Sadiq Khan to have TWO offices under plans to move City Hall from Tower Bridge

SADIQ KHAN will have two offices under plans to move the City Hall operation from its £43million base beside Tower Bridge.

The London Mayor will have one office the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) proposed new home at the Crystal conference centre in Canning Town and a second at TfL’s headquarters in Southwark. Sadiq Khan said moving City Hall to the East End would save Londoners £55 million over five years.

The plans were unveiled by his chief of staff David Bellamy at a meeting of the London Assembly yesterday.

Mr Bellamy said: “The Mayor obviously has meetings all round the place.

“Obviously its a matter for whoever is elected in the elections next year about how they balance the time across the GLA group.

“Absolutely the Mayors main office is going to be at the Crystal in this proposal.”

The GLA relocation will not take place until December 2021 so Sadiq Khan will need to be re-elected next May if he is to benefit from the move.

But he must serve notice on City Hall by September, putting the plans for a move in action even if a new Mayor is elected.

Rent on City Hall is currently £11.1 million a year but goes up to £12.6 million a year from December 2021.

Chief finance officer David Gallie said he was “very confident” of saving £55million but admitted the figure over the next two financial years would be “limited”.

The Mayor has a £493million hole in his budget over 2020/21 and the next financial year, because of expected drops in council tax and business rates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

And the estimated cost of refurbishing the Crystal and getting TfL offices ready for GLA staff is around £8 million.

Officials insist this has already been factored into the proposed savings, and £10 million for repairing wear and tear at City Hall when the GLA leaves has already been put aside.

Conservative leader Susan Hall, who chairs the budget scrutiny committee, raised concerns only 150 of GLA’ss 1,190 staff could be accommodated at the Crystal.

Mr Bellamy claimed 150 was “an underestimate” as the GLA-owned Crysal could be redesigned to be more efficient.

He said a a further 150 personnel will be based at Union Street and 300 at TfLs Palestra building under the plans.

But he admitted employees would be expected to work two or three days a week from home on average – with some staff spending even more days out of office.

Ms Hall said: “It looks like you have got places for possibly 500 to 600 staff and you have admitted we have nearly 1,200 on the books.

“I just dont know where you are going to be putting them.”