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Assembly invokes summons powers for Garden Bridge Review files

The London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee on 19 July took the rare[1] decision to issue a summons notice to the Mayor of London’s Chief of Staff, David Bellamy, requesting documents regarding the Mayor’s correspondence concerning the Review into the Garden Bridge Project undertaken by Dame Margaret Hodge MP.

The Committee wants all those documents in the possession of or under the control of the Chief of Staff relating to all transcripts and audio files written or recorded during the review conducted by the Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP, into the Garden Bridge project from interviews and/or discussions with people including:

  • Alex Williams, Acting Managing Director Planning, Transport for London;
  • Isabel Dedring, Ex-Deputy Mayor for Transport, Greater London Authority;
  • Joanna Lumley OBE, Board Member, Garden Bridge Trust;
  • Michèle Dix CBE, Ex-Managing Director Planning, Transport for London;
  • Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner, Transport for London;
  • Richard DeCani, Ex-Managing Director Planning, Transport for London;
  • Sarah Sands, Editor, Evening Standard; 
  • Sir Edward Lister, Ex-Deputy Mayor for Planning and Chief of Staff, Greater London Authority;
  • Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Ex-Commissioner, Transport for London;
  • Thomas Heatherwick, Founder, Heatherwick Studios;
  • Will Hurst, Managing Editor, Architects’ Journal.

Gareth Bacon AM, Chairman of the Budget and Performance Committee said:

“Freedom of Information requests and questions to the Mayor at Mayor’s Question Time have been dodged and, frankly, we’re tired of the obstruction.

The Chief of Staff needs to supply this information immediately, so we can assess it and decide how relevant it is to our scrutiny of the Margaret Hodge Garden Bridge Review.

If the Mayor really is as committed to transparency, as he continually says, he will ensure that he and the staff working for him do not seek to stand in the way of the Assembly's legitimate requests‎ for important information.

The Assembly needs to do its job of scrutinising the issues that matter to London, unhindered.”