
Mr Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, confirmed yesterday that the costs of the HS2 project are expected to be £88 billion rather than the already massive £55 billion that had been repeatedly claimed previously. He also claimed that each phase of the project is to be delayed by between five and seven years.

In a BBC interview about it shown at this link,
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-4...
Mr Shapps states “With all the rumours and stories that swirl around, there’s no future in being secretive about it. You just need it all out there on the table which is why I have put this report by Allan Cooke the chairman, in the house of commons library today. Everyone can see what’s going on and come to their own decisions and ask Doug Oakavee to carry out this review and he will tell us whether the costs match the benefits or not.”

Given this spirit of openness so lucidly set out by Mr Shapps, I was somewhat surprised to find that the HS2 report to which he refers has been heavily redacted. As such, information that is essential for a proper understanding cannot be seen.

The redacted HS2 report is linked off his statement at this link
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations, please urgently provide the full unredacted version of the HS2 Chairman’s “Stocktake report” as the new Secretary of State so clearly intended should have been published.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Paul Thornton

Department for Transport

Dear Dr Thornton,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0017768.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock
Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Governance Division
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

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highspeedrail, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Thornton

 

Please find attached our response to your enquiry of 4 September.

 

Please use the reference number F0017768 in any future correspondence.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Correspondence and Briefing

High Speed and Major Rail Projects Group

 

 

Correspondence and Briefing| High Speed and Major Rail Projects Group |
Department for Transport
Zone 3/11-15 | Great Minster House | 33 Horseferry Road | London SW1P 4DR

 

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Dear Department for Transport,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Transport's handling of my FOI request 'HS2 Chairman's Stocktake report: the unredacted version'.

The requested information in this case falls under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regula-tions specifically Regulation 2(c) and 2(e).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...

The department does seem to be consistently struggling to assimilate that reality. To assist, I draw your attention to the UNECE publication at this link below that clarifies the obligations under the Arrhuss convention to which the UK is a direct signatory in addition to the implementation of the EU directive that the EIRs represent.

https://www.unece.org/env/pp/implementat...

Clearly an internal review of your decision to withhold the requested information is required under the correct legislative framework and I request it now.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

Yours faithfully,

Dr Paul Thornton

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

Dear Dr Thornton,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review of FOI response F0017768. We aim to respond on or before the 5th November 2019.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock
FOI Advice Team, Governance Division, Group Assurance and Digital Directorate

Department for Transport
D/04, Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North,
St Leonards on Sea, TN37 7GA

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