London, June 25 (IANS) London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that he plans to move out of the iconic City Hall to save money in the wake of the unprecedented financial emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement on Wednesday, Khan said leaving the City Hall building, close to London’s Tower Bridge, would save 55 million pounds ($69 million) over five years, reports Xinhua news agency.
A spokesperson for Khan said the savings would be used by the Mayor to protect front-line public services and to invest in London’s economic recovery.
The Mayor plans to move the the Greater London Authority (GLA) headquarters from the City Hall to The Crystal, a building already owned by the GLA, saying it would help kick-start huge regeneration project in the Royal Docks area in east London.
The Crystal has been described as one of the most environmentally sustainable offices in the world.
Khan, who has cut his own salary by 10 per cent, said that the GLA group faces a budget shortfall of up to 493 million pounds over the next two years due to COVID-19.
He has warned of significant cuts across the entire GLA group, including public transport, the Metropolitan Police Service and the London Fire Brigade.
“My first priority will always be to protect funding for front-line services, including public transport, the Met Police and the London Fire Brigade.
“That’s why I’m consulting on plans for the GLA to leave the current City Hall building next year,” Khan added in the statement.