We have now received a response to our Freedom of Information request to Transport for London regarding Crossrail 2, asking about what dealings Streatham MP Chuka Umunna has had with TfL.
Things to note:
- It contains the astonishing revelation that "At the time of your request there had been no meetings between TfL and Chuka Umunna MP".
- It states: "Crossrail Ltd have not met Chuka Umunna in his capacity as the local MP for Streatham, nor to discuss route and station proposals for Crossrail 2."
- It suggests the MP has not engaged at all with TfL over bringing Crossrail 2 to Streatham, until after the decision was made over the route,
- The only correspondence seems to have come after we invited Mr Umunna to a public meeting at the beginning of June 2014. At the public meeting it was made clear that all the decisions had been made, there had been no lobbying on the issue, and Streatham would not be getting Crossrail 2.
Why is this relevant?
- The Streatham MP has been accusing Transport for London of overlooking Streatham over Crossrail 2, when it appears he has in fact done next to nothing as the MP for Streatham to try and get Crossrail 2 to Streatham.
- Mr Umunna was elected on a pledge to work for improved transport links for Streatham, with a petition which noted: "The planned Crossrail 2 scheme, running from Chelsea to Hackney, would considerably relieve congestion on the Victoria line, creating the potential for an extension southwards to Streatham from Brixton."
- It would appear that Streatham is not getting Crossrail 2 due in no small part to a failure by the MP to ask for it.
The full text of the Freedom of Information request is below...
TfL Ref: FOI-0463-1415
Thank you for your clarification email which we received on 26 June 2014 asking for information about meetings between TfL and Chuka Umunna about Crossrail.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require. You asked:
"Please can you let me have details of any questions or meetings between TfL and Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham (e.g. the questions he has submitted, how many meetings he has had, what they were about & what was agreed)?"
At the time of your request there had been no meetings between TfL and Chuka Umunna MP.
The following correspondence, regarding the Crossrail 2 scheme, has been sent and received:
Letter sent by TfL Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, in response to e-mail received on 10 June 2014
19 June 2014
E-mail received by TfL Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, regarding Crossrail 2 serving Streatham and transport links to Streatham
10 June 2014
Stakeholder information e-mail regarding current Crossrail 2 consultation sent to a range of stakeholders, including MPs, by Michele Dix, Managing Director for TfL Planning.
09 June 2014
Stakeholder information e-mail regarding Crossrail 2 sent to a range of stakeholders, including MPs, by Michele Dix, Managing Director for TfL Planning and Paul Plummer of Network Rail.
14 May 2013
We also provided information to the Department for Transport (DfT) to assist them in responding to a letter they had received from Chuka Umunna MP in April 2014. As this correspondence was not between Mr Umunna and ourselves you should contact the DfT for further details.
Further information on Crossrail 2 can be found at http://crossrail2.co.uk/
In addition, please see below for a description of the information we hold in relation to Mr Umunna’s meetings with Crossrail Ltd (CRL).
Crossrail Ltd have had three meetings with Chuka Umunna since 2012.
· On 24 November 2012, Chuka Umunna met with CRL CEO Andrew Wolstenholme. While there are no meeting notes, a follow up letter confirmed they discussed the Rolling Stock procurement, employment issues including direct employment, blacklisting allegations, compliance and apprenticeships & training.
· On 11 July 2013, the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, the then Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna and Lord Adonis visited Canary Wharf station, hosted by the Crossrail Chairman and Chief Executive. The nature of the visit was to view the progress made on the project and the visitors gave a media interview on industrial strategy policy, using Crossrail as a backdrop. There are no meeting notes as this was not a formal meeting, only a site visit.
· On 24 June 2014, Crossrail’s Chairman met Chuka Umunna in his role as the shadow Business Secretary. The main purpose of the visit was to discuss progress on the Crossrail project, in particular the skills agenda and economic impacts on the UK economy and businesses.
The meeting notes from the meeting on 24 June 2014 are as follows:
· A general project progress update was provided.
· An update on the extension to Reading was provided.
· An update on the rolling stock procurement was provided.
· An overview of the recent National Audit Office report was discussed.
· Chuka Umunna did mention Crossrail 2 (the route of which is a constituency issue for him in Streatham) but recognised that it was nothing to do with Crossrail Ltd and there was no detailed discussion.
· There was an explanation given as to the cost and final resting place of our tunnel boring machines.
· There was an extended discussion on skills, both in the context of the changing profile of the Crossrail workforce and the changing nature of railway technology.
· Chuka Umunna was interested in the demographic diversity of Crossrail’s apprentices and we undertook to send him the data we have.
· An update on industrial relations was provided.
Crossrail Ltd have not met Chuka Umunna in his capacity as the local MP for Streatham, nor to discuss route and station proposals for Crossrail 2.
If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London