Westminster Council

All of the seats in Westminster were up for election this year. Find out more about these elections.

Election 2018 Results

CON HOLD
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyConservative

Elected in 2018 41 Total councillors 41 Change-3

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 19 Total councillors 19 Change+3
Councillors change compared with 2014

Most Recent

Radical plans for the Strand unveiled

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Strand Aldwych proposal visual
Westminster City Council
A proposal of how a reshaped Strand Aldwych could appear looking east to the rear of the St Mary le Strand Church.

It is one of London’s best known streets and is home to the headquarters of the tax office turned-entertainment venue and a London Fashion Week hotspot.

Now designers will be fleshing out their plans to transform the Strand – the street which includes Somerset House, and King’s College.

It follows a consultation Westminster Council held earlier this year to find out what businesses and residents thought of its ideas to bring the street into the 21st century.

Out will go the gyratory and in will come two way traffic in Aldwych in the theatre and hotel district.

There will also be a plaza near St Mary Le Strand Church which is currently stranded on a traffic island.

Designers will also draw up better links to tourist hotspots at the South Bank, Covent Garden and the West End.

The aim is also to improve air quality – a key target for the council.

The council is set to stage more public events to look at the plans next year once these detailed proposals for the area – known by some as the Northbank – are ready.

Council to insist contractors sign up to London Living Wage

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Westminster Council is the latest authority in the capital to insist its contractors sign up to the London Living Wage which could increase its wage bill by £3m to £6m over the next few years.

It is also extending its own London Living Wage policy to its apprentices.

The decision could mean the top 20 contractors which are paid £360m by Westminster for services each year will all sign up.

So far the council said just two of them have “universally” signed up to the afreement.

The move means it will follow 18 other London councils, including Kensington and Chelsea which pledged to ensure its contractors were paying their staff, including cleaners the £10.55 per hour wage as new contracts get signed off.

Westminster’s Cabinet member for finance Racheal Robatham said the move could see wage bills increase between £3m and £6m over the next three to five years as new contracts are drawn up with its suppliers.

The bill for apprentices is also likely to soar by £0.1m over the same period.

The change comes in next month after it got the go-ahead from Westminster’s Cabinet.

Council leader Nickie Aiken said the council wanted to extend the London Living Wage which their own staff already get as a minimum.

She said that contractors traditionally pay their workers a set rate but the council wanted to change that.

Measles warning after Westminster rise

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Baby with measles
Science Photo Library

Parents in west London are again being urged to get their children vaccinated against the potentially-deadly measles virus.

It follows an outbreak in the first half of this year, with 48 cases detected in May alone, compared to only five cases in January and two in February.

This week, health officials from Westminster Council will send letters to parents of every child registered with a GP in the borough.

The letter reminds parents of the symptoms, which commonly include a rash of white a red blotches, a fever, runny nose and eyes, and a sore throat.

And it suggests booking a GP appointment as soon as possible if any child has had only one – or no – MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jabs.

Mumps cases are also on the rise, with 235 new cases recorded across London between January and the end of June alone, compared with 147 cases in all of 2018.

Though its symptoms are less serious than measles, NHS officials are again urging parents to get their children vaccinated.

The first MMR dose is usually given to children at three months and a second top-up dose at three years and three months.

Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster’s cabinet member for public health, said: “We are lucky that the situation isn’t worse in the city, given Westminster falls below the levels required to be effective against outbreaks.

“Measles is a very unpleasant disease and the effects can be devastating, so we want to make sure parents are aware of the dangers.”

Free pop up business school to open in Soho

Pop up business school
Westminster City Council

A free pop-up business school for people who have dreams of starting their own business will open for two weeks in Soho.

The school, which is run in partnership with Westminster City Council, is intended for various ranges of people, from those with no cash and no business experience to fledgling start-ups that need guidance to keep on track.

A similar event last year attracted more than 100 people with a quarter of them starting a new business and getting their first sale within five days, according to the council.

Simon Paine, PopUp Business School co-founder and CEO, said “You don’t need money, experience or a university degree to start a business. You just need an idea, some passion and a bit of help."

The school will be open at Soho Centre, Westminster Kingsway College, between 8 and 19 July.

Statues become focus of Dementia Week in London

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Roosevelt and Churchill statue
Westminster Council

The unusual sight of iconic statues of Sherlock Holmes, Winston Churchill and Mozart draped in yellow scarves decorated with blue Forget Me Not flowers, has greeted many workers and visitors to central London in recent days.

The “forget me not” scarves appeared on 11 statues in central and west London to mark Dementia Action Week, led by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Westminster Council, which has nearly 1,800 residents suffering with the degenerative condition, this week decorated several statues, including:

  • The Allies (Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt) in Bond Street
  • Sherlock Holmes in Baker Street
  • The Ballet Dancer in Covent Garden
  • Woman of Samaria, aka the Water Carrier, in Berkeley Square, Mayfair
  • Mozart in Ebury Street, Belgravia
  • King Charles I in Whitehall

And there are five more in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where the council says 1,500 of its residents have the condition.

  • The Venus fountain, Sloane Square
  • St Volodymyr the Great in Holland Park
  • A Moment of Peril at the Leighton House Museum
  • The Boy with Dolphin by the Albert Bridge
  • The Boy David at Chelsea Embankment

One in six people in the UK who are aged 80+ have dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. And it currently affects some 850,000 people.

Council cabinet back £232m Oxford Street plan

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Oxford Street
Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ambitious plans to transform Oxford Street and the surrounding area took a step closer as Westminster council’s cabinet backed a £232m strategy for the street and the wider area.

Politicians endorsed the scheme which could see not just the world famous street, which attracts 200 million visits a year, undergo a major transformation but also the surrounding streets.

The cabinet backed the project which will see the council invest £150m, but will need an extra £82m funding.

Council leader Nickie Aiken said she hoped the scheme would encourage other partners to put money into the project.

“I think this is an investment for the future, not just for retail but for the city as a whole bringing more jobs and more prosperity to the city," and added that she hoped "that the mayor changes his mind and also thinks that it is worth investing in.”

The decision came at the same time as the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London, including Westminster.

Ms Aiken said both schemes aim to improve air quality in the City.

Last summer the council walked away from plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street and said it wanted to look at the whole area.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the decision was a “betrayal” and posed “a real threat to the future” of the high profile road.

The council staged its own consultation and said residents and businesses want it to improve the surrounding district, which it said supports 155,000 jobs.

It is part of the council’s “long term and ambitious vision” to “strengthen its world-wide renowned status as a great place to live, work and visit”.

The cabinet also approved spending £21m on design, surveys and other feasibility work to help it draw up its plans for the major shopping street and the surrounding area.

In February, the council gave the green light to transform the Oxford Street area and had set aside £150m for the work.

'Improvements' to be made to Westminster street markets

Berwick Street Market
Westminster City Archives

"Improvements" will be introduced to five Westminster street markets as part of a bid to protect their future, the council have said.

The alterations at the markets in Berwick Street, Church Street, Maida Hill, Strutton Ground and Tachbrook Street follow a three-month consultation by Westminster City Council to ensure the markets remain relevant after years of decline.

Berwick Street market
Westminster City Archives

Among the changes called for by more than 900 people spoken to for the paper, the top priorities were:

  • The introduction of cashless payments
  • Improved promotion of the markets, their traders and special events
  • Diversity of stallholders and stalls

Councillor David Harvey said markets "provide an incredible valuable service... but we can't afford to stand still".

“As a council, we will do all we can to help,” he said.

Sutton Ground market
Westminster City Archives

3D zebra crossing for Ludgate Circus considered

Local Democracy Reporting Service

3D crossing in St John's Road
Talia Shadwell
A 3D zebra crossing in St John\\'s Wood, London, installed by Westminster City Council after a community safety campaign.

City leaders have asked whether “dangerous” junction Ludgate Circus could benefit from a “3D” zebra-crossing designed to get London drivers to slow down.

Their interest came after Westminster City Council this month became the first council in the UK to try out the optical illusion.

The feature at the junction of High Street and Wellington Place in St John’s Wood is located only minutes from The Beatles’ famed Abbey Road crossing.

Its design gives the appearance of a raised road, creating the illusion that pedestrians are floating across whichever side drivers approach it from.

The illusion is meant to catch drivers’ attention, encouraging them to slow down so pedestrians can cross safely.

It is being trialled by Westminster council after a campaign by nearby Barrow Road Junior School, NW8 Mums and the St John’s Wood Society, who told the council the 20mph limit was too fast.

The crossing has since also piqued City planning councillors’ interest, as the Corporation pushes toward a goal of ending road deaths and casualties in the Square Mile.

Bank Junction’s pedestrian injuries have reduced drastically since leaders voted to close it to all traffic except cyclists and buses, after a cyclist was hit and killed by a lorry there.

However councillors have in recent months been voicing worries that nearby Ludgate Circus, a busy junction between Fleet Street and St Paul’s Cathedral, presents a renewed risk.