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South Bank councillor calls for free vote on Garden Bridge

A councillor representing the South Bank has called on the leader of Lambeth Council to give members of the Labour group "a free vote and a proper political discussion" on the Garden Bridge.

Earlier this month Lambeth Council leader Cllr Lib Peck agreed to reopen talks with the Garden Bridge Trust to allow council-owned open space outside ITV's studios on the South Bank to be used for the bridge's southern landing.

Speaking at Lambeth's full council meeting last week, Cllr Kevin Craig of Bishop's ward asked: "When will we as Labour councillors – sent here to articulate and serve the people in our wards .... get a chance to have a free vote and a proper political discussion so that we can express to [the council leader] our view that the best deal for Lambeth residents may well be for Lambeth Council, Coin Street and anyone else in power to pull the plug on the project?"

Cllr Peck replied: "You're a councillor who has been around for a long time so you know the procedures.

"That's the sort of matter we would discuss at [Labour] group and I'm sure you've been in touch with the group executive to see whether it can be put on the agenda."

Earlier in the meeting Cllr Jennifer Mosley had formally presented a petition with more than 13,000 signatures organised by the Thames Central Open Spaces campaign (TCOS) against the use of land on the South Bank for the Garden Bridge project.

The meeting was also addressed by a deputation of TCOS supporters led by Jeremy Cross who said: "You 63 Lambeth councillors have the power to pull the plug on this vanity project".

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