The London Assembly Oversight Committee has released its findings from work which Caroline Pidgeon led, to examine the cost and impact of relocating City Hall.
The report summarises its conclusions:
An overall theme of the City Hall relocation was the ‘aggressive’ timescale of the project, which appeared unwarranted to us, given the success of the temporary accommodation at Union Street. While no one could have predicted with any certainty the impact of the pandemic, such an unrealistic timescale resulted in unnecessary uncertainty and confusion for staff.
We also question whether the £100,000, incurred to hold the early meetings at the new City Hall, before it was finished, was a good use of public money. We await the Mayor’s response to that question.
In the new building, GLA employees are expected to be in the office 2-3 days per week, but with allocated desks for each team limited to 10 per cent of the size of the team, we are left wondering whether this expectation is realistic, given the limited number of drop-in desks.
And most importantly, the claim of a £61 million saving over 5 years was clearly misleading – with the real saving somewhere in the vicinity of £37 million.
Now we have taken residence in the new building, we need to get on with the job of holding the Mayor to account and all these issues need to be transparently addressed. We look forward to the Mayor’s response to our questions and recommendations on the relocation of the home of London’s government.