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Westminster City Council votes for new Aldermen and Alderwomen

Published: 9 November 2022

Seven new Alderwomen and Aldermen were confirmed by Westminster City Council after a vote tonight.

The latest members to the high civic role, which are non-political roles, are all retired long-standing councillors.

They were given the honour for their hard work, dedication and contribution to the Council and the people of the Westminster through their caring personality, wisdom, knowledge and vast experience.

They were voted through by a two-thirds majority of councillors at Council House, the Old Marylebone Town Hall.

The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Hamza Taouzzale, said:

These former councillors devoted a lot of their time and energy towards helping the residents of Westminster over the years.

This is a token of the esteem that the local authority holds them in and allows them to maintain a link with the council that they have served so well.

Cllr Adam Hug, Council leader, told the meeting:

I am delighted to propose today’s motion, nominating seven long-standing and former councillors to join the ranks of the City’s Aldermen and women. 

It is a recognition of their many years of service to the people of Westminster, both in their wards and across the city.  

By accepting this role, they are offering to continue that service to Westminster, whether it’s through participation in our Civic events, welcoming our residents into British Citizenship through Citizenship Services here in this very building, or acting as locum tenens for the Lord Mayor at events for years to come.

Those conferred with the honour were:

  • Mr Ian Adams was elected to Westminster City Council in May 2002 and retired in May 2022. He represented Little Venice and Hyde Park wards. He served in many roles including as Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Services and then Public Protection & Licensing. He was Lord Mayor in 2017 and 2018 and was the Council’s Lead Member for LGBTQ+.
  • Mrs Susie Burbridge served the people of Westminster for 24 years, the first four years spent in Maida Vale and then until May 2022 in Lancaster Gate. She was passionate about her local community and championing their issues. She served in many roles, including licensing, planning, fostering, discretionary housing benefits, and had an enduring interest in housing.  She served as Lord Mayor from 2011 and 2012.
  • Lady Christabel Flight first elected as a Westminster City Councillor in May 2006 and retired in May 2022, serving the residents of Warwick Ward. She was passionate about services for older people and was the founder of the nationwide Silver Sunday.  She served as Lord Mayor in 2015 and 2016.
  • Mr Guthrie McKie, first elected as a Westminster City Councillor for Harrow Road ward in 2000 and retired in May 2022.  He sat on a number of Policy and Scrutiny Committees in relation to housing and was a tireless campaigner for more social housing in the City
  • Ms Papya Qureshi who served as a member for the Westbourne ward from May 2006 until May 2022, a total of 16 years.  She was an active and passionate member of the Discretionary Housing Payments panel and sat on various Policy & Scrutiny Committees.
  • Ms Judith Warner who was first elected as a Westminster City Councillor for Hamilton Terrace in May 1984. She was elected to Abbey Road ward in 2002 and retired in May 2022, a total of 38 years.  She served in many senior roles including Chair of the Housing Committee, Cabinet Member for the Environment and latterly chaired the Standards Committee. She served as Lord Mayor in 2010 and 2011.
  • Mrs Angela Harvey served on the Council from 2002 to 2022. During her time her appointment included being Cabinet Member for Housing for four years; Chair of the Built Environment Policy & Scrutiny Committee for four years; the Chair/Vice-Chair of the Greater London Provincial Council for 17 years and Chair of Licensing. She was also a Night Time Commissioner.  She was the Diamond Jubilee Lord Mayor in 2012 and 13, her Consort being her husband Cllr David Harvey.

The role of Honorary Alderwomen and Aldermen is a ceremonial position customarily awarded by a Council vote to long-serving Councillors who have retired.

They may occasionally undertake duties on behalf of the Lord Mayor when neither the Lord Mayor nor any of their deputies are available and it is critical that the City of Westminster is represented at an official engagement.

Honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen are also invited to important Civic events such as the annual Civic Service at Westminster Abbey and the election of the new Lord Mayor.