Since she was first elected to Westminster City Council in 2005 as a Labour councillor for Harrow Road Ward, Ruth has sought to support residents in difficult situations and involve herself closely in much needed regeneration activity in the ward, particularly around the Maida Hill marketplace. She has served on a number of scrutiny committees and has been a longstanding planning committee member. For some years, she has been Chair of Westminster Faith Exchange, the council's connection with the city's faith organisations. She will retain this position as Lord Mayor and seek to extend and deepen connections with the faith communities and beyond, as part of her commitment to drawing people together and representing the city to all who play a part in it.
Her working life has been varied, chiefly moving between the local voluntary sector, as first a community worker and teacher then running a hostel for homeless young women, after which she worked in Parliament and subsequently set up her own parliamentary consultancy targeting smaller voluntary sector organisations.
Ruth initiated All Sing! the Harrow Road community choir, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2020 and the choir, together with some other community music initiatives, will be one of her charities as Lord Mayor. Another will be Westminster Tree Trust, of which she is a trustee, as a symbol of her great concern about climate change and the loss of biodiversity. She will also be supporting Paddington Law Centre, of which she is also a trustee, and youth club and outreach work with young people through the Young Westminster Foundation.
Finally, she will inaugurate the Lord Mayor's STOMP: Speak To One More Person - her strapline for the year, to encourage everyone to help enhance wellbeing across Westminster by just having a word with someone they don't already know.
The Lord Mayor of Westminster is the ceremonial, non-partisan and non-executive First Citizen of Westminster. They are elected annually from among the City Councillors and chair all Full Council meetings.
In addition, the Lord Mayor traditionally undertakes the following duties:
celebrating the achievements of Westminster’s citizens and communities
supporting the city’s diverse communities
promoting Westminster locally, nationally and internationally
representing Westminster at important civic and ceremonial events