Chris Medland's comments
oh god, another Heatherwick shiny spikey thing will win it..
Brown was very clear that TfL were following orders. Boris Johnson as mayor of London and head of TfL had instructed them, his officers, to deliver the bridge. TfL should not have been put in this duplicitous position - as guardians of the public funds and under orders to deliver it by spending those funds. Boris Johnson as Mayor has caused this conflict of interest either deliberately or through lack of thought and understanding. That said the GBT still chose to push on with signing the construction contract despite, as per their own minutes, the project being on the ropes at that point - it is they who risked and ultimately lost all of our money and they, not TfL, that should be held accountable for their decissions. The GBT had a choice, sit tight and see how things progress under Sadiq Kahn, or press on in full knowledge of the severe risk to the public purse and apply to drawdown further funding by signing the construction contract before it was sensible to do so. They chose to push on, to get the project over the line - this may be in accordance with their charitable aims, but in my view it's not an action in the spirit of wider public good - It was a blinkered and selfish decision that has cost London others bridges, has had the net effect of increasing air pollution and has left a sour taste that all of us effected by their decision to bear. Trustees by law must act responsibly, reasonably and honestly, take special care when investing or borrowing (£20m was meant to be a loan), comply with any restrictions on spending funds and they must ensure their charity is accountable.It is therefore shocking that Lord Davies refused to attend the GLA and equally so that the Charities Commission seem to have swept this decision under the carpet and have now put themselves in a position where their role and fitness for purpose is being brought into question. All in all the reputations of Johnson, Lumley and Davies et.al are suffering due to their actions on this project and now is the time that one of them would do well to apologise or at least publically express regret for the loss of the transport funds.
‘Funders should build appropriate terms and conditions into funding agreements to ensure the money is spent in line with the original intention and delivers the benefit and impact that is desired.'
There were conditions in the funding agreement. An application to drawdown funding was made in Jan 16. From what is known now those condition seem not to have been met. The funding was granted.
Fraud relating to public funding and grants happens when individuals, organisations (eg businesses or charities) claim public funding or grants that they are not eligible for. This includes the release of funds previously agreed in principle but subject to conditions. #justsaying
'Paragraph 8 of the NPPF sets out that there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development'
THIS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
its as though this global warming thing just doesn't exist. pointless. wasteful. a relic of a past age before its even began.
It's stunning. Extraordinary. So why I am so uncomfortable with it? It isn't about the garden bridge, it isn't jealousy, it's something else that I can't quite articulate. Maybe it's to do with the absolute whimsicalness of it...the vast expense, the lack of need? But yet again perhaps it's progressing art and cityscape to a new level, perhaps its a masterpiece of our time... no, its a masterpiece of a different time - that its, that's what's so uncomfortable about it for me - it is the epitome of extravagance, a sort of diamond encrusted fir coat on seat of a gold Bentley parked outside the Ritz, whilst the Thames burst its banks, houses fall into the sea, crops fail and forests burn. It represents an old type of power, a sort of them and us - hey you, yes you homeless guy - look at this! £200,000,000 on a staircase that you can look at - what a gift to the city, aren't we great! No, that's not our job as citizens, as architects, that's why I'm uncomfortable - its solves nothing. Expensive piece of sculpture in the town square, yeah, architecture, no.
Paul Finch highlights a view shared by many politicians and people in high society who see a wider picture of progress but perhaps not the detail. I do understand this view, however, I know that if I had applied for £7m of funding from TfL based on a simple friendly letter with lots of conjecture and warm words about meeting conditions that were never met it would have been rightly and immediately refused. The GBT did it in January 2016 and it was waved through and ultimately led to a further £22m loss of public transport money - the entire cost of the millennium bridge. We either have a fair and open society or we don't - unless due diligence is applied to all projects we simply don't. When serious failings in protocol and process are exposed they must be resolved properly and publically, without this happening we are not and cant claim to be an open and fair society.
very nice. good stuff
its a positive step forward, granted. However over a million homes will be built before this comes into effect and the vast majority of those just, just, meet the minimum standards set by building regulations. The other related story that broke yesterday was that Persimmon have admitted lobbying government strongly and successfully to ditch the carbon zero (and cfsh) standards which, along with help to buy, has led them to record profits for them and the infamous £75m bonus to their CEO. Yes we need new homes, and yes we need them to be affordable but we cannot afford to let 1,000,000 or more new houses be built in a way that we know will make climate change worse than it otherwise would be if those homes were designed and built to higher energy performance standards. Its literally a matter of life and death and yet due to lobbying, due to volume house builders profit margins and some poor planning policy (building 1000's of homes in areas 100% reliant on car travel) this continues apace and the can has been kicked down the road again.