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Topic: Wandsworth Council quiet on govt's Hammersmith Bridge demands
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Posted by: David Parker
Date/Time: 11/06/21 09:00:00

There continues to be no visible progress with Hammersmith Bridge. It it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the government sees it as symbol how low London is in its priorities. The continued closure is a signal to the Tories new friends in the north and Midlands that areas who didn't vote for them will be starved of cash whilst the pork barrel will be full for anywhere who did.

Non-party political Hammersmith Bridge SOS have pointed out that for major infrastructure projects of this kind, local authorities have usually been asked to contribute 15% rather than a third. For Boris Johnson's Garden Bridge project the contribution was zero from local councils. Even 15% would effectively cost every single council tax payer in Hammersmith & Fulham over 1,000 so it is not difficult to understand why they can't accept the government's terms which also effectively hand them control of the project.

What particularly disappointing is that Wandsworth Council have done little but cheer from the side-lines when the government makes its outrageous demands rather than attempting to persuade them to come to a reasonable compromise. This will matter to their own taxpayers when a major piece of infrastructure needs replacing and they find that the government uses the Hammersmith Bridge proposal as the template for funding the Wandsworth project.

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