London & Partners' £3m costs avoidable, says report

The merger that created London & Partners has been criticised in a London Assembly report.

London & Partners’ £5m costs avoidable, says report
London & Partners’ £5m costs avoidable, says report

A London Assembly report found that the £5m total deficit for taxpayers  – which includes £3m to rescue the Visit London pension scheme and £2m on London & Partners’ start-up costs – should have been foreseen as part of a cost-benefit analysis.
 
"Avoidable"
 
Len Duvall, leader of the Labour group on the Assembly, said the decision of London & Partners, a publicly-funded private company set up by Boris Johnson, not to take on the pensions of almost 200 current and former tourism staff and costing taxpayers £3m, was "entirely avoidable".
 
"This was an entirely avoidable situation which has cost London taxpayers millions and put pensioners and staff through needless anxiety. I welcome the fact the pensions will not now be dumped, but it’s clear the Mayor failed to assess the costs and implications of setting up this company," he added.
 
Merger

Visit London, Think London and Study London were merged earlier this year into the limited company London & Partners, the creation of which was mostly funded by the taxpayer.

The decision to withdraw funding from Visit London in favour of London & Partners forced the organisation into administration when it became clear the company could not honour its obligations to the pension fund and creditors.

London & Partners' response

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "The Assembly's report makes clear that the mayor has resolved the issues caused by Visit London going in to administration, resulting in the protection of benefits for members of the British Tourist Board pension scheme and ensuring that Visit London’s creditors will be paid in full.

"In doing so the mayor has had to balance the interests of these groups with his fiduciary duties and strong commitment to the taxpayers of London to get value for money. We have done exactly that. Establishing London & Partners means that, despite these tough times, when public funds are scarce, we are promoting the capital more coherently and compellingly around the world than ever before. We are also spending less money on the ‘back office’ functions that supported three separate organisations."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Case study: Lenovo Connect

Case study: Lenovo Connect

The technology giant's two-day event for 450 guests took place in London, organised by Jack Morton Worldwide.

Two new recruits for Sleek Events

Two new recruits for Sleek Events

Agency also plans fundraising sports day this summer for its new charity partner Meeting Needs.

'We often see details brushed over - that's the sort of thing we take seriously'

'We often see details brushed over - that's the sort of thing we take seriously'

A-List 2019: Catherine Coulter, director of BeaconHouse Events.

Businesses routinely miss out on sales leads at trade events, research reveals

Businesses routinely miss out on sales leads at trade events, research reveals

Generic sales pitches, misspelt names and 'hard-sell' techniques are leading to lost revenue and business opportunities.

Most popular European cities for MICE bookings revealed

Most popular European cities for MICE bookings revealed

Tech company Aventri ranks cities' popularity for meetings and events based on bookings made through its venue sourcing platform.

'My MD gives me additional roles to help me learn, and experiences to develop my skills'

'My MD gives me additional roles to help me learn, and experiences to develop my skills'

A-List 2019: Anna Clarke is senior account executive at Ex Events.

Reinventing networking with 'brain dates' for attendees

Reinventing networking with 'brain dates' for attendees

Fundamental changes are needed to reorganise events around face-to-face connections rather than content, says agency director.

Live Union welcomes three new faces

Live Union welcomes three new faces

Marketing director, business development director and production manager all join the London-based team

No one should be expected to work for free and the same goes for speakers

No one should be expected to work for free and the same goes for speakers

It's unethical to expect speaking gigs to be unpaid, says Nick Gold, MD of Speakers Corner.

'I don't think I would have had the same opportunity and support in a bigger company'

'I don't think I would have had the same opportunity and support in a bigger company'

A-List 2019: Olivia Chilton, senior account executive at Clear Partners.

LATEST JOBS