An artist’s impression of the Garden Bridge ©Garden Bridge Trust
An artist’s impression of the Garden Bridge ©Garden Bridge Trust

Mayor launches review of Garden Bridge

26 September 2016

A review has been launched by the mayor of London into the procurement process of the £185m Garden Bridge project in London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said the review would assess whether value for money has been achieved from the public sector’s contribution. A total of £60m of public money has been pledged.

“There hasn’t been the necessary standard of transparency and openness around the garden bridge… and Londoners deserve far more information about the decisions that have been made around how their money is being spent,” he said.

The review will be lead by Dame Margaret Hodge, who previously chaired the Public Accounts Committee, which scrutinises government and civil service spending.

The review will look at value for money and whether required standards around transparency and accountability were met, as well as the conduct of Transport for London (TfL), the Greater London Authority (GLA) and other relevant bodies.

It will “achieve this through assessing the findings of previous reviews” and by interviewing current and former staff within TfL, GLA and other stakeholders, a statement from City Hall said. 

In 2015 an internal audit into TfL’s procurement for the Garden Bridge found no evidence the project would not provide value for money.

However, a later report publish earlier this year by the GLA Oversight Committee said the procurement process was adversely affected by procedural errors.

It also said former mayor Boris Johnson should have been more transparent about the links between his office, senior TfL management and Heatherwick Studio, the company that won the design contract.

A TfL spokesman said: “We welcome this review by the mayor and will provide Margaret Hodge with any assistance or documentation she requires.” 

Approximately £37m of public money has already been spent on the project and of the £60m total, £30m will come from the government £30m from TfL.

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