Bruntwood Chief Executive Chris Oglesby 2019
Bruntwood chief executive Chris Oglesby

Oglesby and Bernstein join HS2 review

Howard Bernstein and Bruntwood’s Chris Oglesby will take part in a review into HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail set up by think tank the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

The review has been set up in response to the Government-commissioned Oakervee review of the £52bn high-speed rail line, announced earlier this month.

Along with former Manchester City Council chief executive Bernstein and Bruntwood chief executive Oglesby, the review panel also includes Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council; Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake; and Paula Dillon, former partner and board member at law firm Womble Bond Dickinson.

According to the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, the review will “scrutinise the case for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and examine how we can create economic growth to make the North as prosperous as the South by promoting investment opportunities and bringing forward skilled job opportunities.”

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership was set up by former Chancellor George Osborne, and is pro-HS2. The high-speed rail line has reported to be significantly over budget and the BBC reported this morning that the Government has had knowledge of major increases in the cost of the line since 2016.

Rumours of the review had been swirling ever since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July, and the Government confirmed last week Douglas Oakervee will pen a review into the future of the project, set to provide high-speed rail services between London, Birmingham, Crewe, Manchester, and Leeds.

The review will look into the benefits and impacts of HS2; its affordability and efficiency; its deliverability; and its scope and phasing, particularly in relationship to Northern Powerhouse Rail.

For the North West, several huge projects hinge on the delivery of the railway line, particularly in Crewe and Manchester.

These include a large-scale redevelopment of an area around Crewe railway station to provide up to 3.8m sq ft of commercial space; a new railway station at Manchester Airport; and close to 2.9m sq ft of offices, 5,000 apartments, and 261,000 sq ft of retail around a revamped Manchester Piccadilly station.

Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership said: “The Northern Powerhouse is of critical importance to the future of UK prosperity, and without improving connectivity it will be difficult to address the underlying reasons for our lower productivity.

“In the coming weeks, this group of distinguished leaders and experts from across the North will be addressing the key evidence to ensure that the importance of economic rebalancing is fully understood by those undertaking the Oakervee review.”

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Oglesby & Bernstein. Is that a firm of US lawyers?

By A McBeal

No representative from the LCR region? What’s going on here are we involved in the NP or not?
The capacity on the WCL is very important for the POL and if the UK lands the” biggest trade deal in the history of mankind” according to Trump, Liverpool is the main port of entry and export for the US. So how will the already choked line cope?

By Liverpolitis

I don’t see the point in this. It is a think tank doing PR. George Osborne’s think tank.

Transport for the North should be arguing the case as they truly represent the North. It should also be represented by all regions within the North. So – no mention by NPP of Liverpool, Sheffield etc.

In fact NPP is often very sneaky. For example, rather then the person who has responsibility for transport in the Liverpool City Region, Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham, they frequently invite Joe Anderson (Mayor of Liverpool) in order to give the impression Liverpool is represented.

By Chris

Do these people ever stop talking and actually start doing? Why do we need a Think Tank to know that a quarter of the population of Britain are being treated like second class citizens by their own parliament. We know that. Any of us using the third rate rubbish services around here have known that for decades. Less jaw jaw and more digging please.

By Elephant

Totally agree with comments so far. Why are we bothering wasting time & energy on HS2 and NPP? We all know HS2 is dead in the water (and I’m feeling no joy at having predicted this immediately post-EU Ref) and NPP was Osborne’s shoddy PR attempt to placate the North. TfN should be leading all case-making + delivery – let’s focus any resourcing currently allocated to HS2 & NPP on them.

By MancLad

if ever there were two people with vested interests it must be these two.

By sage

Hopefully the government’s own review will deduce the real reason for lower productivity isn’t a lack of property price inflating mega-projects, but instead the deliberate waste of economic potential on our own doorsteps sacrificed for megalomaniac power games.

Throw in the fact that it’s one distinct set of people who always seem to be the ones to come away with nothing, when they ought to be at the top of the economic table, and it all starts to look like a very grubby exercise indeed.

I hope Steve’s office will be submitting it’s own evidence, and not co-signing anything to do with this “NPP”.

By Mike

Prediction: I reckon HS2 will be completed before St Michaels.

By Derek

It’ll be finished before any new Manchester schemes now that the communists are in the council

By Dan

Classic vested interests who will sit round have tea & biscuits for a polite period before concluding this massive expensive piece of kit to ease commuting to London is “great” for the North. The embarrassment is they assume we cannot see this or (more likely) don’t care.

And people wonder where the anger & cynicism towards how our country is run emanates from…

By A Developer

The problem with all this is that we are conditioned to thinking about economic growth and blind to the fact that we lose so much woodland, fauna, flora and wildlife in search of spreadsheet economics. the reality to most of these large developments is the irreversible damage to out countryside and natural heritage – we have to develop kpi’s similar to those sought by new Zealand.

By Alan

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