Sadiq Khan puts a freeze on Garden Bridge Temple Tube construction
Last week TCOS wrote to London Assembly members expressing concern over a document stating that a further £3m of public funding is to be spent on strengthening the roof of Temple Tube station for the massive Garden Bridge construction on the north bank of the River Thames..
Today, the Architect's Journal have reported* that after receiving a letter from Lib Dem Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, has halted any construction work on Temple Tube station as he has pledged many times, that no more public money would be spent on the Garden Bridge (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upKyTt7bPxA)
We are pleased that the mayor is keeping to his word (for now) and we hope that further transparency will be forthcoming with regards to the procurement of this project including a full independent inquiry and the naming of anonymous donors to this private development given the suggestion of 'improper' or hidden investments being made by foreign investors.
In the meantime we are awaiting news of the National Audit Office (NAO) investigation that we instigated in 2015 into the misuse of public funds granted by the Department of Transport for the Garden Bridge at Chancellor George Osborne's behest.
Last month, with the backing of Lambeth's Bishop's Ward councillors, Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey wrote a strong letter of support on our behalf to the NAO demanding a full inquiry - and we have also asked her to write to the Home Secretary regarding potentially dangerous congestion to surrounding areas of the Queen's Walk caused by the huge Garden Bridge south landing building (there are already existing pinchpoints from the National Theatre and from the Oxo Tower towards Blackfriars Bridge). This issue has never been looked into and we urge landowners Lambeth Council and leaseholders Coin Street Community Builders to put a stop to this project as it has not been addressed by the Garden Bridge Trust and there is a serious risk of grievous overcrowding. Is this something that they want to be responsible for?
We have also made enquiries to the Charity Commision regarding the 'charitible practices' of the Garden Bridge Trust and we are pleased to report that they are investigating after a number of similar complaints. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/30/national-audit-office-investigates-london-garden-bridge-grant-boris-johnson
*Architect's Journal - London mayor halts Garden Bridge construction work http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/london-mayor-halts-garden-bridge-construction-work/10008524.article?blocktitle=News-features&contentID=13634