Thursday, 20 April 2017

HS2 gets a roasting at TSC

A feisty session of the Transport Select Committee yesterday.

The committee quizzed Grayling and Higgins on the latest developments at HS2, and in particular about CH2M's decision to withdraw from a major contract.

Key take-away was from TSC Chair Louise Ellman, as captured by CityAM:

Chair of the committee Louise Ellman expressed her incredulity that the onus to flag any issues lay with the bidders as opposed to the government or HS2, “the procurer of this major, major contract with very large amounts of public money” behind it.

“Is that right? Who is responsible for identifying conflicts of interest, apart from whistleblowers or the media? Who within the company?” she asked

You can watch the fun and games, here.

Eye is sure that all this committee-room unpleasantness could have been avoided, if only Higgins had used the surreal ice-breaker deployed by his Commercial Director, Beth West, at a rolling stock event for the supply chain held on the 27th March.

Beth started off proceedings by telling astonished attendees that:

"Under your seats you will find a supply of sticky backed plastic, cardboard tubes from toilet rolls and yoghurt pots and in the next 15 minutes I'd like you all to build a prototype of the high speed train you would like to build for us."

Value for money engineering indeed.

Supply Chain to fill Election gaps?

Guido suggesting that the Conservatives may be shy sufficient candidates for the General Election.

Ever keen to assist, Eye wonders whether our very own Supply Chain might help fill the void?

But who should we send?

It needs someone with experience, someone who has fought a by-election and has form for high octane politics...

Step forward Darren Caplan, CEO of the Railway Industry Association!

Darren, a former Central Office staffer, stood for the blues in the 2010 General Election against motorcycling fan Diane Abbott.

Alas the good voters of Hackney North and Stoke Newington placed him third, but from small acorns...