London City Hall: A Committee discovers that savings are misleading

London's mayor has been accused of misleading the public about savings made by moving City Hall east London.

London City Hall: A Committee discovers that savings are misleading

London's mayor has been accused of misleading the public about savings made by moving City Hall east London.

After months of delays, the Greater London Authority (GLA), moved its headquarters from South Bank to Royal Docks in east London in march.

Sadiq Khan claimed that the move would save PS61m over five years. However, the GLA's Oversight Committee discovered that the real figure was closer at PS37m.

A spokesperson for the mayor refuted the figures of the committee.

From 2002, the GLA leased its former residence, Norman Foster-designed property at London's South Bank from a private landlord.

The original lease terms allowed for a termination of the contract at 2021.

Khan claimed that the GLA paid St Martin's Property Group, Kuwaiti-owned, more than PS11m per year.

This number was used to calculate savings when moving to the GLA Crystal.

The Oversight Committee discovered that St Martin's Property Group was working with GLA to reduce their rental offer, which would have saved PS24m in five years.

The Crystal will save money by eliminating rental costs and decreasing energy costs. It was designed to be the most sustainable office in the world.

The committee found that the GLA had spent PS100,000. This was in addition to holding meetings at City Hall before the work was finished.

Contractors had to stop work and make adjustments to their buildings to enable the meetings to proceed.

Caroline Pidgeon was the former chair of the committee. She accused the mayor of being too aggressive in his timeframe for the project. "This seemed unwarranted to me, given the success at Union Street temporary accommodation."

She stated that "now we have taken residence at the new building, it is time to continue the task of holding the mayor accountable and all these issues must be addressed transparently."

"We are looking forward to the mayor's responses to our questions, and recommendations regarding the relocation of London's home government."

A spokesperson for City Hall said that the mayor thanked the Oversight Committee and would respond in due time.

"The relocation and protection of City Hall will save PS61m over five year to invest in London's recovery and safeguard vital services such as policing and the London Fire Brigade.

"The new City Hall is already popular with staff and Londoners. It's also a bustling and vibrant home to London government."

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