Sadiq Khan dismisses Garden Bridge question as Lord Davies issues another "myriad of half-truths"
3 Nov 2016
Tonight at People's Question Time in Brent, London mayor Sadiq Khan avoided answering a critical question about the Garden Bridge guarantee which would expose a potentially broken promise that he made earlier in the evening about not committing any more public funds to the proposed private development. If he refuses to sign the guarantee, then he would effectively kill off the Garden Bridge. But does he want to be known as the man who scrapped former mayor Boris Johnson's last white elephant? He should do - he'd be hailed as a hero.
Instead, the mayor muttered that he had already made his feelings known about the Garden Bridge after a young boy had asked him earlier about why £30m couldn't be spent on housing instead. It seems people of all ages are puzzled by the mayor's inertia in a highly controversial matter that he inherited.
In the meantime, the Garden Bridge Trust (GBT) issued a newsletter yesterday with "a myriad of half-truths making up the background noise" from chair Lord Davies. In a desperate declaration repeated in various high profile publications, Davies admits that contractors are now put on hold and that this is caused by land negotiation "hold-ups", proving that the Garden Bridge Trust were recklessly premature in awarding the construction contract to French/Italian company Bouygues-Cimolai in the first place.
"It is true that the total project cost has risen to £185m. This is due to hold-ups caused by land negotiations which have taken longer than expected. While we push to conclude these negotiations, we have taken the sensible decision to put our contractors on standby, saving considerable money" Lord Davies - Garden Bridge Trust
Davies also seems to be indirectly pointing the finger at leaseholders Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) for the delay over "land negotiations which have taken longer than expected." We hope that CSCB will do the right thing and not allow the GBT to poorly manage and privatise our public land.
Both Davies and the mayor are blaming others for the sorry state that we are in over the Garden Bridge. It is simply time for the mayor to close the door on this woeful folly so that other much needed transport issues in the capital can take priority.
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.
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.