Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today announced that Dame Margaret Hodge MP, former chair of the Public Accounts Committee, will conduct a review into the Garden Bridge project.
The review into the proposed £185m footbridge linking Temple with the Southbank will look in detail at whether value for money has been achieved from the taxpayers’ contribution to the project, and investigate the work of TfL, the GLA, and other relevant authorities around the Garden Bridge going back to when the project was first proposed.
Dame Margaret Hodge spent five years as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee scrutinising public spending across all areas of Government, and earned widespread respect from all sides of the political spectrum, holding leading public figures to account.
The Garden Bridge review will look in detail at the procurement process around the project, and whether required standards have been met around transparency and openness going back to the beginning of the project. A report will be produced for the Mayor following the completion of the review.
In his first week as Mayor, Sadiq Khan promised to look into the decisions made around the public sector contribution to the project, and subsequently published the full business plan for the Garden Bridge project, as well as a list of its funders that could be made public.
The Mayor has pledged to make the project more open and transparent compared to his predecessor, and has made his view clear that no new London taxpayers’ funds should be committed to the Garden Bridge.
The terms of the reference for the Garden Bridge review will include:
– To assess the public sector contribution to the Garden Bridge project and whether value for money has been achieved
– To investigate the conduct of Transport for London, the Greater London Authority and other relevant authorities in regard to the Garden Bridge project from first proposal to date
– To achieve this through assessing the findings of previous reviews, interviewing current and former GLA/TfL staff and other stakeholders, and investigating more deeply as required
– To set out any lessons that should be learnt in order to improve the conduct of potential and approved projects in the future
- To produce a report for the Mayor of London, which will be published in full