The Leader and the Cabinet

Leader of the Council: Councillor Nickie Aiken

Prior to being elected Leader of the Council, Councillor Aiken’s Cabinet roles have included Children and Young People, Parking, Community Protection and Premises Management. Over her time as a Cabinet Member, Cllr Aiken was responsible for the introduction of the council’s successful ‘Your Choice’ programme which resulted in a significant decrease in serious youth and gang violence throughout Westminster. As well as the launch of ‘Breaking the Silence’, Westminster’s acclaimed domestic abuse strategy. She was also instrumental in overseeing the move to a Tri-borough arrangement for Children’s Services, which was the first of its kind in the UK.

Prior to starting her young family, Nickie was Head of Group PR at Bradford and Bingley and a former Press Officer to the Rt Hon William Hague MP.

Portfolio covers City Policy, City for All and Corporate Strategy; Royal Parks Board; Local Government Association; London Councils; Central London Forward; Government relations and public affairs; Policy, Performance and Communications including Cabinet Support and Member Services, ceremonial and Lord Mayoral matters and the City Promotions, Events and Filming service; People Services function; equalities and emergency planning; liaison with BIDs and major business stakeholders in the city.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment and City Management: Councillor Tim Mitchell

Cllr Mitchell was first elected to Westminster City Council in 1998 and is currently the Cabinet Member for Environment and City Management and Chief Whip of the Council's Conservative Group. He previously held a wide range of roles in the council including Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Corporate Services, Audit and Performance Committee chairman and latterly Chairman of Licensing Committee. Tim is active in council-wide business sitting as General Purposes Committee chairman and as a member of the Appointments Sub-Committee.

Tim represents the ward of St James' and has lived in the city for 25 years.

Portfolio covers environmental sustainability, air quality and biodiversity; parks and open spaces; street cleansing; waste and recycling; highways and transport; parking; road safety and walking and cycling strategies.

Cabinet Member for Family Services and Public Health: Councillor Heather Acton

Cllr Acton has lived in Westminster for 30 years and is committed to helping improve the lives of our residents. She worked as a development economist for UN agencies and various other organisations for 25 years and is a qualified homeopath. Before being elected in May 2010 to represent Hyde Park Ward she chaired her local amenity society. She has held the posts of Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and has sat on both planning and licensing committees.

Portfolio covers adult social care and public health; relations with the NHS and Clinical Commissioning Groups; drug and alcohol services; sexual health services; mental health; adult disabilities; Chairman of the Health and Well-Being Board; Children’s Services and Safeguarding including looked after children, care leavers, young carers and Troubled Families project and unaccompanied Children Asylum Seekers.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Regeneration: Councillor Rachael Robathan

Councillor Robathan

In 2010, Cllr Robathan was elected to Westminster City Council to represent the Knightsbridge and Belgravia Ward. Before taking up the Finance, Property and Regeneration portfolio she held the position of Cabinet Member for Housing and before that Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health and Deputy Cabinet Member for both the Adult Services and Customer Services portfolios. Cllr Robathan has also sat on the Finance and Children’s Policy and Scrutiny Committees and Planning Committees.

Cllr Robathan spent 20 years working in Investment Management, specialising in emerging markets. Cllr Robathan is also a Trustee of The Westminster Almhouses Foundation, a charity which provides sheltered housing to over 60s in the city and a Director of the Big Lottery Fund.

Portfolio covers regeneration including the housing strategy for older people programme and responsibility for the Council’s Wholly Owned Housing Development Company; strategic finance; financial management; financial and asset administration; corporate property, planning and strategy and procurement and contract management.

Cabinet Member for Housing Services: Councillor Andrew Smith

Cllr Smith has represented the Lancaster Gate Ward since 2008.  He has previously served as the Chairman of the Children, Environment and Leisure Committee and a Planning Chairman.  Born and brought up in Yorkshire, Andrew has lived in Westminster for 15 years.  He works for a Westminster based business in the communications sector. 

Portfolio covers housing services including the Housing Options Advisory service and allocations; social housing management matters; management and maintenance of the Council’s housing stock; asset management of HRA land; energy conservation within Westminster’s housing stock; rents of social housing dwellings and housing benefits; provision of social and community facilities on housing estates; existing sheltered and special needs housing; CCTV on estates.

Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Licensing: Councillor Ian Adams

Cllr Adams has lived in Westminster since 1994 and has been a councillor since 2002, today representing Hyde Park ward where he lives with his husband Christopher.  He served as The Lord Mayor of Westminster in 2017-18, as a Governor of City of Westminster College and as a Trustee of Age UK Westminster.  He holds an MBA awarded with Distinction and is a Leadership Fellow of St George’s Windsor Castle.  He works as a senior executive in the NHS and is the Council’s LGBT+ Champion.  

Portfolio covers Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy; representing the Council on the Safer Westminster Partnership; relations with the Police; domestic abuse including the MARAC process; enforcement activities in relation to antisocial behaviour including waste enforcement; integrated neighbourhood services; City Inspectors; licensing and the evening and night time economy; trading standards, noise and environmental services including pest control, commercial and private residential, environmental health and street trading; mortuaries; rough sleeping.

Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning: Councillor Richard Beddoe

Cllr Beddoe was elected to Westminster City Council in 2010.  Prior to becoming Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning, Richard spent 18 months as Chairman of Planning presiding over the decision of a large number of significant planning applications.  Before his interest in planning developed Richard held roles including Cabinet Member for City Management and Deputy Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Protection in which he was responsible for the launch Westminster’ s first dedicated domestic abuse court within Westminster Magistrates Court.  Richard’s day job is as a barrister specialising in complex child protection cases.

Portfolio covers place shaping; public realm including street works and street furniture; city urban design strategy; the Council’s Green Plaque and City of Sculpture schemes; planning policy; building control and street naming; trees; Compulsory Purchase Orders; neighbourhood planning; Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106.

Cabinet Member for Sports, Culture and Community: Councillor Iain Bott

Cllr Bott was elected to Westminster City Council in 2013. He lives and works as a dentist in Marylebone. Prior to his appointment as Cabinet Member for Sports, Culture and Community, Iain chaired a council task group looking at solutions to the obesity pandemic and was a member of the Children, Environment and Leisure Policy & Scrutiny Committee. He was re-appointed as Deputy Cabinet Member for Family Services and Public Health following the Local Election in May 2018. He also started a charity which helps victims of human trafficking and exploitation in Westminster.

Portfolio covers sports and leisure; voluntary and community services; community engagement and neighbourhoods, including Open Forums, liaison with neighbourhood fora and Amenity Societies and Queen’s Park Community Council; and culture and heritage; City Lions; libraries, registrars.

Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Digital: Councillor Paul Swaddle OBE

Cllr Swaddle represents the Regent's Park ward, having been elected in May 2018. He lives in St John’s Wood and runs a software company in central London. Paul has been working at the leading edge of mobile technology for more than 15 years. Away from the day job, he was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for his volunteer services, and has also sat on the board of Young Enterprise Reading, the UK’s largest business and enterprise education charity, which aims to inspire young people to learn and succeed through business.

Portfolio covers digital transformation; customer services; ICT; broadband infrastructure in the city; broadband policy.

Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Skills: Councillor Tim Barnes

Cllr Barnes was elected to the council, representing West End ward, in May 2018. A former UCL student, Tim now runs a small Westminster-based business helping tech start-ups to grow. Tim has worked to support entrepreneurs and new businesses for over 20 years. He is a visiting lecturer at Cambridge, works with Loughborough University on business relations and was formerly the Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at UCL. Away from work, he is a trustee of a charity that helps students in Higher Education and Further Education interested in starting businesses and founded another charity project to teach younger children the basics of business, which has worked in 14 countries in Europe and Africa.

Portfolio covers: education and schools, school travel plans, special educational needs, skills, employment, Westminster Adult Education Service, economic development

Deputy Cabinet Members

Deputy for Environment and City Management: Councillor Richard Elcho

Deputies for Family Services and Public Health: Councillor Lorraine Dean and Councillor Jim Glen

Deputy for Finance, Property and Regeneration: Councillor Robert Rigby

Deputy for Housing: Councillor Murad Gassanly

Deputy for Public Protection and Licensing: Councillor Louise Hyams

Deputy for Place Shaping and Planning: Councillor Matthew Green

Deputy for Sports, Culture and Community: Councillor James Spencer

Deputy for Customer Services and Digital: Councillor Emily Payne

Deputy for Economic Development, Education and Skills: Councillor Jacqui Wilkinson

Non-Executive positions​

Chairman of Planning: Councillor Gotz Mohindra

​Lead Member for Edgware Road: Councillor Heather Acton

Lead Member for LGBT+: Councillor Ian Adams

Lead Member for Soho: Councillor Tim Barnes

Mental Health Champion: Councillor Iain Bott

Modern Slavery and Victims Champion: Councillor Iain Bott

Older People Champion: Councillor Christabel Flight 

Lead Member for Broadband and Connectivity: Cllr Jonathan Glanz

Armed Forces Champion: Councillor Mark Shearer

Animal Welfare Champion: Councillor Jacqui Wilkinson

EU Champion: Councillor Matthew Green

Cycling Champion: Councillor Jim Glen

Lead Member for Air Quality and Environment - Councillor Karen Scarborough

Last updated: 17 September 2019