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Fresh calls for HS2 report to be made public
A COUNCIL boss has renewed calls for a key report on HS2 to be made public, amid claims the Prime Minister could halt its publication.
Chiltern District Council Leader Nick Rose said failing to make the findings of the Major Projects Authority public was 'morally corrupt' and a 'stifling of democracy' at the authority's meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday.
He referred to a recent article in the Sunday Telegraph, which claimed David Cameron may use his power of veto to deny publication of the report despite requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
The article referred to the report as having been 'supressed', saying it raised huge concerns about the project.
Cllr Rose said during the meeting: "This clearly contains information which is uncomfortable at best or potentially damaging to the HS2 initiative. There have been a number of attempts to obtain the information through FOI requests which have been unsuccessful.
"There is the possibility of a veto by Cameron himself to suppress and stifle this information, which should be released for the public good.
"[The council's] Cabinet has asked me to write to Francis Maude, who's cabinet member responsible for this with regard the release of information from the MPA report. This was being withheld against the public interest.
"We'd like to express our continued disbelief at the stifling of democracy in this way. We believe it to be morally corrupt - there's clearly information in this report that should be in the public domain."
Cllr Rose also revealed he met with HS2 director general David Prout and ministerial under secretary of state for transport Robert Goodwill on November 27 to raise concerns about the controversial project.
He was critical of the timescale provided for consultation on the scheme's environmental statement, with members of the public being given 56 days to read and respond to a 50,000 page report.
Cllr Rose said: "Technically it's 56 days but with reductions with weekends and Christmas it's 35, which we feel is grossly inadequate and I said as much."
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