City Hall officials spent £13,000 on an aborted live public screening of Nelson Mandela’s state funeral.
The screening, which was due to be produced in collaboration with the South African High Commission, would have taken place in London’s Trafalgar Square on Sunday 15th December.
An approval document signed by City Hall’s Assistant Director of London Engagement states the event would have “supported the organisation’s role in bringing together London’s diverse communities helping to bring a greater degree of unity and cohesion.”
However a week after a contractor was appointed to oversee the broadcast, officials at City Hall and the Commission decided it was no longer viable “due to the early morning timings (the funeral was due to be screened at 06:30), lack of transport available at this time and forecast weather.”
That decision left taxpayers facing a £13,000 bill for the “vast amount of work” undertaken by the contractors which included attending planning meetings, and contracting security and traffic management services.
The approval document suggests the cost are not wholly wasted because plans for the event could be used “for future ceremonial events that require a similar event on Trafalgar Square.”