Having already wasted £6million on the failed Marble Arch Mound, the Conservatives have now added another £1.5million to the bill by scrapping entry charges. There seems no end to the financial incompetence and waste of public money.
The City Council has no idea how many mound visitors are combining a visit to the mound with a shopping trip to Oxford Street or how much money is being spent in shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants as a result. And yet that was the point of building the mound!
The mound fiasco has been a failure from the start and is set to run and run. There was never any research undertaken to assess whether people would pay to visit the mound.
Westminster Council has operated on the hope that “if you build it, they will come”. However, that futile hope came from the Hollywood film Field of Dreams, not from real life.
Now the Conservatives have finally accepted that no one will pay hard-earned money to visit what has been dubbed “the worst tourist attraction in London”.
Why would anyone pay for “spectacular views” of McDonald’s and the traffic on Park Lane and the Edgware Road?
Sadly, the council will not accept that spending £6million on this failed vanity project was the wrong decision and is now “throwing good money after bad” by making it free.
They estimated that £1.525million would be generated in income through the sale of 280,000 tickets. As a result of the decision to make entry free, all of this predicted income will now be lost, adding to the loss to the council which will now be picked up by council tax-payers.
Can there by anything more damning of the Conservative’s financial record than the £6million Marble Arch Mound failure? For this reason alone, the Conservatives have no right to continue to mismanage the council’s finances for a moment longer.