THE social media tool Twitter has helped spark a number of news stories in its short tenure from Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant to the break-up of Demi Moore's marriage – and now it has hit HS2.
Campaigners against the £33billion rail link have long raised concerns over taxpayers’ money being spent by HS2 Ltd, the body responsible for the route, on staff and the roles they perform – and one appears to be monitoring protesters' Twitter feeds.
Chiltern District Councillor Seb Berry had contacted HS2 Ltd regarding a community forum in his area, and was surprised that the response back stated HS2 Ltd ‘have noted your comments on Twitter on April 16, 2012’.
Cllr Berry had been enquiring about the first community forum arranged for Great Missenden, South Heath and Wendover and also tweeted to ask if anyone attended.
The Great Missenden campaigner said: “Taxpayers will quite rightly be appalled that HS2 Ltd is wasting public money employing people to monitor Twitter and other social networks.
“There is already a taxpayer-funded HS2 spin operation – it’s called the Department for Transport.
“Yet the transport secretary Justine Greening has given her blessing to HS2 Ltd advisors costing hundreds of thousands of pounds per year – this is an outrageous waste of public money.”
Campaigners are hoping to block the rail route through the heart of Chilterns with a succession of legal challenges.