Garden Bridge Trust refuses to cooperate
April 11th, 2019
The London Assembly has been scrutinising the Garden Bridge Project and its procurement since September 2015. The project cost a total of £53.5m – £43 million of which was taxpayer’s money.
The Garden Bridge Working Group is holding a series of public meeting with Transport for London (TfL) on Monday 15 April and Monday 13 May to question its role in the project.
The Group also requested that representatives from the Garden Bridge Trust attend the meetings to explain its role in the failed project. However, this request has been declined.
Tom Copley AM, Chair of the Garden Bridge Working Group said:
“We are dismayed at the refusal of the Garden Bridge Trust to appear before us to explain its actions. This is an outrageous evasion of scrutiny which begs the question, what are they afraid of? Their refusal to attend simply makes us more determined to pursue transparency and accountability.
“By failing to attend, the Trust is evading important questions about why they chose to sign a construction contract without having secured the land on the south bank, nor the necessary planning consents. That decision alone cost taxpayers £21 million. We believe explaining to Londoners what was, on the face of it, an incredibly foolish decision, is the very least they could do.
“In their refusal letter, the Trustees of the Garden Bridge wrote that the Assembly had not heard the other ‘side of the story’ and the ‘full story should be told’. It’s a shame they have rejected this opportunity to do exactly that.
“Once again, TfL’s decision to farm this project out to an arms-length body has made it much harder for the London Assembly to hold those responsible for the project accountable. We are unable to compel the Trust to appear before us – but we will submit written questions, with the expectation they answer those in a full and transparent manner.”
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