Residents’ charter and HS2 Independent Commissioners
Residents’ charter and the roles of our Independent Commissioners
We are committed to being a good neighbour by treating the affected communities with respect and consideration, and by focusing on minimising and mitigating our impacts, whilst maximising the benefits both locally and nationally across the UK.
Two independent commissioners have been appointed to hold HS2 and our supply chain accountable during the planning and delivery of the railway. They are the Residents’ Commissioner and the Construction Commissioner.
The Residents Charter sets out our ten commitments to you and explains the roles of the Commissioners in ensuring we are held to account on the commitments we make. We will keep checking on our progress and looking for ways to improve how we do our business.
Our commitments to you
- Continue to build respectful, long-term relationships with communities and actively encourage our workforce to listen to local concerns and be considerate and accountable for their actions at all times.
- Work with the communities to develop local two-way engagement and communication programmes, ensuring they are accessible and tailored to local needs.
- Make sure communities are made aware in advance of any activities taking place in their area.
- Operate a freephone community helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Make health and safety a priority for the communities and our workforce.
- Respect the wellbeing of the communities, minimising disruption to their lives with local mitigation plans and activities, ensuring we meet the standards set out in the Code of Construction Practice.
- Leave a positive and sustainable legacy for the communities in which we operate.
- Respond to questions and complaints quickly and efficiently, with an acknowledgement within 2 working days, and responding within a maximum of 20 working days if we cannot answer the query straight away.
- Promote awareness of all our property schemes so that anyone who may be eligible has all the information they need and is aware of the support available to them.
- Display the residents’ commissioner’s and construction commissioner’s contact details on all relevant materials along with HS2 Helpline information and complaints procedure.
The Residents Commissioner
The residents’ commissioner is independent and holds HS2 Ltd accountable to the commitments made in this charter. The residents’ commissioner oversees and monitors our commitments to you and produces a periodic report.
In addition, the residents’ commissioner meets regularly with the HS2 Ltd chairman about emerging trends and concerns. The residents’ commissioner does not investigate individual cases, act as an arbitrator for individual resident concerns, or deal with complaints. You can contact the residents’ commissioner by emailing [email protected]
The Independent Construction Commissioner
The independent construction commissioner’s role is to mediate and monitor the way in which HS2 Ltd manages and responds to construction complaints. Sir Mark Worthington was appointed to the role from 1st October 2018. The construction commissioner will mediate any unresolved construction related disputes between HS2 Ltd and individuals or bodies, and provides advice to members of the public about how to make a complaint about construction.
The construction commissioner regularly meets with HS2 Ltd’s chief executive officer to raise any concerns or emerging trends across the project.
Find out more about the construction commissioner and the role.
The HS2 Construction Commissioner provides a fair and balanced approach if a case cannot be resolved through the normal HS2 complaints process and in cases where a response to a complaint is unsatisfactory, or remains outstanding. They also report on activities and act as an arbitrator for the Small claims scheme.
As part of the creation of the Independent Construction Commissioner, the Construction Commissioner Steering Group (CCSG) was set up to monitor their performance throughout the construction period. The Group has also been tasked with providing independent oversight and advice to government ministers at the Department for Transport (DfT).
The Steering Group is supported by HS2 and includes representatives from local authorities and local communities along the line of route in Phase 1 and Phase 2a. Representatives from HS2 Ltd and DfT also sit on the Group, although it is independent of HS2 and DfT. It meets three to four times a year, in either Birmingham or London.