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Denham NAG Chairman Carl Shillito: Twitter campaign over my High Speed 2 stance forced me to quit
A TWITTER campaign against a neighbourhood action group chairman who supports High Speed 2 has forced him to quit.
Carl Shillito, from Denham NAG, has openly supported the £33bn rail scheme, going against the majority of Buckinghamshire residents.
He has heavily criticised Buckinghamshire County Council for spending taxpayers' cash fighting the scheme.
Mr Shillito has now stepped down from his position, saying he felt he had no choice after the comments on Twitter.
Anti-HS2 campaigners used the social media site to say he was not fit to run the group, with some implying he would benefit financially from the rail project – a claim he strenuously denies.
Mr Shillito, General Manager of Macrail Systems Ltd, said: “Apart from any embarrassment caused to the NAG what most upset me was the inference that I was set to benefit financially from HS2.”
In fact his firm would benefit more from the alternative proposal to HS2 which campaigners have put forward, he said.
Mr Shillito stressed his company has not been involved in any way in the consultancy process and its business is geared towards existing lines rather than new build projects.
He said: “In any case, by the time track and signalling is being installed - the early 2020s - if all goes according to plan I will have retired.”
He supports HS2 despite the fact the line would run about half a mile from his house in Tilehouse Way, Denham.
The campaign against him was not lodged by Denham NAG, but by anti-HS2 protesters, he said.
Mr Shillito believes some articles he wrote about HS2 as NAG chairman in a free village magazine prompted the outcry, though he insisted they were balanced, if not overtly anti-HS2.
In the light of the Twitter campaign, he said: “I felt I had no option but to stand down in order to protect the NAG.”
Mr Shillito reflected on his 18 months as chairman with pleasure having overseen the graffiti riddled Denham Station underpass refurbished with a mural.
The NAG raised cash for the project, which was completed by primary school children last year.