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

Green light for hotel in famous art deco building

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Hotel
Trilogy Real Estate

A “masterpiece" of craftsmanship originally built as offices for a train company is to be transformed into a 526-bedroom luxury hotel.

Westminster Council’s planning committee has given the green light for Blue Orchid Hotels to transform the 10-storey office block at The Broadway above St James’s Station.

The building was hailed by councillor James Spencer as “one of the most important buildings in terms of Art Deco design work in London and quintessentially British Art Deco.”

The “landmark” 1929 grade I-listed building was designed by Charles Holden as the headquarters for the Underground Electric Railways of London Ltd – with the Tube line running below.

The firm was taken into public ownership and became London Transport in 1933 – the precursor to Transport for London which sold the long lease for the building last summer for £120m – with the last office workers leaving earlier this year.

The council said the building has “exceptional architectural interest” and is a showcase of work by some of the top names in inter-war British sculpture.

It has 10 avant-garde style sculptures carved into the Portland stone around the outside of the building by artists including Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill and Henry Moore.

Artwork “affront to the senses”

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Design by Supermundane (Rob Lowe) for Mercer St
Westminster Council

A mural by an internationally renowned artist which would have decorated the wall of an art supply shop has been rejected after the design was described as “an affront to the senses” and the owners were told to go back to the drawing board.

The Mercers’ Company commissioned internationally renowned graphic artist Rob Lowe, known as Supermundane, to come up with an advert for the wall of the London Graphic Centre in Mercer Street which it wanted to keep there for two years.

According to the South London based artist’s website his signature geometric images “play with line, colour and optical effects”.

His clients include Great Ormond Street Hospital, Arts Council England, V & A, Penguin, Liberty of London and Leeds train station.

He also created designs for the British Red Cross’s Kindness Will Keep Us Together campaign.

Diners can also see his work at Soho restaurant and bar, Bob Bob Cite, and he has exhibited internationally as far afield as New York, Tokyo and Belgium.

The 14.4 x 15m geometric mural of interlocking designs the Mercers’ Company wanted to put up on the shop wall for two years also includes the words “Creativity is In All of Us”.

James Spencer who chaired Westminster council’s planning sub committee said: “They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is not doing it for me.

“I think it is an affront to the senses, this, especially as it is in a residential area. I agree with residents. I agree that two years is a long test time.”

However councillor Matt Noble said “I don’t share their utter dislike of it. I think there is a lot of artistic merit in the design.”

Council's richest residents to fund coronavirus charities

Money donated by Westminster richest residents is to be used to help local organisations manage the coronavirus epidemic.

A £250,000 special fund has been set up by the Westminster voluntary Community Contribution Fund - made up of donations from Westminster’s top-rate band H council tax payers - to allocate grants more quickly.

The fund has raised £1m since it was set up in March 2018 - the equivalent of a £63 contribution from Westminster's 15,910 top rate council tax payer.

The usual suggested amount for a donation from a band H homeowner is just under £900 a year - matching the £896.42 council tax for a property in that bracket.

However, the coronavirus crisis has sparked bigger donations - with two recent contributions of nearly £9,000 and £10,000 respectively.

Funds are collected and distributed by the City of Westminster Charitable Trust. The Council supports in fundraising for the scheme.

Kensington and Chelsea and Surrey County Councils run similar schemes.

Cllr Rachael Robathan, leader of Westminster City Council: said: “The community contribution’s original priorities overlap with the kinds of issues we are seeing as a result of Covid-19 - rough sleeping is shooting up and loneliness among those self-isolating is widely recognised as a problem.

“There was an obvious need to create a new fund aimed at our current unprecedented conditions which could help as soon as possible."

London gets temporary mortuary to deal with Covid-19 deaths

A temporary mortuary has been built in central London in preparation for a predicted rise in the number of deaths from coronavirus.

temporary morgue set up in London
Getty Images

The large white tent, next to Westminster Coroner’s Court in Horseferry Road, has capacity for 112 bodies.

Similar arrangements were made following the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017, in which 72 people were killed.

A Westminster Council spokesperson said: “This is a precautionary step and similar arrangements are made during any London wide response to incidents.

"We hope and trust that this will not be needed but it is sensible to prepare at this stage.”

As of 09:00 on Thursday, Westminster had 68 confirmed cases and Kensington and Chelsea had 55. Southwark is now the London borough with the most cases, at 70.

Council builds 200 new homes in central London

Building
Westminster City Council

Westminster City Council has launched a new housing development in the heart of Paddington Basin, delivering 197 new homes.

Dudley House is a £104m council-led, mixed-use development that "aims to encourage a more diverse community in central London by tackling the critical shortage of affordable housing in the City of Westminster", Westminster City Council said

Dudley house incorporates 197 council-owned residential in a modern residential block, it added.

Cllr Rachael Robathan, said: “Just 2% of homes in our City are for those on average or ‘intermediate’ incomes. We need to ensure that those who work here have a chance of living here - that means people like the families, doctors and nurses who keep Westminster moving.

“Dudley House is an example of how a local authority, working with partners, can build affordable and attractive properties in the middle of a capital city with an intense crush on its housing stock and sky-high rents.

"The City Council is leading an ambitious programme to deliver 1,850 affordable homes by 2023, and Dudley House is an important milestone in that work.”

The project also includes a new permanent home for Marylebone Boys School, a church and a retail unit.

Crackdown on "rogue" motorised pedicabs in Westminster

Seized pedicabs
Met Police
Some of the motorised pedicabs seized during the crackdown

Thirty "rogue" pedicabs fitted with adapted motors have been seized by police during a crackdown in the borough of Westminster.

Met Special Constabulary officers were deployed across central London including Oxford, Regent and Bond streets to "deter anti-social behaviour and any other related involving pedicabs".

Converted rickshaws have a power outage which requires them to be taxed, insured and registered. Drivers also need to have a driving licence.

In the past two months, prior to last Saturday’s operation, a further 35 rickshaws have been seized for having no insurance.

Acting Special Inspector, Geoff Tatman of the Met’s Vehicle Enforcement Team, said: "This weekend’s operation was aimed at targeting pedicabs, which have been fitted with electric motors. The alteration results in their overall power outage and speed being increased, and subsequently defines them as motor vehicles with the requirement for appropriate documentation.

“We are determined to keep the streets of central London safe for all, and this successful operation demonstrates that those who choose to flout the law will be dealt with robustly."

Watch: How one borough helps London's rough sleepers

The streets of Westminster have some of the highest number of rough sleepers in the UK.

But, the borough council's outreach team is out every night of the year finding those people and offering them support to get them off the street, hopefully for good

BBC London spent the evening with Robert White, who leads Westminster's outreach team.

Westminster Council leader to quit after election win

Local Democracy Reporting Service

City of Westminster Council leader has announced she will leave her role after she was elected as an MP last night.

Nickie Aiken said she felt "dazed" after a long campaign which saw her win the Cities of London and Westminster constituency.

Straight away, the new MP pledged to help the capital's rough sleepers.

She said: “My main priorities for the constituency will be to try and work with ministers to really tackle the on-going issues of rough sleeping we have in London and to change their lives around.

“And short term lettings have got to be addressed. It’s caused a massive issue and that’s really got to be addressed. It’s caused major problems many many for people in central London.”

She will be tendering her resignation next week as Leader of the Conservative controlled Westminster City Council as she said you can’t do both jobs.

Westminster City contractors to get London Living Wage

Local Democracy Reporting Service

People working for contractors employed by Westminster City Council will get paid the London Living Wage as a minimum.

The council is the latest to insist that contractors who want to do business with it pay their employees the wage, which currently stands at £10.75 an hour.

It means that contractors will also get the wage, which the council had already signed up to for its own staff.

The move follows other councils, including City of London, which insist that contractors also pay the London Living Wage.

It means that 22 local authorities in London, including Hammersmith and Fulham, Tower Hamlets and Redbridge, are fully signed up to the voluntary scheme.

A third are not listed by the Living Wage Foundation. Westminster city council’s chief executive Stuart Love said: “As a City for All, we’re enormously proud of being accredited as a London Living Wage employer.

“We are nothing without our staff and those who represent us. In Westminster we have some of the very best and it’s only right that they should be paid properly.

“We believe that should apply right across the board whether the staff work directly for us or come from a contractor.”