URGENT! LAST chance to object to Lambeth’s Garden Bridge plan to profit from loss of South Bank open space!

23 Mar 2016

 

 

Last May, Lambeth published their intention to dispose (sell) the green space on the South Bank (pictured here) in order to allow the development of a largely commercial building which would form the foot of the Garden Bridge. Within three weeks Lambeth had received 3,594 objections to this. The space had been designated an ‘Asset of Community Value’ under new legislation which seeks to protect such assets from community loss.

Local people and TCOS made presentations to Full Council in July and November 2015 on the matter, and presented a petition of over 13,000 signatures. In response the Leader of the Council consistently stated that any decision would be taken by Cabinet at a public meeting in an open and transparent way.

Last week the Council slipped out a notice that one Cabinet member (Cllr Jack Hopkins) would now take a decision in private tomorrow (Thursday 24th March), with the obvious intention of seeking to bury such a significant decision in the Easter holidays.

The Council has published an officer’s report recommending that, rather than disposing of the site, they will now simply vary and extend the existing lease to Coin Street Community Builders to enable the construction of the building and the bridge on the green open space, and allow its use for commercial gain (Coin St have a 77 lease to maintain the space as open space and prohibits both development on the space and any commercial activity). By varying the lease rather than ‘disposal’ the Council seek to avoid triggering the protection of the site as an Asset of Community Value.

The repeated arguments presented in the report are that the Garden Bridge will bring significant benefits to the area. It does not acknowledge the proper context of the site, the way in which it was created by the local community with funding from the GLC in order to provide valuable green open space for the hundreds of new residents at Coin St, many of whom have no gardens. It does not set out the conditions of the lease which seek to protect the open space.

Most surprising of all, the report finally reveals Lambeth intends to make an ongoing windfall profit from the commercial development of the site. Lambeth will allow the sub-lease of the 5,000m2 of commercial space created (the equivalent of 2 Tesco Metro shops), and proposes to split the profit from this 50/50 with Coin St. As the report excitedly gushes

“The Council’s view is that the construction of the South Landing Building is an unprecedented windfall opportunity because it will enable a new and valuable, and most importantly, permanent income stream to be generated” (2.11).

It is now clear why the Leader of the Council and senior officers have been so keen to foist the Garden Bridge on us throughout the dozens of secret meetings they have had with proponents since January 2013 – in the meantime meeting local people only once for 35 minutes last November! We are literally the cash cows for an organisation that casually tossed away around £80,000 in legal costs fighting the judicial review we launched last year against the Garden Bridge.

You have only TODAY to make any brief representations to Cllr Hopkins before he takes a decision tomorrow. Local councillors in Bishops ward have vowed to challenge his decision within the Council, and we may challenge it in the Courts, so it is imperative that you email an objection TODAY to demonstrate that there is still huge opposition to these plans.

Please send an email to Cllr Jack Hopkins jhopkins@lambeth.gov.uk Please copy us in and your MP: Kate Hoey is MP for Vauxhall which includes the site, and is implacably opposed to this project hoeyk@parliament.uk

You do not need to write an extensive objection, simply state that you object to the variation in the lease for the site on the South Bank relating to the Garden Bridge, and point out one or more of the following:

•         This is a loss of valuable open green space which was created by the community, for the community, out of public funding, for local residents who already have little access to open space
•         The transformation of this site from open space to a “permanent income stream” for the Council is inappropriate, contrary to the explicit purpose the green space was created, and brazenly immoral
•         The decision to vary the existing lease rather than attempt a sale (disposal) is a crude device to bypass the protection of the site in its status as an Asset of Community Value
•         The attempt to take this important decision by a single councillor in private rather than by the Cabinet in public as long promised shows despicable contempt for openness, transparency and democracy – particularly when it has finally been revealed that Lambeth intend to profit from this action.

Thank you for your continuing support. Contact thamescentralopenspace@gmail.com


 

 

 

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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.