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London is wasting tons of money on bongs, art and rubbish

Eddy Frankel

It's come to our attention that London has seriously loosened up its purse strings lately - here's what we've been wasting money on this week.

£40 million on bongs

Big Ben is in desperate need of renovation and it's going to cost a whole lot of cashish to make sure it keeps hitting those bongs. It's been 31 years since the Great Clock had a revamp. Now, its hands, mechanism, pendulum and brickwork need fixing. The 156-year-old Clock Tower has structural cracks and doesn't conform to current health and safety regulations. The £40 million figure put on repairs includes £4.9 million 'to prevent the clock from failing' plus £29 million to renovate the rest of the building. Replace it with a massive G-Shock: those things are way harder to break.

£520,000 on some art

Everyone likes the Orbit, right? Anish Kapoor's massive red Olympic sculpture that looks like it was designed in the dark? Everyone. Well, prepare to have your artistic chips pissed on, because it turns out that the Orbit has become a massive drain on taxpayers' funds. The twistyturny sculpture lost a whopping £10,000 a week last year. Organisers had originally envisaged it getting 350,000 visitors per year, each paying £10 for the privilege; they have since revised that down to 150,000 visitors. The only way to turn this around is to make it into a giant slide like we all originally wanted or knock it down and use the materials to repair Big Ben. Thrifty

Alan Stanton

£19 million on rubbish

Fly-tipping (which is apparently not a miniature version of cow-tipping, disappointingly) cost London a staggering £19 million last year. There were 350,400 reported incidents of illegally dumped waste in this city. Haringey, Newham, Croydon and Southwark took the brunt of it, each spending £1m on disposing of abandoned mattresses, sinks, white goods and coffins (seriously). Costs for next year look set to be even higher when Newham has to cart away the Orbit.

Not convinced? Here are four reasons London is a giant waste of time and money.

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