Architects, gardeners, bridge designers & cross-party opposition groups send a powerful message to the mayor of London

17 May 2016

 

Around 400 people attended a packed St John's Church in Waterloo to hear a wide cross-section of society send a clear message to the new mayor of London Sadiq Khan: refrain from signing off Boris Johnson's public guarantee for the Garden Bridge and hold an open and independent investigation into its procurement process. There were also calls to examine the rationale behind why the project even exists, given that it is not a vital piece of transport infrastructure but it is using over £60m of transport funding.

 

Michael Ball from TCOS challenged the chair Kate Hoey MP,  to write to the Home Secretary to investigate the considerable risk of dangerous congestion, if the Garden Bridge is built. There has been no proper assessment of overcrowding on the Queen's Walk and the surrounding areas, only on the Garden Bridge itself. He said that this is a serious oversight and the threat of fatalities is very real given the bottlenecks that already exist along the South Bank. He added that this has all the indications of another Hillsborough disaster in the making.

 

Michael also stated that Sadiq Khan has a new mandate. The Garden Bridge Trust haven't got new funders and funders won't back the private development if Sadiq steps in. He has been saying in private that he’ll scrap the bridge but he needs to go public with this.

 

Meanwhile local ward councillors Jennie Mosley and Kevin Craig said that TfL had made threats against Lambeth Council to pressurise them to support the Garden Bridge. They added that Lambeth Council were actively doing things to enable it to happen despite "nobody" voting for it or asking for it. Together with Kate Hoey, they denounced Lambeth council for railroading this project despite huge public opposition from across the borough. Lambeth council have consistently blocked any meaningful discussions about the Garden Bridge opting to go with bad advice from Lambeth planning officers who have been paid thousands of pounds to fast-track this private development on public land.

 

The meeting affirmed that Garden Bridge is not just a local issue; it affects all of us in some way especially if Sadiq signs off Boris Johnson's public guarantee to underwrite the ongoing maintenance cost of £3.5m per year. Cross-party opposition groups who attended the event last night included members from the Greater London Authority, the Labour Party, Greens, Liberal Democrats, Tories, the Taxpayers’ Alliance, London Cycling Campaign, horticultural experts, bridge designers, engineers and eminent architects including Ian Ritchie, who stated that the Garden Bridge designs have to be amended as it would not sit evenly across the river because of structural issues. He said that "the image presented by the Garden Bridge is deceptive - rendering your deceit."

 

In the meantime, Lambeth council is getting a reputation for being judicially reviewed e.g. Cressingham Gardens, libraries closures etc. and now they face a new legal challenge from us. We still need your support in funding our judicial review to stop the Garden Bridge; please donate here, thank you: www.everyclick.com/tcos Alternatively text the code TCOS44 along with a donation amount to 70070 (please gift aid if you can).

 

Quotes from the evening:

 

“It might be feasible to combine toaster with hairdryer, but it doesn't mean it's a good idea" – lead engineer Alistair Lenczner Millau Viaduct & Wembley Stadium

 

“So the garden bridge is no good 4 cyclists or walkers, gardeners or trees, flowers or bees, architecture & design: not even 4 crossing the river” Cllr Rachel Heywood ostracised by Lambeth leader Lib Peck's cabinet for speaking out against library closures.

 

"These [trees planned on the bridge] are lollipop trees. Yet the 30 trees they want to fell are mature” Richard Reynolds - The Guerrilla Gardener

 

“If this bridge gets built then you will see underside of another bridge, rather than St Paul's” Phil Marson, Inner London Ramblers (formerly Ramblers Association)

 

Pictured from the rear left: Tom Copley Labour AM, Harry Fairhead Taxpayers' Alliance, Dan Anderson Fourth Street, Caroline Russell Green AM, Phil Marson Inner London Ramblers, Richard Reynolds The Guerrilla Gardener, Terry Patterson London Cycling Campaign, Kate Hoey MP, Architect Ian Rictchie; front left Michael Ball TCOS, Alistair Lenczner Expedition Engineering; not pictured Cllr Jennie Mosley & Cllr Kevin Craig - Bishop's Ward, Cllr Adele Morris Lib Dem Southwark

 

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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.