It has been discovered that there are new inquiries into the Garden Bridge by the National Audit Office and the Charities Commission. This means there are now four ongoing official inquiries into the development, as well as the judicial review into what is increasingly looking like a monument to Boris Johnson and all he represents.
The Architects’ Journal (again) broke the story of the new inquiries (£), later also covered by The Guardian, with revelations that both the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Charities Commission (CC) are investigating the Garden Bridge Trust (GBT) after receiving letters of concern from local MP Kate Hoey.
The NAO inquiry is looking at the unilateral decision of George Osborne to give £30m from the Department for Transport to the Garden Bridge development, while the CC are investigating after Kate Hoey wrote to them stating:
“I have had a significant amount of representations from GLA members, local councillors, organisations and interested individuals who are concerned that the Garden Bridge project is ‘hiding behind’ its status as a Registered Charity in order to prevent the transparency and accountability that would normally be required of a public infrastructure project of this size.”
‘There is a concern that there may be a scenario of serious non-compliance by the GBT that has the potential to damage its reputation and/or the reputation of charities generally, as well as the reputation of the Commission itself, if this is not looked into.”
However, it’s emerged that the CC were already investigating the project and so have added these concerns into their existing inquiry. The Architects’ Journal also revealed that the Advertising Standards Agency have forced the GBT to remove a statement on their website claiming “87 per cent of Londoners support the Garden Bridge”.
So, when people ask you if the Garden Bridge can still be stopped, answer:
The GBT don’t have the lease required to build on the South Bank
The £3.5m pa maintenance guarantee has not been signed off
The GBT are still hugely short of funding
There are serious questions over the final costs, especially in a nervous economic climate.
There is a Charity Commissions inquiry
There is now a National Audit Office inquiry
An internal inqiry by Sadiq Khan into the project’s feasibility
An ongoing TfL audit – even if it is by one of the bridge’s funders! (£)
The RIBA are calling for further investigations
YOU CAN HELP FIGHT THE GARDEN BRIDGE BY
SUPPORTING THE JUDICIAL REVIEW, SIMPLY
FOR MORE WAYS OF HELPING SEE
THE TAKE ACTION PAGE