London Assembly Casts Scrutiny On City's Sponsorship Program
Transport for London (TfL)'s recent sponsorships may ultimately save taxpayers more than £60 million through deals such as Barclay's Cycle Hire and Emirates Air Line cable car, but lawmakers in recent months have been taking a closer look at both the financial and reputational impact of municipal sponsorship. Today, they are calling for more transparency in the selection process.
"The pursuit of sponsorship income to help support public services is an attractive idea, and it may indeed have value, by making savings to the public purse and by allowing public authorities to focus their resources more sharply on their key objectives," John Biggs AM, Chairman of the Budget and Performance Committee writes. "But there are downsides too, particularly as more complex, and high profile arrangements and sponsors are considered."
One of the Assembly's central concerns is in what it calls "a lack of clarity on what is and is not appropriate for sponsorship." The Assembly's full recommendations can be read here.
Back in December, the London Assembly questioned TfL execs about their sponsorship process in a lengthy, but very interesting window into the way elected officials view sponsorship. Watch below.
TfL it seems may have to take the Assembly's sponsorship recommendations to heart. The London Assembly is an elected body that scrutinizes the activities of the Mayor of London and has the power, with a two-thirds majority, to amend the mayor's annual budget.