The Importance of Management
Conceived by actress Joanna Lumley, the London Garden Bridge was intended to be a memorial to Princess Diana, lined with trees the bridge was to connect Temple on the North side of the Thames to its opposing Southbank.
With the project in disarray, Mayor Sadiq Khan is now asking the questions as to how £37 million of public money was spent on the project without a brick being laid under the leadership of his predecessor Boris Johnson.
Khan publically opposed the scheme outlining his belief that the project did not represent good value for taxpayers money. Losing the mayoral support was ultimately the downfall of this project as it had become completely reliant on it due to the lack of private funding, where they fell short of their target by almost £70 million. Khan commissioned an investigation to be undertaken by former Commons public accounts committee chair Margaret Hodge, who concluded that the project should be scrapped. She also outlined multiple failings including the lack of evidence to support what she believed to be a ‘very weak business case’, revealing Johnson's inability to manage the project effectively since he clearly didn’t have a thorough plan for the project, leading to wasteful spending of public finances thus exposing Johnson's poor leadership. What started off as an inspirational vision costing an estimated £60 million, ended up as a project costing more than £200 million.
Four months after the report was published, Khan wrote Davies announcing that he was not willing to provide the financial support needed for construction to begin. Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall and local councillors Jennie Mosley and Kevin Craig came forward saying that post cancellation costs and funds wasted had totalled £50. This higher figure was disguised by the previous leadership who had failed to reveal the cancellation costs of the project which totalled £15 million. This lack of transparency has been attributed as a primary reason for the failure of the project, with politicians and champions of the project reluctant to let the public see the progress of the project. Khan then announced that he would be seeking a full public inquiry and accountability for those responsible for the wasteful use of taxpayer money.
Joanna Lumley stated post cancellation, that the breakdown in the project was due to the scheme becoming politicised. Although this could be true, it is clear that the project lacked the leadership needed to steer it towards success. This being a key goal at Pearson Business School, with schemes such as the RDA and CMDA which educate students on the skills and tools needed to manage effectively. In turn this makes our graduates more credible employees capable of managing any situation in business appropriately and effectively.