Don’t Let The Garden Bridge Turn Into The Workfare Bridge, Tell @TheGardenBridge To Pay A Living Wage

garden-bridge1

All those struggling with ever more vicious cuts to social security will be delighted to learn that millions of pounds of public money is soon to spent building a new bridge in Central London with a garden on it.  And if that isn’t enough of an insult at a time of soaring hunger and homelessness then – if Lanbeth Council get their way – some of those building this bridge won’t even get paid.

Over £60 million has been pledged already by the publicly owned Transport for London to build a Garden Bridge across the River Thames just yards away from two other bridges.  This vital project, which developers say has the support of business leaders and a famous architect, is the latest attempt to turn the capital into an elaborate Disneyland and playground for the global super rich.  With gentrification fast turning London into cultural desert then ever more gimmicks like this will be necessary to ensure middle class dickheads from across the globe keep flocking to city in the hope of bumping into Harry fucking Potter.

With planning permission granted it looks likely the bridge will now be built, although Westminster and Lambeth Council are still squabbling over the details.  As part of the negotiations, late last year Lambeth Council drew up proposals calling for the construction of the bridge to include ‘training and job opportunities’ for those that face significant barriers to work and ‘need support to get their foot in the door’.

Elsewhere in the document Lambeth say the developers should deliver Traineeships and Apprenticeships to local unemployed people.  Traineeships are a workfare scheme which include up to two months unpaid ‘work experience’ and are used to prepare young people for becoming an Apprentice where they will be paid just £2.73 an hour for the first year.  Let the good times roll.

Lambeth Council have also called for paid work experience placements in horticulture once the bridge is open, although they acknowledge that this would require some funding.  With the Tories promising permanent workfare for those under 21, then it is likely their flagship Westminster Council, who also get a say, will have their own plans to push young people into unpaid or poverty paid work on the bridge.

Nowhere in the document do Lambeth call for those working on the bridge to receive the London Living Wage, so we should, especially at the moment when the developers are pretending to be everybody’s friends.  You can contact them on twitter @TheGardenBridge and via their facebook page to demand that everyone who works on this bridge, whether they are training or not, gets a proper fucking wage.

UPDATE 29/6/15:  The Garden Bridge have said on twitter that they are “in early stages of developing educational & volunteering plans.”  So far they have not ruled out using workfare or committed to pay the London Living Wage.

Join the fightback against rampant gentrification in the capital at Camden’s first ever Fuck Parade on Saturday July 11th.

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43 responses to “Don’t Let The Garden Bridge Turn Into The Workfare Bridge, Tell @TheGardenBridge To Pay A Living Wage

  1. franklin percival

    There is no need of a new bridge, there are enough in Town to put meat-hooks through tory’s ankles and lower them till the drown.

  2. A Bosis Johnson Special Annoucement: “What a Brilliant Idea! Lets build a Bridge over the Thames. Rivers need Bridges. So we need Traineeships and Apprenticeship do we? So how many of them are Bridge Building specific? Is that so? Hmmmm they might have to wait a while before the next Bridge Building job comes along but at least they’ll be trained in building Bridges.”

    Who the f*&^ comes up with these ideas?

    • Another Fine Mess

      There’ll be no apprenticeships in bridge building there. From what I read the bridge will be built elsewhere and brought there on barges. The traineeships will be in humping muck and planting weeds!

  3. Just had a look at their website. Interesting – they refer to themselves as a charity. I guess that’s one way to get free labour, by calling yourself a charity and calling your workfare slaves ‘volunteers’.

  4. I notice again, like a lot of these workfare schemes, they’re ‘targeting’ over 50’s as a priority group.

  5. The only plant that would survive in the middle of a windy river would be the Giant Hogweed.

  6. Are they keen to have Japanese knotweed on the bridge?

  7. Ammonium Sulphamate is readily available.

  8. Isn’t Lambeth Labour controlled? So where’s the Labour concern for the local peasantry? Oh…Forgot, they lost it many long moons ago. Diane Abbot, tho, still has some old ones left. I hear she hopes to replace old Boris as city Mayor. If she does, she would stop this bridge project. At least I think this is the one she wants to stop. Trouble is, that even if she got elected, this idea has already gone on to approval stage. She will be better trying to get her “Labour” pals in Lambeth to forget the whole idea.
    The insane bridge thing apart, it shows us what they tihnk of those who are looking for work. And then there is the safety aspect. They might not care ’bout some pleb that gets hurt, or a benefit stop, but if pleb ain’t trained properly and a thing like this goes wrong, well, a lot of other could get hurt. Then there is the legal side of things in that instance. Clearly, the folks who come up with these ideas don’t think this stuff thru at all.

  9. £3.5 million each year to maintain the garden bridge.

  10. They better have no benches on there or it will turn into Kings Cross. Just say no, I want to buy a bag of chips. It will look so crap over winter.

  11. TfL to review tenders for London’s garden bridge design

    Action comes as project to span the river Thames comes under fire for ‘misuse of public funds’

    TheGuardian – Friday 19 June 2015 22.03 BST
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/19/tfl-to-review-tenders-for-garden-bridge-design-amid-claims-bid-was-prejudged

  12. An absolutely fabulous folly to austerity.

    • overburdenddonkey

      edge
      yes prevention is better than cure…j v has posted on the barbarity of hardship payments…in fact jsa is also actually a hardship payment, and ought to be as low a payment as one can get, in benefits….jsa being a paltry amount and in terms of welfare budget is approx 4%….

  13. Let the Rich Experience Austerity then they will Not be so Arrogant
    and Out of Touch ( Hopefully )

    I Think this Garden Bridge is a Folly and a Disgusting Waste of Money

    I Oppose Forced Slave Labour and Support Human Dignity

  14. Today Mark’s the Anniversary of the Battle of Athos which was a Victory For the Imperial Russian Navy in 1807 AD .

    The UK could Not Win a War against Russia after Decades of Nutcase Defence Cuts and the State of how run down the UK Armed Forces are can be in the Handful Detachments sent to UK Armed Forces Day for Instance together with the Size of the Royal Navy with it’s Bathtub Fleet

    People may be Thick in Britain but the Effects of Nuclear War are Destruction so it is in British Interests For the Country Not to be Dragged into War by Out of Touch and Russophobic Politicians

    Better that Money is Spent on Welfare in the UK than upon
    Anti Russian Pantomime Warmongering

  15. GEOFF REYNOLDS

    …………..A bridge created from the proceeds of death and human misery, a tribute to those who stole from the most vulnerable to give to those who did not need it……….

    Our very own Burma Railway on British soil.

    A tribute to IAIN DUNCAN SMITH AND ESTHER MCVEY.

    A commemoration plate should read:

    ” A FOLLY ERECTED IN HASTE BY THE TRULY IGNORANT, A STEPPING STONE TO THE COLLAPSE OF HUMAN VALUES, BUILT FROM THE SWEAT FROM THOSE THAT THEY STOLE “

  16. Pingback: Don't Let The Garden Bridge Turn Into The Workf...

  17. This project is a fucking disgrace. Not only is it completely unnecessary – when actual bridges for traffic are actually needed further east for us plebs – but the funding will come from Londoners, as the corporate sponsors are not contributing as promised. £3.5 million per year in maintenance costs from Londoners, when we’ve got people kipping on the streets and Westminster Council getting the law changed so it’s illegal to feed the homeless on the streets.

    On top of that, it will be closed after 12 midnight and on many weekends it will be off-limits to the populace and used for corporate shmoozing events.
    If any project in London is more hated and more symptomatic of the divide between Us and Them, this piece of shit is it.

  18. This whole project is a ludicrous disgrace – reminiscent of the schemes of the mad emperors of old – all built by slaves of course, eastern despots, and Saddam’s palaces with 24 carat gold toilet seats. Still, I suppose future archaeologists will marvel at this great wonder of the world.

  19. Austerity: Let the impoverished eat a weed filled bridge.

    Really? How much more overindulgent crap like this, does the rich have to rub in our faces, as they ruin our lives, before we bring out the guillotines?

  20. Japanese Knotweed

    Pull down your pants and suffocate the ants
    In an English country garden…😀

  21. Another Fine Mess

    A Millennium Dome on stilts? No thanks
    London can do without the vanity project that is the Garden Bridge
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/34757ea8-1bf0-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html#axzz3eUt9T3AR

    • From behind the paywall:

      “A Millennium Dome on stilts? No thanks

      London can do without the vanity project that is the Garden Bridge

      High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/34757ea8-1bf0-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html#ixzz3ejWgjLJB

      A

      s London seeks to entrench its position as one of the world’s leading cities, politicians and planners are always on the lookout for eye-catching projects that will draw tourists to the capital.

      Few schemes seem to fit the bill as neatly as the project to build a garden bridge over the river Thames. Advertised as London’s answer to New York’s High Line and designed by Thomas Heatherwick, one of the UK’s most fashionable architects, it has been presented as a public park on the river, a tree-lined place where pedestrians can relax and drink in the views.

      High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/34757ea8-1bf0-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html#ixzz3ejWjpyjf

      Nurtured by Joanna Lumley, a politically well-connected actress, the project has gathered pace in the decade and a half since it was first abortively mooted as a memorial to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Planning consent was obtained at the end of last year and landing sites found. Legal obstacles have largely been bulldozed aside. Assuming that the £175m necessary to start work can be found, the structure looks likely to be built.

      London has a mixed record of building grand attractions. While some have thrived, such as the London Eye on the South Bank opposite the Houses of Parliament, there have also been costly flops. A good example is the Millennium Dome. This tent-like structure may now have been reinvented as the successful O2 events arena but only after most of the £850m cost was written off. The Garden Bridge may fare better as a pure curiosity. But on most other measures, it is little more than a trophy structure, largely devoid of utility. Indeed, all the signs are that it is the Millennium Dome on stilts.

      High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/34757ea8-1bf0-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html#ixzz3ejWmYgAP

      As a river crossing, the Garden Bridge is unnecessary. Central London has more than enough footbridge capacity, having built two in the past 20 years. That is not to say the capital has no need of more crossings. But the real shortage lies further to the less affluent east, where there is a 16-mile gap in which none is to be found.

      High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/34757ea8-1bf0-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html#ixzz3ejWpiPv4

      Nor is the High Line comparison convincing. The creation of an urban park on a disused strip of elevated New York railroad was not just a piece of eye-catching greenery. It was an act of regeneration, helping to revive the run- down Meat Packing district by reconnecting it to its more vibrant neighbours.

      The Garden Bridge spans a part of the river which hardly needs an economic leg-up. At one end is the South Bank, one of the world’s most bustling cultural centres. At the other lies the Temple, a peaceful and ancient cluster of lawyers’ lodgings. Neither needs the traffic, nor the clamour, that the new attraction will provide.

      Some dislike the bridge’s bulk, which will obscure cherished views of St Paul’s Cathedral. More troubling, however, is the way this vanity project will stand as a symbol of London’s social divide. Access to the bridge will be free, if controlled by attendants. But to meet the running costs it will be closed for corporate events at least 12 days a year. This risks making the bridge less of a public asset and more of a private garden for London’s elite.

      The Financial Times would find it hard to stand in the way of a privately funded project, however misguided. What sticks in our craw is the public money involved. Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, has raided the capital’s transport budget for £30m to back this structure. George Osborne, the chancellor, has chipped in a similar amount from taxpayers’ funds.

      While a verdant bridge in the city’s heart may seem a lovely idea, few cities are better endowed with green spaces than London. At a time of austerity, there are plenty of other projects with a better claim on public cash.”

    • “High quality journalism” can fuck right off!
      From behind the paywall:

      “A Millennium Dome on stilts? No thanks

      London can do without the vanity project that is the Garden Bridge

      As London seeks to entrench its position as one of the world’s leading cities, politicians and planners are always on the lookout for eye-catching projects that will draw tourists to the capital.

      Few schemes seem to fit the bill as neatly as the project to build a garden bridge over the river Thames. Advertised as London’s answer to New York’s High Line and designed by Thomas Heatherwick, one of the UK’s most fashionable architects, it has been presented as a public park on the river, a tree-lined place where pedestrians can relax and drink in the views.

      Nurtured by Joanna Lumley, a politically well-connected actress, the project has gathered pace in the decade and a half since it was first abortively mooted as a memorial to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Planning consent was obtained at the end of last year and landing sites found. Legal obstacles have largely been bulldozed aside. Assuming that the £175m necessary to start work can be found, the structure looks likely to be built.

      London has a mixed record of building grand attractions. While some have thrived, such as the London Eye on the South Bank opposite the Houses of Parliament, there have also been costly flops. A good example is the Millennium Dome. This tent-like structure may now have been reinvented as the successful O2 events arena but only after most of the £850m cost was written off. The Garden Bridge may fare better as a pure curiosity. But on most other measures, it is little more than a trophy structure, largely devoid of utility. Indeed, all the signs are that it is the Millennium Dome on stilts.

      As a river crossing, the Garden Bridge is unnecessary. Central London has more than enough footbridge capacity, having built two in the past 20 years. That is not to say the capital has no need of more crossings. But the real shortage lies further to the less affluent east, where there is a 16-mile gap in which none is to be found.

      Nor is the High Line comparison convincing. The creation of an urban park on a disused strip of elevated New York railroad was not just a piece of eye-catching greenery. It was an act of regeneration, helping to revive the run- down Meat Packing district by reconnecting it to its more vibrant neighbours.

      The Garden Bridge spans a part of the river which hardly needs an economic leg-up. At one end is the South Bank, one of the world’s most bustling cultural centres. At the other lies the Temple, a peaceful and ancient cluster of lawyers’ lodgings. Neither needs the traffic, nor the clamour, that the new attraction will provide.

      Some dislike the bridge’s bulk, which will obscure cherished views of St Paul’s Cathedral. More troubling, however, is the way this vanity project will stand as a symbol of London’s social divide. Access to the bridge will be free, if controlled by attendants. But to meet the running costs it will be closed for corporate events at least 12 days a year. This risks making the bridge less of a public asset and more of a private garden for London’s elite.

      The Financial Times would find it hard to stand in the way of a privately funded project, however misguided. What sticks in our craw is the public money involved. Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, has raided the capital’s transport budget for £30m to back this structure. George Osborne, the chancellor, has chipped in a similar amount from taxpayers’ funds.

      While a verdant bridge in the city’s heart may seem a lovely idea, few cities are better endowed with green spaces than London. At a time of austerity, there are plenty of other projects with a better claim on public cash.”

  22. Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs and commented:
    So political vanity projects are exempted from AUSTERITY then?

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