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The Greater London Authority (GLA) will occupy the permanent new City Hall in the Royal Docks from January 2022, Mayor Sadiq Khan has said.

The first formal meeting at the new City Hall will be the set-piece Mayor’s Question Time, involving all members of the London Assembly and the public, on Thursday, January 20, three months later than originally scheduled.

At the request of the assembly, the final Mayor’s Question Time of the year will be held at the GLA’s Union Street offices on Thursday, December 16.

The GLA is leaving its distinctive rented base near Tower Bridge and moving to The Crystal building – one of the world’s most sustainable buildings, which it owns outright – in the coming weeks. The Mayor has claimed the move will save the GLA Group £61million over five years.

The GLA will move out of its current base over the next two weeks with the final meeting in the Chamber taking place on Thursday December 2.

The GLA will then move temporarily to its Union Street offices while the final work is completed at The Crystal building, formerly a showpiece conference centre.

The works to transform the new City Hall uncovered long-term water damage to the building’s floor, which has added to the work being carried out ahead of the building’s occupation.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “City Hall’s move to The Crystal building will usher in a new era for the Greater London Authority (GLA) and this flourishing part of East London.

“The move will save £61million over five years which will be used to help protect vital front-line services including in policing, the London Fire Brigade, and our transport network. It will also enable me to invest further in London’s economic recovery from the pandemic.”

The Mayor believes that the move to The Crystal will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Royal Docks which is set to lead to 25,000 new homes and the creation of 60,000 new jobs within the next 20 years. This will be supported by the arrival of the Elizabeth line in the first half of 2022 which will provide rapid access to City Hall from across London.

Opposition to City Hall move

But the move hasn’t been universally welcomed.

Susan Hall, leader of the GLA Conservatives, said: “The Crystal is ill-suited to be home to the Greater London Authority. Sadiq Khan’s plan to convert the building was inevitably going to be a long and expensive process.

“The moving costs have already rocketed by 70 per cent to £13.6 million. And the Mayor still hasn’t confirmed the final bill for the building works.

“The Crystal is quickly becoming a symbol of Sadiq Khan’s mayoralty: delayed, over budget and deeply uninspiring. But, we will not let his moving fiasco frustrate our efforts to hold the Mayor to account.”

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