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Michael Ball

Michael Ball

Recent activity

Comments (11)

  • Comment on: Boris refuses independent audit of Garden Bridge procurement

    Michael Ball's comment 26-Mar-2015 2:19 pm

    The procurement is only one example of the way Boris doesn't do business, he does diktat. Firstly Boris publishes a London Plan in 2011 that has no mention of a strategic need for a pedestrian bridge in central London, let alone a garden bridge, but with the very clear need for a pedestrian bridge at Nine Elms where 25,000 new homes are to be delivered. Then in Nov 13 Boris and his mate George agreed to put £60m of public money for transport into a private bridge with no right of way and limited access - huh? They do it on the basis of a Strategic Business Case which isn't published until May 14, and even then only in draft. The Strategic Business Case id of course completely loaded in favour of the garden bridge, but the fundamental argument is that it is a tourist attraction, not transport infrastructure, and only scores 1.9 on cost benefit analysis. And then of course we come to the machinations and lies about the underwriting of the £3.5m annual maintenance costs, capitalised at £90m... oh and not forgetting the planning process... With Boris' penchant for making-it-up-as-he-goes-along-bugger-all-that-process-and-accountability-nonsense no wonder he's so smitten with Mr B of the Bollocks

  • Comment on: Paolozzi arches at Tottenham Court Road ‘already demolished’

    Michael Ball's comment 31-Jan-2015 2:10 am

    Lesson for all of us: list early, list often, list always. Fat controllers cannot be trusted. I have busked in that station since 1984 and have enjoyed the murals for 30 years. I was told by the Group Station Manager only two weeks ago while looking at the extraordinarily boring new station concourse that the murals were all safe. I'm sure to him and other non-specialists "all" and "95%" are the same thing when it comes to some tedious murals (and of course the 95% includes entire lengths of platform with just green and white tiles, rather than the delicate work on the arches). Don't trust fat controllers; don't trust councillors; don't trust schools or hospitals, churches or arts venues; don't trust architects like Hawkins Brown: IF IT'S WORTH SAVING, LIST IT.

  • Comment on: £200m Qatari mega-mansion pulled from planning

    Michael Ball's comment 29-Jan-2015 11:05 pm

    Westminster's planning dept are much-maligned, but as so often are sticking up for London!

  • Comment on: Heatherwick picked for New York’s ‘Pier 55’ floating park

    Michael Ball's comment 18-Nov-2014 0:57 am

    let's hope it's not as vapid, fripperous, ill-considered, over-designed, under-funded, and publicity-driven as the Garden Bridge.

  • Comment on: Lambeth approves Heatherwick's Garden Bridge

    Michael Ball's comment 12-Nov-2014 10:49 am

    It's a pity the real story isn't told: Lambeth almost refused this - a motion to refuse was defeated by 4 votes to 3, despite the charm of Lumley, Heatherwick, and TfL senior Richard Di Cani. Lambeth attached 46 conditions which must be resolved and come back to the committee before a final decision. For the wheels to start coming off an infrastructure project at this stage must be worrying. They don't have the money - £30m raised from private funds for a £175m project, with £60m promised by Boris and George which may well be reviewed by their successors. Citigroups celebrated £3m donation last week won't pay for one year of the £3.5m annual running costs. And they don't yet even have an interest in the land. Oh, and the Temple sent a late objection threatening Lambeth that they would be acting illegally if they granted permission at this stage... Garden Bridge hits troubled waters more like

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