Westminster City Council

Westminster City Council is the local authority for the City of Westminster in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council and is entitled to be known as a city council, which is a rare distinction in the United Kingdom. The city is divided into 20 wards, each electing three councillors. The council is currently composed of 41 Conservative Party members and 19 Labour Party members.[1] The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced three local authorities: Paddington Metropolitan Borough Council, St Marylebone Metropolitan Borough Council and Westminster Borough Council.

Westminster City Council

Westminster London Borough Council
Leader of the Council
Cllr Rachael Robathan, Conservative
since 22 January 2020
Lord Mayor
Cllr Jonathan Glanz, Conservative
since May 2020
Chief executive
Stuart Love
since 17 January 2018
Seats60 councillors
Political groups
Majority Party (41)
  •   Conservative (41)

Opposition (19)

First past the post
Last election
3 May 2018
Next election
May 2022
Meeting place
Westminster City Hall


A map showing the wards of Westminster since 2002

There have previously been a number of local authorities responsible for the Westminster area. The current local authority was first elected in 1964, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the City of Westminster on 1 April 1965. Westminster City Council replaced Paddington Metropolitan Borough Council, St Marylebone Metropolitan Borough Council and the Westminster City Council which had responsibility for the earlier, smaller City of Westminster. All three had been created in 1900, with Paddington and St Marylebone replacing the parish vestries incorporated by the Metropolis Management Act 1855. Westminster itself has a more convoluted history and the metropolitan borough council established in 1900 had replaced the Vestry of the Parish of St George Hanover Square, the Vestry of the Parish of St Martin in the Fields, the Strand District Board of Works, the Westminster District Board of Works and the Vestry of the Parish of Westminster St James.[2]

It was envisaged that through the London Government Act 1963 Westminster as a London local authority would share power with the Greater London Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the Greater London Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance, flood prevention, and refuse disposal; with the local authorities responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. This arrangement lasted until 1986 when Westminster City Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste disposal. Westminster became an education authority in 1990. Since 2000 the Greater London Authority has taken some responsibility for highways and planning control from the council, but within the English local government system the council remains a "most purpose" authority in terms of the available range of powers and functions.[3]

Powers and functions

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation, and has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It sets council tax and as a billing authority also collects precepts for Greater London Authority functions and business rates.[4] It sets planning policies which complement Greater London Authority and national policies, and decides on almost all planning applications accordingly. It is a local education authority and is also responsible for council housing, social services, libraries, waste collection and disposal, traffic, and most roads and environmental health.[5]


The Council is usually based at Westminster City Hall on Victoria Street in Victoria. The City Hall was designed by Burnet Tait & Partners on a speculative basis, and completed in 1966.[6]

Summary results of elections

Overall control Conservative Labour Residents
2018 Conservative 41 19 -
2014 Conservative 44 16 -
2010 Conservative 48 12 -
2006 Conservative 48 12 -
2002 Conservative 48 12 -
1998 Conservative 47 13 -
1994 Conservative 45 15 -
1990 Conservative 45 15 -
1986 Conservative 32 27 1
1982 Conservative 43 16 1
1978 Conservative 39 19 2
1974 Conservative 37 23 -
1971 Conservative 37 23 -
1968 Conservative 55 5 -
1964 Conservative 41 19 -


Lord Mayors of Westminster

Year Name Notes
1965Sir Charles Norton2nd term. First Lord Mayor.
1966Anthony L. Burton
1966Arthur C. Barrett
1967Christopher Anthony Prendergast
1968Leonard Pearl
1970Brian Fitzgerald-Moore2nd term
1971John Wells
1972John E. Guest
1973David Neville Cobbold2nd term
1974Group Captain Gordon Pirie2nd term
1975Councillor Roger M. Dawe
1976Jack Gillett
1977Hugh Cubitt
1978Wing Commander William Henry Kearney
1979Reginald Forrester
1980Donald du Parc Braham
1981G. I. Harley
1982Thomas Whipham
1983Phoebette Sitwell
1984John Bull
1985Roger Bramble
1986Mrs Terence Mallinson
1987Kevin Gardner
1988Elizabeth Flach
1989Simon Mabey
1990Dr David Avery
1991Dame Shirley Porter
1992Dr Cyril Nemeth
1993Jenny Bianco
1994Angela Hooper
1995Alan Bradley
1996Robert Davis
1997Ronald Raymond-Cox
1998David Harvey
1999Alex Segal
2000Michael Brahams
2001Harvey Marshall
2002Frances Blois
2003Jan Prendergast
2004Catherine Longworth
2005Tim Joiner
2006Alexander Nicoll
2007Carolyn Keen
2008Louise Hyams
2009Duncan Sandys
2010Judith Warner
2011Susie Burbridge
2012Angela Harvey
2013Sarah Richardson
2014Audrey Lewis
2015Lady Flight
2016 Steve Summers
2017 Ian Adams
2018 Lindsey Hall
2019 Ruth BushFirst Lord Mayor elected from the minority party
2020 Jonathan Glanz[8]

See also


  1. Your Councillors at westminster.gov.uk
  2. Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  3. Leach, Steve (1998). Local Government Reorganisation: The Review and its Aftermath. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0714648590.
  4. "Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities". Council Tax Rates. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  5. "Local Plan Responses – within and outside London". Mayor of London. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  6. "Westminster City Hall". Open House London. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  7. "New Leader of Westminster City Council elected". City of Westminster. 22 January 2020.
  8. "City of Westminster elects new Lord Mayor". Westminster City Council. 21 May 2020.