Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
May 25, 2016
Question By: 
Tom Copley
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Tom Copley AM:  Thank you very much, Chairman, and congratulations to you, Mr Mayor.  I do not envy the position you find yourself in on the Bridge, given your predecessor’s lust for vanity projects.  However, like Assembly Member Eshalomi, I remain unconvinced that this project should go ahead.

 

Taxpayer funding has been mentioned.  Are you sure that once the construction of the Bridge goes ahead, there is no chance the Trust is going to run out of money and will come to you, cap in hand, for taxpayer funding?  Are you sure that once shovels go into the river or whatever - I do not know how it works - it will not be coming to you asking for any more money?

Answer

Answer for Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Assembly Member Copley, it is my third Wednesday in the job and so I am still coming to terms with some of the mess left by the previous guy.  Let me come back to you in relation to the assurances you seek.

 

Tom Copley AM:  OK.  The £3.5 million running cost your predecessor controversially agreed to underwrite, having said initially that there would not be any more money.  Will you withdraw that commitment that your predecessor made to fund the £3.5 million running cost if the Trust cannot raise the running cost?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  To be fair to the officials, let me wait and see the report that they are doing.  I have asked them to undertake a report for me in relation to what has gone on before.  I am keen to get on top of all the facts - and I say this to be fair to the previous Mayor - before I make a comment on that.

 

Tom Copley AM:  OK.  With regard to transparency, I am pleased that you have made a commitment on transparency.  I have seen the list of donors that has been released.  There are an awful lot of anonymous donors on it.  If it is an individual, I can understand why someone might want to remain anonymous, but there are companies on there that are anonymous and that worries me.  It particularly worries me if any of them turn out to be bidding for or to have won TfL contracts.

 

Could you make a commitment that if any of the companies that have anonymously donated money have sought or will seek a contract with TfL for London, their names will be made public?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Look, insofar as the procurement process is concerned, I do have concerns about the way that the procurement process was carried out.  I have already begun to look in detail at how the design contracts were awarded in 2013 and I will be deciding shortly how I want to take this investigation further and take forward any lessons that can be learned for future projects.  However, until I am on top of the facts, I cannot really answer specific questions in relation to specific contributions made.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Sure, but this is not about the procurement process for the Garden Bridge.  This is about companies that have made donations towards the Bridge itself that are anonymous.  My slight concern is that if they were then bidding for TfL contracts and their contributions were not public, it might look a little bit dodgy.

 

Could you say that if any of the companies that have privately and anonymously donated money to the Bridge were seeking or have sought contracts with TfL, the names of those companies would be made public?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Let me see what I published last week and come back to you in relation to whether there is a need for any further transparency on that.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Thank you.