Boris Johnson’s Westminster Conservatives have spent £20.2 million on Oxford Street with over £18 million of it going on expensive consultants, according to a Council Scrutiny Committee Report discussed by the Business and Children’s Policy and Scrutiny Committee on 29th November, 2021.
The Scrutiny Report reveals that £16.1 million was spent on Oxford Street “feasibility design and staffing costs” and a further £2.5 million was spent “to develop Place Strategy & Concept Design”.
The Scrutiny Report says that the £20.2 million “does not include the £6 million allocation for Marble Arch Mound which will be funded from the overall Oxford Street District allocation”.
In addition, Council Officers have subsequently told Labour Councillors that a further £315,000 has been spent by the Council on design work for the proposed Oxford Circus Piazzas which the Council has ‘paused’ but, so far, refused to abandon.
The Scrutiny report says that the only ‘outcomes’ from the £20.2 million Oxford Street expenditure are “Construction of Oxford Street footway widening, planting and seating, Soho Photography Quarter and Berners Street/Newman Street traffic switch”.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour City Management spokesperson, said:
“There is no end to Westminster Conservatives’ extravagance and waste. Over £20 million has been spent on Oxford Street and there is very little to show for it other than temporary pavement widening and a few planters and seats. Over £18 million has gone on expensive consultants to draw up plans and ‘strategies’.”
“And these figures do not include the £6 million wasted on the Marble Arch Mound fiasco. Boris Johnson’s Westminster Conservatives cannot be allowed in charge of public money for a moment longer. The May 2022 Council elections cannot come too soon. This will be Westminster residents’ opportunity to end the waste of public money by Boris Johnson’s Westminster Council.”
“So much more could have been done with the money wasted by Westminster Conservatives to help young people whose youth clubs have been closed, to tackle the mounds of rubbish illegally dumped on the street and helping Council tenants whose homes have been waiting years for vital repairs.”