07/04/2017 London News


07/04/2017

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Welcome to BBC London News with me, Alex Bushill.

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The future of the Garden Bridge is under serious doubt tonight,

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after a review said it should be scrapped.

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The damning report was ordered by the Mayor.

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It found that despite ?40 million of taxpayer money being spent

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on the project so far, costs are escalating out of control.

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And that the purpose of the bridge is still unclear.

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Our transport correspondent Tom Edwards has this report.

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This is where the Garden Bridge was meant to be built,

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stretching from Temple to the South Bank.

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Today, though, another blow to a project under fire.

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A review says it's not value for money.

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Don't put another penny of London ratepayers' money,

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or British taxpayers' money, into this project.

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I know that money has been lost, but I would cut your losses now,

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because there are too many risks, there are too many uncertainties,

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and there is no clarity to me that the money can be raised

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The bridge was meant to be an oasis of calm above the Thames,

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funded mainly by private donors with ?60 million coming

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It had big backers, including the previous mayor,

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Boris Johnson and the then Chancellor, George Osborne.

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Procurement, the costs, the previous mayor, deputy mayor,

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TfL officials, are all criticised in this withering report.

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It also reveals that the cost of the Garden Bridge could now be

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more than ?200 million, and there's a shortfall

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It says the trust's finances are in a precarious state.

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Opponents always said the Garden Bridge was in the wrong place,

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It would be very difficult for them to pull something out

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We think that Boris has left us with the ultimate frippery

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and Sadiq Khan has it in his power to refuse the guarantee.

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I think it's hugely damning and it shows what many of us

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felt for a long time, that all the money that's been

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spent on this project has not been well spent,

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and that it's not good value for public money.

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The report also says that the procurement of the bridge

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was not open or fair and recommends the project should be cancelled,

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even though it could cost the taxpayer up to ?60 million.

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Others say that this whole review process is nothing more

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The Garden Bridge Trust says it is more determined than ever

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The big question now is - what will the mayor do?

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Our reporter Alpa Patel joins us now.

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Clearly a scathing report - is the Garden Bridge doomed?

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It's not looking very good, is it? There's several reasons for that.

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Number one, mentioned in the piece, the outstanding price tag. ?70

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million still to be generated for this project through private

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investors, but the argument is that the bad publicity surrounding the

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project and this damning report, is just going to put them off.

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Secondly, planning permission. If you can believe it, it's due to

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expire at the end of this year. There's no guarantee that Lambeth or

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Westminster Council will extend permission, because they had worries

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over the maintenance of the bridge in the first place. Finally,

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something called the Tideway Tunnel. That's otherwise known as the Thames

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super sewer. Keep parts of that project could class with the

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construction of this bridge. The London Port authority says that key

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bits of infrastructure needs to go up and down the Thames will stop if

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the bridge was granted today, there would be significant problems. It

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doesn't look like this bridge is going to be built at all.

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It's an industry worth nearly ?2 billion a year -

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generating skilled, highly-paid jobs.

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But the head of British architects has today warned that

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a badly-handled Brexit will cost hundreds of jobs.

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A quick headcount at one of London's biggest architecture firms.

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They not only build our homes and offices, but architects

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could be seen as one of the capital's secret weapons.

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The industry's worth ?1.7 billion a year.

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That's more than the capital's industrial design, fashion

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And it's growing faster than London's economy.

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Plus, we sell ?400 million more of our services

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But around a quarter of our architects are from the EU,

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so what happens when Brexit kicks in?

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If we have a hard Brexit and our economy collapses,

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we're going to have to look abroad, much more than we do already,

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and then if we have taxes imposed on our fees that we don't have

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already, it's going to be that much more difficult.

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Two years ago, the industry's president could not have dreamt

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she would be fighting her corner at the Government's table.

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If we can't keep the skills that we need here, then

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we are going to lose our competitive edge, our innovative edge.

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We're going to have practices who perhaps have projects around

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the world who will not have the staff.

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We're already seeing people change the way they work.

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This practice employs fewer than 20 people.

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When Brexit gave some companies cold feet about building

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from scratch, this lot offered refurbishments instead.

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Could you be one of the firms that thrives from uncertainty?

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We're a practice that founded in the recession of 2009,

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when there was a lot of uncertainty around.

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And it feels like that climate exists again now, post-Brexit.

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We feel quite positive that a lot of work in the States, Canada,

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Might be more difficult in Europe, but we worked

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But there's a clear enough message from the sector itself -

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the people whose job it is to make more lives more liveable say

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they might have to look for a new life themselves.

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Time to wish you goodnight and hand you over to Jay Wynne,

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A balmy weekend on the way. We're looking at a very pleasant weekend,

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with strong sunshine on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures creeping up day

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by day. It is turning a bit chilly overnight tonight. By the end of the

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night we will be in the single figures. Some places down to 5-6 and

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a few patches of mist and fog. Mist and fog won't last long.

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Temperatures will rise rapidly. By the afternoon, the high teens or low

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20s. We will go a bit warmer than that for the second part of the

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weekend, as the winds come in from Spain. So yes, a fresh start of the

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day on Sunday, but lots of sunshine and with that southerly breeze

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temperatures get up to 21-22 or 23 degrees. Let's look at the Outlook.

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Sadly, it's not going to last. By Monday, and north-westerly wind will

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drag in more cloud and temperatures will

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drag in more cloud and temperatures will be down by 8-9 .

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Hello, my advice would be to make the most of the weather this

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weekend, if you can. Because there will be a good day love sunshine on

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offer and it will continue to warm up as well. This picture was taken

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in Cumbria, at Workington, later in the afternoon. We got the sunshine

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eventually in northern England but it's in the Northwest we have the

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lowest temperatures at the moment. Under clear skies, it's turning

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quite chilly. There's some cloud but most is sitting in the far North

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West of Scotland and we will see some patchy fog affecting parts of

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the M4 and M5. A chilly night under the skies in the countryside.

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Temperatures not far away from freezing. It will warm up very

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quickly in the sunshine. The fog won't last long. It will be a lovely

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day across England and Wales. More sunshine today than we had in

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northern England and

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