Petition update

A Poor Deal For The Public

w-k cheung
London, United Kingdom

Nov 2, 2015 — It seems our trust in Sadiq Khan and Lambeth council leader Lib Peck has been seriously misplaced as they have struck a deal with the Garden Bridge Trust (GBT) behind Thomas Heatherwick's closed doors. They have agreed to a ‘loan’ of up to £20m from TfL instead of granting the full £30m originally promised to the GBT. Don’t be fooled: the public is still footing a bill of £60m i.e. £30m from the Department of Transport in addition to TfL's £10m grant and £20m 'loan'. Confused? Read on…

…this is a hollow victory for Lambeth council and the Labour mayoral candidate as this deal has simply reopened the floodgates for the GBT, which puts the public firmly back in the unfortunate position of not only part-paying for a private development but also guaranteeing the exorbitant £3.5m annual maintenance costs which amounts to an endowment of approximately £150m. If Cllr Peck and Sadiq Khan had stood firm and rejected the use of any public funding for the project altogether, then this financial burden would have been avoided and we would not be facing a lifetime of debt for an unnecessary tourist attraction which would have no public right of way.

The GBT has already spent £20m of public funds from TfL; there is no time limit or legal mechanism to claw back the money if the GBT fails to pay back this loan. The business case for the GBT is completely inadequate as there is no income stream that would cover the maintenance costs let alone the construction. The GBT themselves have no assets to pay for the bridge in the event of failure.

TfL is currently under investigation for the project’s controversial procurement process and the mayor is allegedly under scrutiny for “malfeasance in public office”. The GBT has yet to secure £50m and one of their biggest backers is facing financial ruin. The question of the land needed on the South Bank is still a giant hurdle for the GBT to overcome and there are still several planning conditions for them to discharge before construction can begin. There is still ample time for the tide to turn - yet again.

If you feel that this isn't the right way to use public funds no matter how it is presented and if you feel other important issues about the bridge are being ignored, as highlighted on this petition page (e.g. overcrowding, loss of views) then please let Lib and Sadiq know: & It's not all about the money.

Keep sharing the petition; there's still a long way to go to stop this. And please support our legal case here:

Thank you.

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