SADIQ Khan's 'beach party' is set to return to London this summer with a £300,000 price tag – but this time there will be a bigger pool.
Politicians reacted with fury that the free Royal Docks event will return to East London with financial help from the Mayor's office – but at the same time he claims to not have sufficient cash to fight knife crime properly.
The free event will last for five weeks in the summer holidays at the Royal Victoria Docks.
It's being marketed as a "home for family fun this summer, with a paddling pool twice the size of last year!"
Officials are exploring the possibility of swimming lessons for kids as well.
The Mayor's office insist the money being spent on the event is ring-fenced cash that can only be spent in the local area – as part of the conditions for devolving business rates to local authorities.
But critics argued that Londoner's money should be spent on more police instead as Britain's knife crime crisis continues.
Susan Hall, Conservative Assembly Member, told The Sun: "Sadiq Khan’s Beach Party may have been re-branded a Splash Party, but that doesn’t change the fact that this event represents a shocking waste of taxpayers’ money.
"With knife crime in Newham surging by 12 percent on Sadiq Khan’s watch, young east Londoners need protection rather than a taxpayer-subsidised paddling pool. The Mayor should scrap this £300K event and use the money instead to keep Newham residents safe.
"This absurd situation would be funny if it wasn’t such a shocking indictment of this Mayor’s skewed priorities. People will rightly question why Khan is prioritising paddling pools over the safety of vulnerable Londoners."
The Mayor has repeatedly said he can't spent more cash on police and fighting crime as his central budgets have been cut too much.
Last year's pop-up party featured street food stalls and classic film screenings too.
The final bill came to an eye-watering £462,794, we revealed last year.
The money for the beach project came from the London Economic Action Partnership – which works under the Mayor's office.
The cash for the project was from business rates generated in the local area.
50,000 Londoners flocked to the beach to enjoy a 22-metre swimming lido, a sun deck, street food stalls and musical entertainment – all for free.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "The Royal Docks is set to become a major new district for London with up to 60,000 jobs and 25,500 new affordable homes. It is set to attract more than £8 billion of investment by 2037/38.
"This summer we will be launching the Join The Docks festival with a range of activities for the local community, including a new Kids Summer Splash event.
"This community festival is funded entirely from local business rates, which must be used for the regeneration of the Royal Docks. It is a small but crucial part of the wider £212.5 million investment programme and is key to supporting the local community in the Royal Docks."
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