Mayor Sadiq Khan criticised as delayed review into huge West Ham stadium overspend faces going over budget

 
Oliver Gill
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Fans Arrive For West Ham United's First Game At Their New Stadium
Some £323m was spent converting the Olympic Stadium for West Ham United (Source: Getty)

Mayor Sadiq Khan has been slammed for severe delays to a report into the mammoth overspend on West Ham’s Olympic Stadium deal that could see its publication kicked into next year.

The hold-up also increases the likelihood that the report into how the project went over budget could itself cost more than anticipated.

A report on the £323m bill to convert the Olympic Stadium into the Hammers new home was due to be published this summer.

But Moore Stephens, the accountancy firm charged with pulling together the report, are grappling with the workload and not due to deliver the first draft to Mayor Sadiq Khan until the end of November.

Conservative London Assembly leader Gareth Bacon said: “A review of the Olympic Stadium was first discussed at City Hall around a year ago.

The Mayor suggested in response to a question at Mayor’s Question Time on 14 September that the report would be received by the end of September.

None these deadlines have been hit and now we hear that the final report may not be released until some unspecified date in the New Year. This is simply not good enough.

Read more: This firm's to net £140k investigating overspending on the Olympic Stadium

Transformation budget

Taxpayers have borne the majority of the cost for West Ham’s £752m home, though this cost includes the original build for the Olympics, some £429m.

In 2013, the then Mayor Boris Johnson signed off a £115m “total transformation budget” to convert the 2012 venue into Upton Park’s replacement.

But construction firm Balfour Beatty encountered a catalogue of problems with the design of the stadium’s new cantilever roof. This meant costs quickly spiralled, more than doubling to the final bill of £323m.

In October 2016, City Hall announced it intended to initiate a detailed investigation. Moore Stephens was formally appointed in February, estimating its own costs would be £140,400.

Fieldwork was due to be performed between February and May with a draft report delivered to the Mayor in June. The report was then due to be made public in the summer of 2017.

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"Taken some time"

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said Moore Stephens needed to talk to a number of decision-makers that are no longer with the relevant organisations “which in some cases no longer exist, and that has taken some time”.

It is expected that Moore Stephens will provide their report to the Mayor by the end of November and we fully intend to publish their findings before the end of the year.

It is uncertain whether Moore Stephens’ fee will exceed its original estimate given the complications and extended time period.

However, the Mayor’s published appointment document states: “If it is necessary to increase the number of days required, after agreement with the GLA, the cost would increase proportionately.”

Read more: New West Ham stadium facing cash problems

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