07/04/2017 London News


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Welcome to BBC London News with me, Alex Bushill.


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


after a review said it should be scrapped.


The damning report was ordered by the Mayor.


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


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


And that the purpose of the bridge is still unclear.


Our transport correspondent Tom Edwards has this report.


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


stretching from Temple to the South Bank.


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


A review says it's not value for money.


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


or British taxpayers' money, into this project.


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


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


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


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


funded mainly by private donors with ?60 million coming


It had big backers, including the previous mayor,


Boris Johnson and the then Chancellor, George Osborne.


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


TfL officials, are all criticised in this withering report.


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


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


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


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


It would be very difficult for them to pull something out


We think that Boris has left us with the ultimate frippery


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


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


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


spent on this project has not been well spent,


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


The report also says that the procurement of the bridge


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


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


Others say that this whole review process is nothing more


The Garden Bridge Trust says it is more determined than ever


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


Our reporter Alpa Patel joins us now.


Clearly a scathing report - is the Garden Bridge doomed?


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


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


million still to be generated for this project through private


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


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


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


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


Westminster Council will extend permission, because they had worries


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


generating skilled, highly-paid jobs.


But the head of British architects has today warned that


a badly-handled Brexit will cost hundreds of jobs.


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


They not only build our homes and offices, but architects


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


The industry's worth ?1.7 billion a year.


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


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


Plus, we sell ?400 million more of our services


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


so what happens when Brexit kicks in?


If we have a hard Brexit and our economy collapses,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the world who will not have the staff.


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


This practice employs fewer than 20 people.


When Brexit gave some companies cold feet about building


from scratch, this lot offered refurbishments instead.


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


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


when there was a lot of uncertainty around.


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


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


Might be more difficult in Europe, but we worked


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


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


they might have to look for a new life themselves.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


drag in more cloud and temperatures will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


northern England and


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