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Lambeth council puts Garden Bridge talks on hold over use of public funds

Lambeth council is calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson not to put unjustified Transport for London (TfL) funding worth £30million into the proposed Garden Bridge across the Thames.

Since first raising these concerns with the Mayor in June, Boris has been unable to give the reassurances asked for that TFL money will not go into the project.

A framework has been put in place by the council for negotiations around the proposed bridge’s landing site in Lambeth – but will not be progressed until the funding issue is resolved.

Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth council leader, said: “I have consistently said, during a time of severe spending cuts putting £30million worth of public funding towards this new bridge isn’t justified. So while it might have other merits, it is surely wrong for TfL to issue a blank cheque, particularly given the financial pressures they face from the Chancellor.

“The Garden Bridge is at a crucial moment with Lambeth council now needing to start complex lease negotiations. But serious question marks remain about financing of the scheme. It is also becoming clear that future mayoral support for this scheme is weakening.

“Disappointingly, since I first raised these issues in June, there seems to have been little progress in attracting alternative funding from the private sector, so we are now suspending lease negotiations until the Mayor gives us the reassurances I have written to him asking for.”

http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-applications-and-policies/garden-bridge-questions-and-answers

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