2021 Update

Dear Supporters,
The last year has proved to be one of the strangest and most difficult of times and unfortunately we are still in the midst of a global pandemic and national crisis. So we hope that you and your families are staying safe and well.
While our lives are put on hold and our economy is in dire straits, HS2 seems to be exempt, as main work construction steps up a pace with an endless pot of £billions of government spending available for the project.

Over the years we have aimed to keep you up to date with as much campaign news as possible. You will have noticed that these newsletters have become less frequent. Most of our time is now spent negotiating with HS2Ltd, fighting for mitigation to reduce the impact of local work and ensuring they and their contractors are working within the confines of the HS2 Hybrid Bill and the law. We will continue to work with Hillingdon Council to challenge and hold them and their contractors to account.
However we feel the time has come to reduce these newsletters further and in future we will only update you if there is a significant major change to the project.

LOCAL UPDATES & NEWS
There is now simply too much local HS2 activity taking place to be able to cover in newsletters as the construction timetable changes week on week and covers such a large area of Hillingdon.
We strongly advise you to check this HS2Ltd website dedicated to Hillingdon news. This is a website with  information provided by HS2Ltd so whilst it will keep you updated with local news, please be aware that it also comes with the usual project propaganda and PR spin.
On the top right hand side of the page you can sign up for email alerts to notify you of upcoming work, road closures etc. and what to expect in your area.
We will continue to support residents and anyone affected by HS2. Working with representatives from Ruislip,Ickenham, Harefield and surrounding areas, together we are the
Hillingdon HS2 Resident Support Group. 
We remain committed to representing you in our dealings with HS2Ltd, and in meetings with local MPs. We are also in regular contact with the HS2 Resident and Construction Commissioners, The Minister for HS2 as well as Directors and the CEO of HS2Ltd. We can voice your concerns, but it’s really important that you raise issues yourselves too.

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?
Over the years we have secured many changes and improvements to the way in which HS2 is to be built. Not only have we ensured that part of the route is tunnelled underground through Ruislip, we were able to influence an improve the compensation schemes in Harefield and Ickenham as well as putting pressure on HS2 to provide settlement deeds for properties above tunnels. We have helped improve the community engagement with HS2Ltd which still isn’t great, but we are now able to have direct contact with contractors to help influence better mitigation and reduce impact of the project locally. For instance getting plans for a concrete plant changed and the redesign of sections of the overground route which have resulted in a reduction of HGVs on our roads and less environmental impact. It has also included ensuring disruptive work is minimised where possible, like timing work during school holidays when traffic is lighter. We have ensured the reuse of felled timber, keeping pedestrian footpaths open and in usable condition, making sure HS2Ltd adhere to the code of construction practice and there are now enforcements in place to stop them using certain local roads for their HGVs, and sanctions in place if there is evidence of mud and debris on roads. HS2Ltd are also having to take responsibility for maintenance and repair of roads they have damaged. Most recently we helped halt work on Harvil Road that breached legal noise levels and have ensured the contractors are now using less invasive methods of sheet piling. We are in the process of securing more environmentally friendly working practices including dispensing with diesel generators to prevent air pollution. We continually put pressure on HS2Ltd to be more considerate of our environment and communities and whilst it is an uphill struggle, we will challenge them at every opportunity. We don’t win every battle but we do believe we are making a significant difference. It really helps us to help you if you can let us know any situations where you believe HS2 are not treating people fairly or following best practices and by making official complaints.

COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS
If you are unsure of any aspect of HS2 please send an enquiry to the HS2Ltd Help Desk.
Freephone 08081 434 434
Please also always register any concerns as formal complaints using the HS2 Helpdesk first and then escalate through the complaints procedure if you are not satisfied with the outcome. Very few complaints are officially recorded in Hillingdon compared to what we know is the reality. We understand there is little faith in the process but we can’t represent you and take the complaints to a higher level if they go unreported.
The process to follow is here
Or Freephone 08081 434 434
Please ensure you ask for your enquiry or complaint to be registered and ask for a reference number – so it is properly recorded.
Please copy us in – info@hillingdon-against-hs2.com
And for more effect please also copy your MP.
David Simmonds (Ruislip,Ickenham & Harefield)   david.simmonds.mp@parliament.uk
Boris Johnson (South Ruislip) boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk

Also if you believe HS2Ltd are guilty of any wildlife crime, please do report it here
https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-to-report-crimes/

UPCOMING HS2 WORK
There is simply too much to list here and whilst a lot of the construction work continues within the confines of the work sites that have already been taken over by HS2Ltd, there is so much more to come that will directly affect residents. From land take to road closures, traffic disruption, increased HGV traffic, to noise and light pollution.
HS2Ltd claim to be ‘a good neighbour everyday’ so if you have any evidence that this is not the case – please report it or freephone 08081 434 434

Please sign up to HS2Ltd’s email alerts for news about the full closure of Harvil Road, intermittent  closures of Breakspear Road South and New Years Green Lane. UKPN cable laying between Harrow and West Ruislip.Utility surveys and subsequent months of works and lane closures on Victoria Road and West End Road. Sheet piling, tunnel boring, vegetation clearance, and sadly much much more.

SETTLEMENT DEEDS 
After many years of delay HS2Ltd have finally started issuing Settlement Deeds for eligible properties. More information here. Any property that is within 30 meters of the planned tunnels may be affected. If you live or have property above the HS2 tunnels, you may be concerned about possible damage to your property during construction. Not all properties will qualify for ‘before and after surveys’ but if you have not already, you should make sure you apply for settlement deeds. The window for doing so is closing soon.
The eligibility criteria for a settlement deed is complicated but explained in this document. 
The proposed line has recently changed and more properties fall into this category now. Please check the maps here and if you believe you are eligible contact HS2Ltd  or freephone 08081 434 434

If you have applied for your deeds – or have already received them, you have 21 days to have the documents signed and return them. However this has been extended due to the Covid lockdown restrictions. HS2Ltd should have been in touch to inform you but their communication is notoriously lacking so again please do contact them if you have an issue or freephone 08081 434 434

LOCAL ENGAGEMENT 
HS2Ltd have a local ‘Community Engagement Team’ (CET) with whom we meet every month (now virtually) and we are in direct contact with them on a regular basis.They usually hold  ‘Drop Ins’ for Hillingdon residents at our local libraries but these have been suspended during the Covid lockdown. If you would like to speak to a member of the CET or an engagement manager for one of their contractors, please call the Helpdesk 
or freephone 08081 434 434
There are various upcoming webinars and virtual drop in sessions planned that you can join in so please keep checking their website for more details.

COMMUNITY FUNDING
There are very few benefits to HS2 in Hillingdon – if any at all.. however there is a national scheme running to help offset the impact that HS2 has on communities. So if you are associated with a community group or business – no matter how big or small, you can apply for a share of these funds. Hillingdon has the lowest uptake for these funds nationally, so it would be good to see more applicants coming forward. Find out more about how to apply here
HS2Ltd’s contractors are also obliged to contribute back to the community and can offer various help with local groups ( schools, scout groups, sports clubs etc) such as providing resources and labour for small community based projects. If you’re interested in finding out more, please email us 

WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO 
Please stay engaged with HS2 issues and help us to highlight all the negative impacts to the powers that be. The best way to do this is to keep up with the latest HS2 news on social media.
Follow the HS2 # on Twitter
Our Facebook page is updated daily 
Information can also be found on our website 

If you feel strongly about what’s happening with HS2 locally – perhaps you think the NHS is more worthy of funding than HS2 – especially during the Covid crisis, or perhaps you have concerns about current construction work, please do write to your MP.
David Simmonds ( Ruislip,Ickenham, Harefield) david.simmonds.mp@parliament.uk
Boris Johnson ( South Ruislip,Uxbridge) boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk

There are always petitions to sign – this one is particularly important and set up by environmentalist Chris Packham and should trigger a parliamentary debate.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300170

MOVING FORWARD
We hope you will continue to engage with us. We have a strong community in Hillingdon and never more so than during difficult times. Even from a distance, we can still come together and support each other and our voice will be much louder collectively.

We continue to work with the national Stop HS2 group to lobby government and highlight the negative aspects of the project as much as we can.

We also continue to work alongside Hillingdon Council who have always opposed HS2 and together we are challenging HS2Ltd at every opportunity.

Once again we’d like to thank you for your ongoing interest and support and we hope to engage with you more on-line and via our social media.
Or write to us at
info@hillingdon-against-hs2.com

Kind regards
Hillingdon HS2 Residents Support Group