Moving City Hall could save 50% less than Khan claims
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Sadiq Khan has been accused of misleading Londoners after a new analysis from the GLA Conservatives showed that the savings from moving City Hall are nearly 50 per cent less than the Mayor claimed.
According to Khan, moving City Hall to The Crystal building in the Royal Docks would save £55 million over five years. However, calculations done by the GLA Conservatives estimate the savings may be only £27.76 million by 2026-27, less than £6 million a year.
The Mayor's savings figure is misleading because it does not include the potential lost income from letting The Crystal building and Khan's planned second office at Palestra to a third-party. If City Hall was to stay put, letting this space could generate £23.5 million for the Greater London Authority by 2026-27.
Khan's savings figures also do not take into account the lost commercial income from public events at the existing City Hall building and The Crystal, which could generate £3.74 million by 2026/27. By including this lost commercial income and the forgone letting income in the savings calculation, Khan's plan may only save £27.76 million.
GLA Conservatives' Leader Susan Hall AM warns that the savings could be even lower if the current landlord would be willing to reduce City Hall's rent. An internal City Hall document reveals that if the landlord lowered the rent by a third, the savings could be £16 million over five years or lower.
Susan Hall AM, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, commented: "The Mayor is misleading Londoners by claiming moving City Hall would save £55 million over the next five years. We've calculated that the real savings figure could be less than £6 million a year, which pales in comparison to the millions of pounds Khan wastes each year.
"This is yet another example of the Mayor putting PR before policy. Instead of unveiling a serious proposal and considering alternatives for the future home of London's regional government, Khan announced a rushed and misleading plan to get a good headline.
"Khan's trumped-up savings from moving City Hall will not make up for his wasteful spending for the past four years. While the Mayor pretends his plan will produce serious savings, Khan has still not committed to scrapping the £44 million wasted on Transport for London perks every year.
"I urge the Mayor to go back to the drawing board and come up with an honest assessment of the cost of moving City Hall. London needs serious proposals to fix City Hall's finances, not PR stunts to distract from the millions of pounds Khan continues to waste."