PUBLISHED: 10:28, Thu, Sep 3, 2020 | UPDATED: 10:28, Thu, Sep 3, 2020
The Mayor of London wants to relocate the Greater London Authority (GLA) to The Crystal - an exhibition centre in the Royal Docks - by December 2021, as part of plans to save £55million over five years. Under the new plans, Mr Khan is planning to have two offices - one at The Crystal and another at Transport for London’s headquarters in Southwark - to allow him keep a base in the centre of the capital. The Crystal is already owned by the GLA but would only be able to accommodate up to 200 of the authority's 1,200 staff, meaning most employees would have to work from home three days a week, while also sharing desks at the TfL building or the nearby London Fire Brigade headquarters.
The London Assembly had demanded other locations around the capital are looked at, as well as the possibility of restoring County Hall, the former home of the Greater London Council.
But the Mayor's plans have suffered a fresh blow after the Labour Party Assembly chair sent a letter to Mr Khan detailing the group's “formal objection” to his City Hall blueprint.
Navin Shah insisted the proposals “do not have a sound financial basis” and would be “detrimental to the standing of the Greater London Authority".
He told Mr Khan he should "not create fundamental, potentially irrevocable division” between the mayoralty and the Assembly, both of which are part of the GLA, by pressing ahead with the relocation.
Sadiq Khan's plan to relocate much of City Hall has suffered a fresh blow (Image: GETTY)
The Greater London Authority is currently based at City Hall (Image: GETTY)
Mr Shah wrote in doing so “on that basis, and in the face of reasoned objection from one of the two constituent bodies comprising the Authority, which has its own democratic mandate and a legitimate interest in this matter, would be wrong".
The London Assembly chair urged the Mayor to “re-think your proposals, by working more effectively with the Assembly”, as well as “engaging positively” with alternative options for making further savings.
Mr Khan has not formally replied to the letter, but a few days after Mr Shah's concerns were express, again confirmed his intention to go ahead with the move.
In the letter dated August 19, Mr Shah "urges" the Mayor to “immediately start negotiations” with the landlord the St Martin’s Property Group to enable a six-month extension to a “break clause” in the current contract.
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The Mayor of London wants to relocate the GLA to The Crystal (Image: GETTY)