Rupa Huq MP calls for a fresh Garden Bridge public inquiry
17 Mar 2019
(Picture: The Guardian)
Today, the excellent Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central & Acton (can we adopt her?) went on BBC Sunday Politics programme to highlight the many foibles of the Garden Bridge, not least the lack of accountability for those who recklessly cost the public £43M with nothing to show for it. The Garden Bridge Trust are winding up business and will probably get away with 'spaffing up the wall' (ref: Boris Johnson) millions of public funds if we don't call for an urgent public inquiry from both the Charity Commission and the Public Accounts Committee. As Rupa said, there is a lot of "passing the buck" going on and any governing body worth its weight, should scrutinise the GBT, TfL and Department for Transport (and its cronies) for this colossal scandal that must not lead to any repercussions.
Tory Jackie Doyle-Price (Minister for Health) also called upon Meg Hillier MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee to look into this case - and Labour's Wes Streeting stressed that there are much needed river crossing elsewhere in London. He added that London Mayor Sadiq Khan was right in pulling the plug on public funding for the toxic project and risking the wrath of 'national treasure' Joanna Lumley whose ill-conceived idea it was to start with.
Last week (Friday 15th March), Rupa called an Adjournment Debate in the Commons where she denounced the many failings of the Garden Bridge, its Trustees, TfL and the Department for Transport. However Transport Minister Andrew Jones took the flawed view that there had already been "robust scrutiny" of the project and that it would have been "captivating" for the capital and that his department had not compromised its obligation to provide good value for money for the public. Perhaps his constituents in Harrogate and Knaresborough might have a different view given the gross inequality of funding for transport projects in the North compared to the South.
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.