Sadiq Khan wants to move GLA OUT of City Hall to save £55m as London faces a cash crisis

Sadiq Khan wants to move Greater London Assembly OUT of custom-built City Hall and to the East End to save £55m as the city faces a cash crisis

  • London mayor wants to move to the Crystal in Docklands by the end of 2021
  • City Hall cost £43million and opened in 2002. It was designed by Norman Foster
  • Mayor said that GLA could use 20-year break clause at end of next year 
  • Authority is facing a budget shortfall of £493million over the next two years 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Sadiq Khan today unveiled plans to move the Greater London Assembly out of its custom-made City Hall to a new home in Docklands as a cost-cutting measure.

The London mayor launched a consultation on moving out of the building on the South Bank near Tower Bridge to the Crystal by the end of 2021 to save £55million over five years.

He said that the authority, which is facing a budget shortfall of £493million over the next two years, could take advantage of a 20-year break clause in the contract for the Norman Foster-designed building, which opened in 2002 at a cost of £43million.

He said that the GLA was currently paying £11.1million a year to Kuwaiti-owned St Martin’s Property Group, which could be better spent on frontline services like public transport and emergency services as the city takes a battering from coronavirus.  

The mayor believes the current rent is above market value, with the figure set to rise to £12.6 million after December 2021.

Announcing the consultation, Mr Khan said:  ‘In normal times, it would be standard practice for any Mayor to consider utilising the lease ‘break’ clause on the City Hall building that becomes possible this year, and to view it as an opportunity to ensure Londoners were getting the best value for money. 

‘In the current financial context, and with the looming black hole in London’s public finances, it would be negligent not to do so.

City Hall (pictured front left) is between the Shard and Tower Bridge and opened in 2002. But Mr Khan said it costs £11million per year to run

The London mayor launched a consultation on moving out of the building on the South Bank near Tower Bridge to the Crystal by the end of 2021 to save £55million over five years

The London mayor launched a consultation on moving out of the building on the South Bank near Tower Bridge to the Crystal by the end of 2021 to save £55million over five years

The Crystal is on the Royal Victoria Dock in the East End, a considerable distance from the political heart of the city

The Crystal is on the Royal Victoria Dock in the East End, a considerable distance from the political heart of the city

‘Leaving our current home would save £55 million over five years, which would help us to protect and invest in the things that matter most to Londoners, as well as supporting the regeneration of the Royal Docks. 

‘The Crystal is a highly sustainable building on the site of London’s most ambitious regeneration project, where the GLA and Newham Council are working together to create a new commercial district and visitor destination with thousands of new homes and jobs.’

The lease for the City Hall building was granted in 2001 for 25 years, but allows for a break in the contract after 20 years, in December 2021 – the first and only chance the GLA has to consider leaving. 

Mr Khan has launched a formal six-week consultation on the proposal with the London Assembly, unions and officials. 

City Hall’s unusual shape and construction led to it being dubbed the ‘glass testicle’ by former mayor Ken Livingstone and the ‘glass gonad’ by Boris Johnson.

The lease for the City Hall building was granted in 2001 for 25 years, but allows for a break in the contract after 20 years, in December 2021 – the first and only chance the GLA has to consider leaving.

The mayor believes the current rent is above market value, with the figure set to rise to £12.6 million after December 2021.

GLA already owns The Crystal and it has an ‘outstanding’ rating for environmental sustainability, meaning lower running costs.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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