My vision for my term as Lord Mayor of Westminster

The overarching theme for my Lord Mayoralty is to be Inclusion. 

There are many people living and working in Westminster, who are excluded or feel excluded from the opportunities that exist within the city. These are not just cultural, but opportunities for work, training, healthcare and to socialise, and to have a roof over their heads, which are far from universally available.

Westminster is an extraordinarily diverse city, with over 70% of those living here born outside the UK. We celebrate our diversity of race, culture, religion, sexuality and ways of life in so many different ways, and whatever can be done in Westminster, can be done to the highest world-class standards.

I would like to see the world-class institutions and organisations ensure that their doors and facilities are open to all. There are those living within Westminster who have never been to the National Gallery, a West End theatre, a library or a gallery, and who perceive they are “not for them”. 

Whilst enormous efforts have been made by many cultural institutions, there is still work to do to ensure that people from all backgrounds and cultures are and feel welcome and included in such places.

We must never forget that Westminster has extraordinary aspects of excellence. Not only on the cultural side, as host to theatres, opera houses, music venues, galleries and museums, but throughout diverse areas of human activity. We have world class medical excellence in our hospitals, clinics and specialist provision. We have excellence in provision of retail, from street markets to Bond Street, Oxford Street and specialist independent shops of all types. We have amazing restaurants, hotels and hospitality. We have world-class creative industries in the video, music, gaming and bespoke tailoring, clothing and support industries. 

During my Mayoralty, I want to celebrate those aspects of excellence, ensuring that in doing so I encourage all the people involved in those activities to open their doors to all, to include everyone who can and wants to be involved, and to help celebrate Westminster‘s excellence.




Supporting Our Local Services

Your Conservative Council has created a map of local shops and businesses either physically open or offering delivery, takeaway or e-commerce, here.

The map is aimed at helping residents to shop local and to support businesses in their area as part of efforts to support the recovery of Westminster’s economy.

The Council is continuing to expand the list, in particular focusing on small shops and restaurants. You can have your business added by filling in the form here.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.



Council Services

The majority of your Council services continue to operate as usual. 

In particular, the Council’s refuse, recycling and street cleaning services are continuing to operate normally with resources continuing to be moved to the more residential areas of the city. 

The Council have now opened up special areas in the Victoria and Church Street libraries to help residents that don’t have their own computers or access to the internet. 

Keeping green spaces and parks open also remains a priority in order to give local people respite and for people to have their daily exercise.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.




Westminster Connects

There are now 2,500 volunteers and over 40 organisations supporting people in Westminster. 

The council has produced an interactive map which shows the locations of organisations that offer help to residents across the city. The map also shows the location of nearby supermarkets and pharmacies. 

The map and list of organisations will continue to be updated and you can view it here.

The range of services that are being offered expands as requests come in for help. Westminster Connects has already been in touch with nearly 2,000 people. 

A weekly direct shopping service is now available with our volunteers collecting and delivering shopping to those that cannot get out from their homes. This service is now supported by Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. 

There is also a wellbeing service and a befriending service available to support local people. There are almost 500 volunteers engaged in activities each day with the numbers rising as the requests come in.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.



Small Business Grants

The Council has now given out the Government-funded business grants to nearly 3,000 businesses paying out a total approaching £50 million. 

These are grants of £10,000 and £25,000 pounds to small and medium-sized businesses. 

The Council is working as fast as possible to ensure that we can disperse the remainder of grants as soon as possible. If your business is eligible, there is no need to contact us, we will seek to make payment as soon as possible with the majority of payments being made by next week.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.





Westminster City Council Daily Updates

Westminster City Council have begun sending out daily updates to keep people informed. These updates contain the latest up-to-date location information on Council services, support and how you can help during the Coronavirus crisis.

You can sign up to receive them by clicking here.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.


Coronavirus Volunteering

Westminster City Council is looking for volunteers to help them look after some of the most vulnerable in our community at this time. 

You can register your interest as either an individual or a business by visiting the website here.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.


Cultural Strategy Consultation

Westminster City Council is seeking your views on a new five year cultural strategy.

The consultation will close on 5th April 2020.


If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.


Marble Arch station- No Down Escalator

There will be no down escalator service to the Central line at Marble Arch station until mid June 2020.


If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.


Air Quality Action

Cllr Tim Barnes and I arranged for an Air Quality Action Day in the West End at the end of January, and we were joined by local residents and workers to assist Westminster Council's air quality marshals to speak with drivers about the harmful effects of engine idling.

The day was part of Westminster City Council's #DontBeIdle campaign, which seeks to raise awareness of the harmful effects of engine idling and persuade drivers to turn off their engines while stationary.

It is one of several initiatives across Westminster to help tackle issues of air quality and pollution. Other action includes pollution monitoring outside schools and more electric vehicle charging points than any other borough in the UK.

Air quality is an issue for all of our residents and the many thousands of visitors that the West End sees every day. We are working hard to tackle air quality, which is considered by many across our City to be their number one concern.


If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.



Dockless Bikes

A bylaw will be introduced next year which will mean that dockless bike companies will be fined up to £500 for leaving bikes on Westminster's streets unless they are parked in designated parking spaces.

We support responsible cycling in Westminster, but this new bylaw is urgently needed as many pedestrians and wheelchair users have their path blocked by thoughtless parking on our busy pavements.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.




Soho Food Feast 2020

The date for Soho Food Feast 2020 has been confirmed as Saturday 6th- Sunday 7th June.

If you would like to get involved please contact sohofoodfeast@sohoparish.co.uk.

You can find out more by clicking here.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.


Have Your Say On Westminster's New Street Performance Policy

Westminster City Council is proposing a new policy on busking and street performances, and is running a consultation to hear your views.

The consultation will close on 24th February. 

You can find out more about the policy, and how you can have your say, by clicking here.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.


Have Your Say As Part Of Westminster's Air Quality Action Plan Consultation

Westminster City Council has set out a new Air Quality Action Plan, and is running a consultation to hear your views.

To find out more about the Action Plan please click here.

The consultation will close on 26th February. To submit your views please click here.

If you would like to find out about events going on around Westminster, or about my activities as a Councillor for West End Ward, please sign up for my email updates here.