Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 5180 - 5199)

  5180. BARONESS FOOKES: It is not self-evident to your average person.

  5181. MR MOULD: I appreciate that.

  5182. BARONESS FOOKES: I think it needs to be user-friendly—as one might refer to instructions for machines that one does not understand.

  5183. MR MOULD: I entirely accept that. These Information Papers have been the subject of continuing review. Perhaps if we are to review them again the one thing we might do is to have a little note in the paragraph to a footnote saying, "Where we say `Secretary of State' in practice that means the Department of Transport." Under the community relations arrangements there will be information documents available which will list telephone numbers, points of contact and so on. We have a pretty good template from the Community Relations Strategy which operated throughout the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Unless I am told otherwise, the general feeling, not only from the nominated undertakers but also from the general public is that that Community Relations Strategy worked pretty well. It provides a very good learning curve which can then be deployed, based on that experience, in order to inform practical and user-friendly community relations arrangements when we start to set up in earnest for the construction of Crossrail.

  5184. BARONESS FOOKES: Although this Select Committee will no doubt long since have disappeared, I, for one, as an individual Member of the House of Lords, would be interested to have that information sent to me.

  5185. MR MOULD: Could I just clarify that.

  5186. BARONESS FOOKES: These are the guidance notes which I gather are going to be sent to people who are concerned.

  5187. MR MOULD: Yes. Do you mean that you would like them sent to you or if you were in the position of—

  5188. BARONESS FOOKES: I mean to me, so that I can see if they are user-friendly or not.

  5189. MR MOULD: I shall find out how far advanced we are in the preparation of these documents.

  5190. BARONESS FOOKES: I am not suggesting now but when they are ready.

  5191. MR MOULD: I understand. We are a little way off when you might expect to receive them, in the sense that we are at the framework stage. However, I will make a note that when we start to publish this material, one of the people who would like to see it is yourself, Lady Fookes, and we will make sure that you do so.

  5192. BARONESS FOOKES: I would. I spent many years as an MP representing part of an area, at least, that was not dissimilar to this. I know how difficult, for want of a better word, ordinary people can find it when they are confronted with a lot of official information.

  5193. MR MOULD: Yes. Sometimes one feels, and I have experienced it recently, having received publicity information from London Underground in relation to some works that are going to be taking place locally to me at Ravenscourt Park underground station, is that I think I have received five copies now of exactly the same letter, so I feel that perhaps it has gone the other way in that respect, but I very much take your Ladyship's point that the important thing is not least to provide enough information, and that is obviously what we will be seeking to do.

  5194. BARONESS FOOKES: But it is the format in a way that people can actually understand.

  5195. MR MOULD: Of course.

  5196. BARONESS FOOKES: We do not want the equivalent of instructions for some computer or other thing translated from the Japanese, if you follow me.

  5197. MR MOULD: Yes, and there are two points in relation to that. One is that the format should be such as to be capable of being understood by all sections of the community, which we very much have in mind, and the other is that I sympathise, if I may say so, very strongly with your Ladyship's point that not everybody has ready access to the internet, and so it should be accessible to people who do not necessarily fall into that burgeoning sub-class of society. I think you can rest assured, if I may say so, that those points are very much within the minds of those who are, as we speak, taking forward the community relations strategy and they will no doubt take careful account of what has been said this afternoon just to add to the vigour with which they approach these matters and user-friendly information is something that I know is very much at the forefront of their thinking.

  5198. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Mould. Now, Ms Jordan, did you have a copy of—

  5199. MS JORDAN: User-friendly information at the moment would be very useful because I am confused and maybe I can get clarity here. I am confused as to whether this applies to all buildings or whether it is just listed buildings.

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