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Garden Bridge: cllrs call for funding assurances before building begins

A cross-party Westminster Council committee has called for the charity behind the Garden Bridge to demonstrate that it has raised enough money to complete the structure before construction work can begin.

On Thursday night Westminster City Council's housing, finance and corporate services policy & scrutiny committee voted to 'refer back' a decision on the Garden Bridge to members of the city council's cabinet.

Before Christmas two members of Westminster's cabinet approved a report paving the way for the city council to take control of the roof terrace above Temple Underground Station, in order to allow the Garden Bridge Trust to use the terrace and airspace.

That decision was challenged by Labour and Conservative members of the council who tabled a 'call-in' to allow further scrutiny.

"I am delighted that the committee has accepted the need for robust financial safeguards to be put in place to prevent the Garden Bridge construction beginning without the required funds being in place," said Cllr Adam Hug, leader of Westminster's opposition Labour group.

"No more public money should be spent on this project so it is essential to avoid the risk of a half-built bridge where the taxpayer is forced to pick up the tab to complete or remove it."

The Garden Bridge Trust told us: "We have worked closely with Westminster City Council over the last few years and received planning consent from them in 2014.

"We expect scrutiny of decisions related to such a high profile project in the heart of London. We will continue to work closely with the council and with all our stakeholders."

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