Financial woes continue at the £6 million Marble Arch Mound as £62,000, over 40% of the expected £152,000 sponsorship, has not yet been paid to the Council
Westminster Council has, so far, only received £90,000 in sponsorship to pay for the failed Marble Arch Mound which has cost Westminster Council Taxpayers £6 million. The Council says, “Total sponsorship received to date is £90k and a further £62k is due to be paid this month, taking the total expected amount to £152k.”
In May 2021, Councillors were told that sponsorship income was expected to be in the region of £450,000 and“£130k of sponsorship are already confirmed. We continue to engage with potential sponsors.”
Councillors were also told that:
“The income from sponsorship is also considered conservative at this stage and could be substantially higher than the estimates in the report. Officers are proactively pursuing further sponsorship opportunities and will provide regular reports on progress.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour City Management spokesperson, said:
“Boris Johnson’s Westminster Conservatives are world-class wasters of public money. As the Mound scaffolding is finally coming down, the financial problems of the £6 million Marble Arch Mound continue. Even though the Mound closed in January, over £60,000 sponsorship has still not been paid, making the financial problems for the Council even worse.”
“The £6 million Marble Arch Mound is a key election issue. Residents are rightly angry that the Council should have wasted so much public money when it could have been better spent on other pressing concerns. More police on the streets, CCTV cameras to catch illegal rubbish dumpers and more homes for those in housing need are all ways in which residents believe that £6 million could have been better spent. For many residents, the £6 million Marble Arch Mound is the reason they will not be voting Conservative on 5th May.”
10 Key Facts about the £6 million Marble Arch Mound
- At £6 million, it cost triple the £2million set aside for the project, including £660,000 to demolish the Mound.
- The Council’s Deputy Leader resigned following the massive budget overspend
- Reviews for the 82ft mound of scaffolding were so bad that the Council was forced to scrap the £8 entrance fee out of embarrassment.
- The Mound was branded the ‘London’s worst tourist attraction’ and a ‘waste of money’ following six months of mockery and ridicule, making Westminster an “international laughing-stock”.
- Much of the view into neighbouring Hyde Park was obstructed by trees.
- The Westminster Council official in charge of the Mound fiasco was paid more than the authority’s Chief Executive with a £220,000 salary, making him the authority’s highest-paid employee.
- Marble Arch Mound was visited 250,000 times – less than 1,400 a day for the 6 months it was open and therefore making a miniscule contribution to the local economy
- It cost the Council £150,000 a month to keep the Mound open, after it refused to listen to Labour’s calls to ‘put the Mound out of its misery’ and pull it down.
- In October 2021, a Council internal investigation of the Mound project described the soaring costs of the scheme as “devastating” and “avoidable”.
- The report by the Council’s Chief Executive said there were “clear and repeated warnings” about the project being overbudget.
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