Today the Garden Bridge Trust (GBT) announced that it is to abort efforts to build their ill-conceived vanity project that threatened to spoil world famous views along London's River Thames.
Whilst we are naturally delighted that this saga has come to an end, we are angry that £46m of public money has been spent and no one has been made accountable. There needs to be a full itemised breakdown of this spend to see if any of it can be clawed back and we call for those responsible to be brought to account for fraud.
Meanwhile, the chair of the 'Trust' Lord Mervyn Davies has cited London's mayor Sadiq Khan as the catalyst for the bridge's demise stating that his lack of support has caused the project to collapse. As usual, Davies is delusional by not seeing that it was his own questionable actions and that of trustees, that created a dishonest and shady world of backroom deals struck with the 'privileged few' and a network of old boy 'chums' at the top.
It is important to note that the GBT recklessly signed a £15m construction contract in March 2016 which locked the government into a cancellation fee of £15m reduced to £9m, before the GBT had land permissions or public guarantees for Lambeth or Westminster councils and the Port of London Authority, or enough money to get the project off the ground.
They bypassed proper procurement procedures, lied about public consultation and tried to privatise public space not only on a public right of way i.e. the Queen's Walk boulevard of mature trees and grassy area on the South Bank, but over the river itself.
But now, their game of brinkmanship has finally come to an end.
We would like to thank all of the amazing people who turned up at every event/protest/planning meeting and who helped promote our campaign. We have so many people who are not on the front line who deserve a special mention - the Waterloo community have really come together and proved that we can really make a difference.
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.