TfL under investigation from the GLA as George Osborne faces probe about £30m Garden Bridge grant
The Garden Bridge and Transport for London come under fire from the Greater London Authority on Thursday 17th September at 2pm: http://www.london.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=254&MId=5648&Ver=4 .
Go along to London’s City Hall and you can and hear what TfL has to say about how they came to the conclusion that it made good business sense and good value for public money, to choose the most expensive and inexperienced bridge designer Thomas Heatherwick, out of two other highly skilled and experienced bridge builders, to create a new crossing for London (incidentally the initial brief didn’t say it had to be a ‘garden’ bridge). You can also watch the event live online: http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor-assembly/london-assembly/webcasts
And Chancellor George Osborne is under scrutiny from the National Audit Office at the request of the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee after TCOS approached MP Gareth Thomas, who helped to raise our concerns http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/12/garden-bridge-osborne-public-cash-inquiry
So it looks like the Garden Bridge is on very shaky ground indeed. And we are still waiting for the mechanism by which Boris Johnson intends to guarantee the maintenance costs for the bridge; when we do, we suspect we may have another legal case on our hands but with your help, we can be ready for that. We are raising funds for the legal fees so please support us here: www.everyclick.com/tcos
With regards to the land issue, Lambeth Council have yet to inform us about how the leaseholders of the land Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB), are intending to change the terms of their lease (known as a disposal) so that they can sub-lease the land to the Garden Bridge Trust (GBT). This would trigger a delay of up to 6 months as we have registered this piece of land as an Asset of Community Value and therefore we have the right to put in a bid and raise funds to buy that bit of land. But it’s gone very quiet – what plans are being hatched behind closed doors? In any case, it would be absolute folly for Lambeth Council to allow CSCB to change the terms of the lease to enable the Garden Bridge to be built, as the borough of Lambeth and its constituents stand to gain very little from what would effectively be a huge public subsidy for the developers.
In the meantime we are continuing to gather signatures on the South Bank at the site where the bridge would land outside ITV so come an join us and say hello and please continue to spread the word on Twitter @TCOSLondon and other forms of social media e.g. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ThamesCentralOpenSpaces Instagram https://instagram.com/tcoslondon
Please be vigilant and keep an eye on the planning conditions that the GBT have to discharge one by one here http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-applications-and-policies/search-planning-applications using this application code 14/02792/FUL and email all of your concerns to the Chair of the Planning Committee Cllr Clair Wilcox firstname.lastname@example.org