The Leader of Westminster City Council has announced she is standing down.
Cllr, The Baroness Couttie, has announced her decision to step down as Leader of Westminster City Council.
The Leader has taken the decision following her elevation to the House of Lords earlier this year. In an announcement to council colleagues on Wednesday 2 November, she explained that since becoming a working peer and now having a greater understanding of the impact the new role will have on her ability to discharge her local authority duties in the way she would like, she has decided that the time is right to step down as Leader of Westminster City Council and hand over the baton to someone new.
Baroness Couttie was elected to Westminster City Council in 2006 and was responsible for the Strategic Finance and Housing portfolios. With her passion for providing ladders of opportunity to local people, she was elected Leader in 2012 and in 2015 launched the ambitious City for All vision to create a place of Heritage, Choice and Aspiration where everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of Westminster’s continuing success. She was elevated to the House of Lords in 2016.
Moving forward, there will be a Majority Group leadership election on the 7 December 2016 and the subsequent appointment of the new Leader of Westminster City Council is expected to be approved at the Full Council meeting to be held on 25 January 2017 and until that time, it is business as usual for Westminster City Council.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr, The Baroness Couttie, said: “It was very much my intention and hope that I would be able to continue in my role as Leader of Westminster City Council at the same time as serving in the House of Lords. However, having now spent six weeks in the Lords and talked at length to fellow working peers, I have a fuller understanding of the time commitments required and how that will impact on my ability to discharge my duties as Leader.
“I have truly loved being Leader of Westminster and know that to do this hugely important role justice, it requires complete focus. I have therefore reluctantly decided that, in order to serve the best interests of Westminster, I must hand on the baton to a new Leader for the city, as I do not believe it is possible to undertake both roles to the level I would wish to. I would like to thank everyone for their support and the role they have played, particularly my council colleagues, our staff and all our partners, in ensuring Westminster’s continuing success.”