Assembly responds to Charity Commission report on Garden Bridge

April 9th, 2019

The Charity Commission released its report today into the Garden Bridge project, which cost a total of £53.5m.  The London Assembly has been scrutinising the project and its procurement since September 2015.

The Garden Bridge Working Group will hold public meetings with Transport for London (TfL) on Monday 15 April and Monday 13 May to question its role in the project.

Tom Copley AM, Chair of the Garden Bridge Working Group said:

“It is extremely disappointing that the Charity Commission has decided not to further investigate the role of the Garden Bridge Trustees for their part in the loss of millions of taxpayer’s money. They are far from the only ones to blame for this fiasco. However, their decision to sign a construction contract in an attempt to push this project through, despite not having even secured the land on the south bank to build it on, nor the necessary planning consents, cost the taxpayer £21 million. Londoners may raise their eyebrows at the Commission’s conclusion that this was a reasonable decision.

“We are clear that our enquiries into the myriad of failings surrounding the Garden Bridge will continue. As the Commission points out, it’s now incumbent on the National Audit Office, Public Accounts Committee and TfL to look deeper into how the Trust handled public funds. But when it comes to seeking clarity around this murky project on behalf of London’s taxpayers, the Assembly will not drop the mantle. We look forward to questioning TfL on this matter over the coming weeks.”