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Future of Westminster Commission call for ideas to help make the city a fairer place

Published: 21 July 2022

A new Future of Westminster Commission, established by Westminster City Council, is calling for residents, community groups, businesses and those with relevant expertise to share their ideas on how to improve life in the heart of the capital.

The Commission, that is made up of renowned experts, and is drawn from across London and different sectors, will meet for the first time on Thursday 21 July. Their purpose is to review and make recommendations on the delivery of key council services to help deliver a fairer Westminster for residents.

Whilst holding no formal decision-making powers, it will be acting in an advisory capacity to council decision makers, including the Cabinet. It is made up of a core Commission Group with four dedicated work streams, each of which will have its own group of expert advisers to help develop new ideas and policy proposals, focusing on the following areas:

  • Housing: Advising on increasing the supply of genuinely affordable housing to meet housing need in the city. As a priority advise on options for improving: the way the Council responds to homelessness and housing need and the quality of services provided to the Council’s own tenants and leaseholders.
  • Fairness and Equality: Advising on policy approaches and initiatives that will enable and deliver a fairer, more equal and inclusive city
  • Economy and Employment: Advising on how the Council enables more Westminster residents to share in the economic successes of the city
  • Energy and Green Transition: Advising on ways to enhance and accelerate climate action supported and delivered by the Council to achieve the objective of achieving net zero Westminster by 2040.

The Commission will report to the Leader of the Council and Cabinet and will engage widely with residents, local organisations, businesses, independent experts, academics and think tanks, other authorities, the Mayor of London, and central government departments. It is proposed that each workstream reports back to the appropriate Policy and Scrutiny Committee during 2022/23 and the work of the overarching Future of Westminster Commission will be reviewed by the Westminster Scrutiny Commission.

An example of how the Commission will work is the important role it will play in helping the council bring together knowledge from both Westminster and beyond to help us tackle the cost-of-living crisis. The Commission’s Fairness and Equality Review will help advise the council on next steps to find solutions to this once in a generation challenge.

Cllr Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:

It’s time for fresh thinking to ensure a successful and fairer future for all Westminster’s residents. A key commitment from us is to bring in new ideas and to listen to experts, be they specialists in their field or those residents and groups who really know what is going on in the city and can share with us what could be done differently and better in their neighbourhoods.

The Commission is a really bold and imaginative way to help us to achieve our ambitious goals and we look forward to receiving their advice and suggestions on key policy areas, such as tackling the climate emergency, delivering more social homes and tackling the cost-of-living crisis, that are critical to the future success of this city and our communities.

Neale Coleman, Chair of the Future of Westminster Commission, said:

Alongside my fellow commissioners we are thrilled to be getting underway and would like to thank the council for opening itself up to listening and receiving constructive feedback and proposals as to how it can improve. We can’t wait to start talking with local residents, businesses, community groups and those who are passionate about Westminster’s success so we can bring forward some innovative and exciting ideas and suggestions through the work of the Commission, on which we are proud to serve.

Notes to editors

View the membership of the Commission.

The Commission was established by the council’s Cabinet on 11 July.

The Council has published its new cost of living strategy.