The Leader and the Cabinet

Leader of the Council: Councillor Rachael Robathan

In 2010, Cllr Robathan was elected to Westminster City Council to represent the Knightsbridge and Belgravia Ward. Before becoming Leader she has previously held the Cabinet Member portfolios for Finance, Property and Regeneration; Housing and Adults and Public Health and was 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 board member for The National Lottery Community Fund.


Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Regeneration: Councillor Melvyn Caplan

Cllr Caplan was elected to the council, representing Little Venice Ward, in May 1990. He is a qualified accountant and a graduate in Economics from Reading University, having spent 25 years of his working career as an executive at IBM he now spends the majority of his week on council activity. Cllr Caplan has had many roles within the council, including, Leader of the Council, Chief Whip and Cabinet roles in City Management, Finance and Corporate Services and Transformation and Customer Services; he has also chaired Planning and Licensing committees. He serves on the neighbourhood police committee and was a school governor for almost 20 years. In his spare time, he enjoys going to the gym, playing 5-a-side football at Paddington Recreation Ground and watching most sports.

Deputy for Finance, Property and Regeneration: Councillor Jacqui Wilkinson

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health: Councillor Tim Mitchell

Cllr Mitchell was first elected to Westminster City Council in 1998. Tim represents the ward of St James' and has lived in the city for over 25 years. He has previously held a wide range of roles in the council including Cabinet Member for Environment and City Management; Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Corporate Services; Chairman of Audit and Performance Committee and Licensing Committee. Tim is active in council-wide business sitting on the General Purposes Committee and Appointments Sub-Committee.

Deputy for Adult Social Care and Public Health: Councillor Christabel Flight

Cabinet Member for Community 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.

Deputy for Community Services and Digital: Councillor Mark Shearer

Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Licensing: 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 Family Services and Public Health, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and has sat on both planning and licensing committees.

Deputy for Public Protection and Licensing: Councillor Murad Gassanly

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services: 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.  He has previously held the post of Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Skills.

Deputy for Children’s Services: Councillor Lorraine Dean

Cabinet Member for Business and Planning: Councillor Matthew Green

Cllr Green was elected to the council, representing Little Venice ward, in May 2018. After graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in French and Russian, he spent a number of years in diplomatic postings in Japan and Ukraine. He has also worked in the European Parliament in Brussels and for one of London's former MEPs. At present, he works as a communications consultant, specialising in public sector communications, especially related to employment policy and foreign affairs. He has lived in Westminster since 2013 and is currently a governor of the United Colleges Group, one of the largest providers of further education in London. He has previously held the post of Deputy Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning and also served as the council's EU Residents' Champion. 

Deputy for Business and Planning: Councillor Elizabeth Hitchcock

Cabinet Member for Housing Services: Councillor David Harvey

Cllr David Harvey FCA FCCA MCIPR has represented Vincent Square Ward since 2010, where he lives with his wife Angela, also a councillor. He has previously held the Cabinet portfolios for Leisure & Community, Environment, and Education & Skills and chaired the Policy & Scrutiny committees covering health, social services, customer services and community issues. In his business life he ran global professional bodies and chaired international academic organisations and charities focused on the challenges of small and medium-size enterprises and family-owned businesses; he advises organisations in those sectors today.

Deputies for Housing Services: Councillor Jim Glen and Councillor Richard Elcho

Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways: Councillor Andrew Smith

Cllr Smith has represented the Lancaster Gate Ward since 2008.  He has previously served as Cabinet Member for  Housing Services, 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.

Deputies for Environment and Highways: Councillor James Spencer and Councillor Louise Hyams

Non-Executive positions​

Chairman of Planning: Councillor Robert Rigby

​Chairman of Licensing: Councillor Heather Acton

Audit and Performance: Councillor Ian Rowley

Chairman of Standards Committee: Councillor Judith Warner

Chairman of Pensions Board: Councillor Eoghain Murphy

Lead Members / Champions

Councillor Ian Adams – LGBTQ+ Lead Member

Councillor Tim Barnes – Lead Member for Soho

Councillor Jim Glen – Cycling Champion

Councillor Mark Shearer – Armed Forces Champion

Councillor Karen Scarborough – Lead Member for Air Quality

Councillor Jacqui Wilkinson – Animal Welfare Champion

Last updated: 3 June 2020