CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Questions for the Marble Arch Mound ‘review’

17 September, 2021

City council leader Rachael Robathan at Marble Arch Mound

• SO Westminster City Council are holding an internal “review” of the £6million Marble Arch Mound fiasco, instead of a full independent inquiry.

Everything is being done in secret. The terms of reference of the internal review have not been released. The council even refuse to say who is conducting the “review”. This makes no sense if the council want residents to have full confidence in the “review”.

We have asked the council’s chief executive to ensure that the “review” looks closely at the events leading up to the council’s “PR offensive” on June 21, just a month before the mound opened.

On June 21 Rachael Robathan, leader of the council, told the press: “I hope that when people climb up here and see these fabulous views, they’ll be able to see Oxford Street through fresh eyes. You’ll never get to see this view again. We’ve never been able to be up here and see all of this area.”

Two days later Cllr Robathan claimed: “I’ve got the most fabulous view here right across this heart of London. You’ve never been able to do this before, climb 25 metres above ground level right here in Marble Arch and view this amazing part of central London.”

It will be vital for the “review” to establish what information the leader and other city council cabinet members had about the costs of the mound at that date.

Did the leader and cabinet members satisfy themselves that everything was on track before giving such positive reports to the media?

We need to know what conversations, emails, etc there were between the leader, cabinet members and officers in the run-up to the June 21 “PR offensive”.

All this should be laid before the inquiry to see if any doubts or concerns about costs were aired by anyone at this crucial time just a month before opening day.

CLLR PAUL DIMOLDENBERG
Labour City Management Spokesperson

Westminster City Hall, SW1

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