BY SHUJAUL AZAM
A town hall leader has hit back after USA’s President Trump refused to cut the ribbon for the new American Embassy.
This follows the decision by the President to cancel his trip to London, in February. He tweeted on Friday that he was “not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts’, only to build a new one in an off-location for $1.2billion.”
He also said: “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut the ribbon-NO!”
However, Wandsworth council leader Councillor Ravi Govindia, who is also co-chairman of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: “If Nine Elms was off-location yesterday, it is certainly centre stage now.
“The US ambassador has spoken about the pride he and his staff feel in their new embassy.
“Not only are they moving to an iconic new Zone 1 building that’s closer to Downing Street than the current embassy, they’re also are part of the $15billion transformation of this part of central London that’s bringing 20,000 new homes and 25,000 permanent jobs.
“It is also where tech giant Apple is moving its entire UK operation so it’s clearly not an off-location for them.
“The Nine Elms area also contains New Covent Garden Market and Battersea Power Station. It will bring two new Tube stations to the borough and will also be home to Penguin Random House and the Royal College of Art’s new Innovations Centre in Battersea.
“The US Embassy, along with these high profile digital and technology institutions coming to Nine Elms will have a welcome knock-on effect in encouraging other big name companies to make a similar move.
“And of course, one of the great selling points of Nine Elms is its connectivity. It’s within walking distance of Sloane Square and the Houses of Parliament and, as well as the Tube stations, we’ve seen these transport links strengthen further with the opening of new pier at Battersea Power Station’s Circus West Village.
“This now connects us, through the River Bus service operated by MBNA Thames Clippers, to
Embankment, Blackfriars and Canary Wharf via a network of piers along the Thames.
“No other development project can match Nine Elms in terms of social and economic benefits. As opposed to being off-location, I would say Nine Elms is London’s most exciting destination with a huge amount to offer.”