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New Leader of Westminster City Council elected

Wed, 25/01/2017

Cllr Nickie Aiken has been elected the new Leader of Westminster City Council at a meeting of Council on 25 January 2017, succeeding Cllr, The Baroness Couttie.

With a successful career in public and private sector public relations and communications, Cllr Aiken was first elected councillor in 2006 to represent the Warwick ward in Pimlico where she lives with her husband and two children. In 2008, she became Deputy Cabinet Member and then Cabinet Member, in 2010, for Children and Young People. In 2012, she was appointed Cabinet Member for Community Protection and latterly, Cllr Aiken has been chair of the Licensing Committee alongside her role as Cabinet Member for Public Protection. 

In one of her first acts, the new Leader has now also confirmed the Cabinet appointments and portfolio changes she announced before Christmas.

Following her election as Leader, Cllr Aiken said: “I am proud and humbled to be the Leader of Westminster Council and would like to pay tribute to the excellent leadership shown by Cllr, The Baroness Couttie.

“This unique and special place is at the heart of the undisputed capital of the world, but most importantly, it is home to over a quarter of a million people. The distinctive and well known neighbourhoods that make up our city are places full of local colour and character where people are proud to live. This unique mix of global reach, national importance and local character presents the city council with an equally unique set of opportunities and challenges.

“With my professional background in the private sector and public service, being absolutely rooted in the community which I love and with my experience of a broad range of Cabinet portfolios I feel ready to meet that challenge, with the support of my Cabinet colleagues and excellent and dedicated staff.

“I want a city with global standards and the exceptional services that our residents deserve, our one million daily visitors expect, our vulnerable people need and that support our 50,000 businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed. Not only are we the proud custodians of this unique place, we also take immense pride in ensuring that we provide opportunities for our residents, as well as encouraging aspiration and responsibility within our community.

“This is the essence of our vision of a City for All, a place where every single person has the opportunity to realise their potential, for example, where providing more housing gives the best possible prospects for families to thrive.

“I will focus on three new priorities in the coming year. We will put civic leadership and responsibility at the heart of all we do, promote opportunity and fairness across Westminster and set the standards for a world class city, all underpinned by an open, working collaboration between our residents, businesses and partners. It will be up to each and every one of us to get involved, in whatever way people are able, and contribute to Westminster’s continued success.”

Notes to editors


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 has been responsible for the introduction of the council’s successful ‘Your Choice’ programme that 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.

New Cabinet

The Leader has made the following announcement regarding the Cabinet:

  • Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Heritage: Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL
  • Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services and Public Health: Cllr Heather Acton
  • Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Realm: Cllr Daniel Astaire
  • Cabinet Member for City Highways: Cllr Danny Chalkley
  • Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Licensing: Cllr Antonia Cox
  • Cabinet Member for Environment, Sport and Community: Cllr David Harvey
  • Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People: Cllr Richard Holloway
  • Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Corporate Services: Cllr Tim Mitchell
  • Cabinet Member for Housing: Cllr Rachael Robathan
  • Chairman of Planning: Cllr Richard Beddoe
  • Chairman of Licensing: Cllr Angela Harvey

City for All is the council’s 3 year vision to build an unrivalled city of choice and aspiration where the connections amongst residents, businesses and visitors get stronger as everyone plays their part in, and benefits from, our city’s continued success. View more details on the programme

Last updated: 6 March 2017