London Assembly votes in opposition to Mayor signing Garden Bridge guarantee
This week the London Assembly voted in opposition to the Mayor of London signing a public guarantee for the Garden Bridge. Labour Assembly members Tom Copley and Florence Eshalomi put forward the motion which was passed with a convincing majority of 16:1. It's worth noting that the one person who voted against the motion, Tory Gareth Bacon (who acknowledged genuine concerns about the Garden Bridge) did so because he wants Sadiq Khan to come out and declare that he will scrap the project without using what he described as the "smokescreen" of this motion in order to declare the project dead.
But there were powerful speeches from all parties including Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon who has been a supporter of ours from the beginning, as well as the Green Party's Caroline Russell, UKIP's David Kurten and Conservative Andrew Boff, who came up with an array of amusing ideas that he thought were far better than the Garden Bridge.
In other news, TCOS chairman Michael Ball spoke to BBC Radio London presenter Vanessa Feltz, about the recent Treasury report sent to the Public Accounts Committee chair Meg Hillier, about the viability of the business case for the Garden Bridge. The report concluded that the £30m funding granted in 2014 by the Department for Transport, is at much greater risk today of representing poor value for money given the changing nature and many problems the Garden Bridge Trust (GBT) has encountered since then. Transport for London also granted £30m to the GBT, making a grand total of £60m of taxpayers' money bestowed upon a proposed private development with no public right of way.
There's still time to convince London mayor Sadiq Khan NOT to sign the guarantee that the Garden Bridge Trust desperately needs in order to start construction: Write to him here firstname.lastname@example.org and urge him to scrap the bridge and not to sign any guarantees that would commit the taxpayer to future Garden Bridge bailout payments for years to come.
Watch the London Assembly webcast and the Garden Bridge motion here (FWD 2hr 23min) https://www.london.gov.uk/assembly-plenary-2017-02-08