Tony Meggs adds commercial confidentialities make suggestion impractical
The chair of Crossrail has ruled out the possibility of holding Crossrail board meetings in public despite repeated calls from the London Assembly saying it should do so.
The assembly’s transport committee deputy chair Caroline Pidgeon has led requests for the railway to make its meetings open.
But Tony Meggs said: "I must say that, on balance, I do not believe that holding board meetings in public would provide greater transparency or benefit the delivery of the railway; on the contrary, I believe that it could even be detrimental."
In a letter to Pidgeon, Meggs said commercially sensitive information was regularly discussed during board meetings and that it would be impractical for this to be broken out into a separate private session.
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He added: "Although I can understand the motivation behind the recommendation, I do not feel it will achieve the desired outcome and therefore, respectfully, disagree with its implementation."
Meggs also said the project is comparable to programmes or agencies such as HS2, Highways England or Homes England, who do not hold their board meetings in public.
TONY MEGGS' REASONS FOR KEEPING MEETINGS PRIVATE
- Crossrail board is a forum where candid discussions are actively encouraged and public meetings would hold back discussion
- Commercially sensitive information is regularly discussed
- The board is a working board and not a representative body
- Discussions at the board are already in the public domain. They are extensively minuted and those minutes are published on Crossrail's and TfL's websites