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  1. ITV Report

What next for the Garden Bridge? Inquiry to examine if £185m project is value for money

London mayor Sadiq Khan today hired the formidable former chair of a Commons spending watchdog to investigate the Garden Bridge project.

Credit: Arup/Garden Bridge Trust

Dame Margaret Hodge MP will examine whether the £185m scheme is value for money.

Taxpayers are contributing £60m in loans and grants to the tree-lined Thames crossing in central London.

Credit: Arup/Garden Bridge Trust

Dame Margaret, Labour MP for Barking, east London, won a reputation as a tough inquisitor during five years as the no-nonsense chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

Opponents of the Garden Bridge have attempted to halt the project with petitions, protest and judicial reviews.

Credit: Arup/Garden Bridge Trust

Construction work is on hold until a final agreement on land ownership on the South Bank is negotiated.

City Hall sources insisted the project was not in doubt but the mayor would review Dame Margaret's findings with a 'fine tooth comb'.

There’s no better qualified person to get to the bottom of the procurement process around the Garden Bridge, and establish whether Londoners have been getting value for money since the project began.

I am absolutely clear that no new London taxpayers’ funds should be committed to the Garden Bridge, but I’m also determined that the Garden Bridge review helps the project achieve higher standards of accountability and transparency it has so far been lacking.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

It’s not a project that I have previously had an opinion on either for or against, but given the millions of pounds of public money allocated to the project, it is clear that there needs to be far more transparency around how funds are being spent.

– DAME MARGARET HODGE MP