Lambeth buries its head further into the sand

17 Dec 2015

 

Lambeth planning councillors gave the Garden Bridge “Trust” approval on Tuesday night for just four of the 46 conditions they have to meet. They are 3 months behind on even that meagre achievement - they were originally scheduled for a hearing at Lambeth in September, but this was deferred for three months because officers weren’t satisfied.

 

And even these can’t be implemented because they have yet to reach any agreement with ITV or IBM on using their land for trucks to access the construction site. Nor have ITV or IBM agreed to the noise and vibration which would be going on for three years (and will wreck their ability to record shows), and so Lambeth have deferred for a second time consideration of the condition around noise and vibration.

 

Besides the rest of the conditions they have to get approved, and the agreements with ITV and IBM, they have many more hurdles: they haven’t yet managed to get a lease of the land on the south bank to put the bridge on; they still haven’t got the funding to build the Bridge and refuse to release any detailed information on the pledges they claim to have, but they have pick-pocketed the public purse of £60m.

 

Most importantly they haven’t got the guarantee in place to underwrite the £3.5m operational costs, as required by the Court Order we extracted from them following Michael Ball’s judicial review in the spring. Last July Boris foolishly promised to underwrite this - which will cost the public purse another £150m over the lifecycle of the bridge (less the money the Garden Bridge Trust raise from selling T-shirts!), but he has yet to follow through on his promise.

 

But Lambeth are a completely pointless operation. They approved a ‘Logistics Plan’ which is a fantasy which will turn into a nightmare for residents and the 26 million visitors. They approved a construction size three times the size it needs to be, meaning that visitors on the South Bank will be hemmed into a riverwalk only 5.2m wide (the 7.6m measurement quoted in the press release includes a double line of trees: when these are taken out they admit it leaves only 5.2m). Even their own analysis states that this will lead to an “unacceptable” level of increasing pedestrian discomfort (level C+), but they haven’t taken into account a number of factors  such as the Tate Modern Extension due to open in 2016 and expected to bring 1.75m additional visitors. When these are taken into account the conditions will fall to level D, akin to being on a tube platform in the rush hour. We believe it is likely to become dangerous along here.

 

They also promise to bring on some days 132 lorries to the site over 10 hours, which will mean that a new lorry will have to appear every 10 minutes like clockwork, since they have no parking space for lorries: but anybody who lives in the area knows that cars and lorries jostle bumper to bumper along Blackfriars Rd and Stamford Street and that the area from the Elephant north is frequently in gridlock. The result is we will have lorries waiting for hours churning out filth.

 

A few months ago, the Garden Bridge “Trust” worked over an entire weekend and through the night doing test drilling in the river, and have proved incapable of sticking to any legal agreements on working hours.

 

But Lambeth councillors supinely accepted this nonsense.  We have never witnessed such ineffectual scrutiny. It didn’t help that the majority of councillors came from leafy Streatham - not a single councillor came from the north, the land of treeless gridlock, ever taller skyscrapers, noisy construction sites and filthy air. Perhaps they need to go and try and live in central London for a week. Or they could have just listened to their fellow Waterloo councillors, who made strong representations but were completely ignored.

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CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE GARDEN BRIDGE

We are dedicated to saving public space on the South Bank and over the River Thames. The controversial Garden Bridge is not needed here, it would destroy protected views and is democratically and environmentally damaging. Help us stop this now.

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PRESS ARTICLES

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12/6/19 Garden Bridge failure should be likened to Kids Company scandal, MPs told

17/3/19 Minister: it’s ‘unfortunate’ we spent £43m on Garden Bridge

13/2/19 Garden bridge charity spent £53.5m with no construction, TfL finds

12/12/18 Garden Bridge Trust claims £5m of public money for wind-up costs

31/7/18 Garden Bridge backers 'may have breached legal duties'

31/7/18 Garden Bridge trustees may have ‘breached their legal duties’ says QC

01/03/18 Boris Johnson defends garden bridge plan that will cost public £46m

01/03/18 Boris Johnson blames Garden Bridge project blunders on successor

28/02/18 Boris Johnson could face investigation over Thames garden bridge

14/8/17 London's Garden Bridge project officially abandoned

14/8/17 London's Garden Bridge project scrapped

6/7/17 Soothing the Garden Bridge’s troubled waters

22/6/17 Standards commissioner examines complaint against Garden Bridge review

11/5/17 Good riddance to the Garden Bridge: an eye-watering waste of public funds by Walter Menteth

29/4/17 Lumley fights on for her fabulous bridge

 

28/4/17 The garden bridge is dead – now £37m of public money must be repaid

 

28/4/17 Garden Bridge: London mayor Sadiq Khan withdraws support

 

16/4/17 Garden bridge project is a landmark of the post-truth era

15/4/17 A garden bridge to nowhere

7/4/17 Garden Bridge should be scrapped, Hodge review finds

 

27/3/17 Garden Bridge could cost £22 million more than forecast

10/3/17 MP warns mayor over Garden Bridge’s cost to taxpayer

 

28/2/17 Garden Bridge Trust cleared of financial irregularities

23/2/17 Top criminal QC raises ‘serious concerns’ over Garden Bridge contest

9/2/17 London garden bridge case weaker now than in 2014, says Treasury official

8/2/17 Garden Bridge: all-party pressure on Sadiq not to sign guarantee

15/1/17 Let’s not be led any further up the garden bridge

 

11/01/17 London garden bridge project's future is in doubt, say trustees

5/01/17 "If 2016 was the Year of Bullshit, then the Garden Bridge could be its monument”

27/12/16 Garden bridge charity warns more delays could terminate project

16/12/16 MPs investigating Garden Bridge question need for scheme

14/12/16 Letter from PAC chair Meg Hillier to  Treasury Permanent Secretary

9/11/16 TCOS response to the GBT's misleading autumn newsletter

16/10/16 Controversial garden bridge to cost public total of £50m – even if it fails to go ahead

11/10/16 Mayor must refuse to sign the Garden Bridge maintenance guarantee: statement on NAO report

11/10/16 David Cameron 'ignored civil servants over Garden Bridge funding'

11/10/16 Department for Transport ignored official advice not to risk public money on Garden Bridge

22/9/16 London’s garden bridge would benefit only the rich

22/9/16 Dame Margaret Hodge MP to conduct review into Garden Bridge project

7/9/16 Garden Bridge Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons led by Kate Hoey MP

17/8/16 £22m gap in Garden Bridge funds - Newsnight investigation

 

5/8/16 Thames garden bridge delays raise risk of major boat collision – expert

29/7/16 Garden bridge charity delays publishing annual accounts for five months

 

25/7/16 Garden Bridge: Tough questions for £175m Thames project

24/7/16 HS2 and the garden bridge are vanity projects – it's not too late to scrap both

21/7/16 Garden bridge may need taxpayer bailout once built, report says

11/7/16 Sadiq Halts Work On Garden Bridge

30/6/16 National Audit Office investigates London garden bridge grant

 

19/5/16 London's garden bridge: visitors urged to donate on Thames crossing

21/4/16 Boris Johnson accused of misleading politicians over garden bridge

 

17/4/16 Why did Sadiq Khan change his mind over the Garden Bridge? He's fallen for the sunk costs fallacy

14/4/16 Council consultation row over Garden Bridge

 

5/4/16 Lambeth’s Garden Bridge decision to face scrutiny

 

1/4/16 Joanna Lumley proposes Thames ‘Allotment Ferry’

 

1/4/16 Giant Boris Gnome planned for Garden Bridge

 

24/3/16 Architects and critics in last-minute plea to stop Garden Bridge

 

21/3/16 The Garden Bridge project reeks of cronyism and improper process. And here are the other 25 problems with it

 

18/3/16 London's Boris Johnson 'chided' over Garden Bridge design contract

 

9/3/16 Toilets and terrorism: Lambeth approves Garden Bridge plans 

 

7/3/16:  Garden Bridge: London council allegedly threatened over Thames project - by Peter Walker

 

7/3/16 Taking the piss out on the Garden Bridge - by George Turner

 

6/3/16 Thames garden bridge faces last-ditch challenge from local politicians - by Peter Walker
 

3/3/16 Lambeth could take Garden Bridge decision behiind closed doors - by James Hatts

 

1/3/16 Caroline Pidgeon pledges total opposition to the Garden Bridge - by Caroline Pidgeon

 

February 2016 ‘Thames Garden Bridge Procurement issues’ Walter Menteth, Project Compass CIC.

24/2/16 "On Bullshit" & the Garden Bridge - by Dan Anderson

 

14/2/16 Garden bridge: a project promoted and sold with half‑truths, deceptions and evasions - by Rowan Moore.

 

14/2/16 You've had your fun - let's put the Garden Bridge to bed now - by Rachel Holdsworth

 

13/2/16 Why is London's Garden Bridge worth as much as five Lancashire museums? Ask Joanna Lumley - by Ian Jack

 

12/2/16 London's Garden Bridge is exposing the messy business of architecture competitions - by Diana Budds

 

10/2/16 London Green party call halt to privatisation of public space in London - by Sian Berry

 

10/2/16 Is it still possible to stop the Garden Bridge? - by Will Wiles.

 

9/2/16 Garden Bridge procurement statement from RIBA - Jane Duncan

 

31/1/16 Muddy Waters - Jobs for the boys - by Walter Menteth

29/1/16 The Garden Bridge subverts the lessons of history - by Dan Anderson

 

20/1/16 Boris Johnson evades Tom Copley AM's questions about the Garden Bridge

 

20/1/16 Londoners' money put at risk by the Garden Bridge  - by Will  Hurst

 

17/1/16 George Osborne under attack overGarden Bridge cash pledge - by Mark Townsend

 

21/11/15 Why we must stop Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge - by Jack Wakefield

 

17 Sept 2015. GLA Oversight Committee Agenda Item 8, p71-72. Walter Menteth Report submission to the GLA Oversight Committee to inform their examination into the procurement of the design and technical services for the Thames Garden Bridge. Document review, analysis, report & response to GLA questions by Walter Menteth of Project Compass CIC as expert witness on behalf of industry. 34p.