Main Births etc
City of Westminster
—  City and London borough  —
Palace of Westminster
Coat of arms of City of Westminster
Coat of arms
Official logo of City of Westminster
Council logo
Westminster shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Status City and London borough
Admin HQ City Hall, Victoria Street
Incorporated 1 April 1965
 • Type London borough council
 • Body Westminster City Council
 • Leadership Leader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • Lord Mayor Audrey Lewis
 • MPs Karen Buck (Lab), Mark Field (Con)
 • London Assembly Kit Malthouse (Con) AM for West Central
 • EU Parliament London
 • Total 8.29 sq mi (21.48 km2)
Area rank 318th (of 326)
Population (2006 est.)
 • Total 219,600
 • Rank 72nd (of 326)
 • Ethnicity[1] 49.0% White British
2.8% White Irish
19.4% Other White
0.8% White & Black Caribbean
0.7% White & Black African
1.5% White & Asian
1.4% Other Mixed
4.8% Indian
1.4% Pakistani
2.3% Bangladeshi
2.1% Other Asian
2.5% Black Caribbean
3.4% Black African
0.7% Other Black
3.2% Chinese
4.1% Other
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcodes EC

, NW , SW , W

, WC
Area code(s) 020
Police force Metropolitan Police

The City of Westminster ( /ˈwɛstmɪnstər/) is an Inner London borough which occupies much of the central area of Greater London including most of the West End. It is to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary is the River Thames. It was created with the 1965 establishment of Greater London. Upon creation, Westminster was awarded city status, which had been previously held by the smaller Metropolitan Borough of Westminster.

Aside from a number of large parks and open spaces, the population density of the district is high. Many sites commonly associated with London are in the borough, including St. James's Palace, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, and 10 Downing Street. The borough is divided into a number of localities including the ancient political district of Westminster around the Palace of Westminster; the shopping areas around Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Bond Street; and the night time entertainment district of Soho. Much of the borough is residential, and in 2008 it was estimated to have a population of 236,000. The local authority is Westminster City Council.


The origins of the City of Westminster pre-date the Norman Conquest of England. In the mid-11th Century king Edward the Confessor began the construction of an abbey at Westminster, only the foundations of which survive today. Between the abbey and the river he built a palace, thereby guaranteeing that the seat of Government would be fixed at Westminster, and inevitably drawing power and wealth west out of the old City of London.[2]

For centuries Westminster and the City of London were geographically quite distinct. It was not until the sixteenth century that houses began to be built over the adjoining fields, eventually absorbing nearby villages such as Marylebone and Kensington, and gradually creating the vast Greater London that exists today. Westminster briefly became a city (in the sense of the seat of a bishop) in 1540 when Henry VIII created the short-lived Diocese of Westminster.

The present-day City of Westminster as an administrative entity with its present boundaries dates from 1965, when the City of Westminster was created from the former area of three metropolitan boroughs: St Marylebone, Paddington, and the smaller Metropolitan Borough of Westminster, which included Soho, Mayfair, St. James's, Strand, Westminster, Pimlico, Belgravia, and Hyde Park. This re-structuring took place under the London Government Act 1963, which significantly reduced the number of local government districts in London, resulting in local authorities responsible for larger geographical areas and greater populations.

The Westminster Metropolitan Borough was itself the result of an administrative amalgamation which took place in 1900. Sir John Hunt O.B.E was the First Town Clerk of the City of Westminster, 1900–1928.

Prior to 1900, the area occupied by what would become the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster had been administered by five separate local bodies: the Vestry of St George Hanover Square, the Vestry of St Martin in the Fields, Strand District Board of Works, Westminster District Board of Works and the Vestry of Westminster St James.

The boundaries of the City of Westminster today, as well as those of the other London boroughs, have remained more or less unchanged since the Act of 1963.


According to the 2011 census, the city had a population of 219,396. Approximately 61.6% of the population are White (British: 35.2%, Irish: 2.3%, and Other White: 24.1%). 14.6% are of any Asian ethnicity (Including Chinese), 7.5% Black,7.2% Arab, 5.2% Mixed, and 3.9% belong to other racial groups.


Local government[]

The city is divided into 20 wards, each electing three councillors. Westminster City Council is currently composed of 48 Conservative Party members and 12 Labour Party members.[3][4]

A Lord Mayor is elected annually to serve as the official representative of the city for one year. See List of Lord Mayors of Westminster for a list of former Mayors (1900–1965) and Lord Mayors (1965 to date).

UK Parliament[]

Evolution of Parliamentary representation
1918 1950 1974 1979 1997 2010
St Marylebone Westminster North Regent's Park and Kensington North Westminster North
Paddington North Paddington
Paddington South Cities of London and Westminster
Westminster St George's Cities of London and Westminster Cities of London and Westminster
Westminster Abbey
City of London


The City of Westminster covers all or part of the following areas of London:


The City of Westminster is home to a large number of companies. Many leading global corporations have chosen to establish their global or European headquarters in the City of Westminster. Mayfair and St. James's within the City of Westminster also have a large concentration of hedge fund and private equity funds. The West End is known as the Theatre District and is home to many of the leading performing arts businesses. Soho and its adjoining areas house a concentration of media and creative companies. Oxford Street is one of the leading shopping destinations in the world. The list of companies includes

BP head office in St. James's, City of Westminster

The Economist Building, St James's Street

  • BAE Systems has its head office in Westminster[5][6][7]
  • BBC has its head office in the Broadcasting House[8]
  • BP has its global headquarters in St. James's, Westminster.[9][10]
  • Houlihan Lokey, the international investment bank, has its London offices at 83 Pall Mall, London, Westminster.[11]
  • Pearson PLC and subsidiary Penguin Group: headquartered in a facility in Westminster.[12][13]
  • Rio Tinto Group, a multinational Australian-British company, has its UK head office in Westminster.[14]
  • Economist Group, publisher of The Economist and other materials, is headquartered in Westminster.[15]
  • Kingfisher plc has its head office in Paddington, Westminster[16]
  • SABMiller has its head office in Westminster.[10][17]
  • British American Tobacco has its head office in the Globe House in the City of Westminster.[18]
  • Marks & Spencer has its head office in the Waterside House.[19]
  • Swire Group has its head office in the Swire House[20]
  • Pret a Manger has its head office in Westminster.[21]
  • Rolls-Royce Group has its head office in Westminster.[22]
  • Global Infrastructure Partners has an office in Westminster.[23]
  • EasyGroup has its head office in Mayfair, City of Westminster.[24]
  • Gulf Oil International has its head office in the city.[25]
  • AstraZeneca has its head office in Westminster.[10][26][27]
  • Informa has its London office, including its Investor Relations and Media Centre departments, in the Informa House[28]
  • Petrofac possesses an office on Jermyn Street, near Oxford Circus.
  • Acknowledging Youths has its head office in Pimlico Resource Centre
  • Northrop Grumman has its UK offices in Clareville House.[29]
  • Korean Air has its European head office in the City of Westminster.[30]
  • Iraqi Airways has its London sales office in the IKB House in City of Westminster.[31]

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London is in Westminster.[10][32]

Companies that previously had their head offices in the City of Westminster include Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), British Aircraft Corporation,[10][33] British Midland (Portland House),[34] British United Airways,[35] British Mediterranean Airways,[36] Cadbury,[37] Diageo,[38] BAA Limited,[10][39][40] Lloyd International Airways,[41] and P&O Princess Cruises.[42] In addition, Iran Air previously had its Piccadilly main sales office in the city.[43][44]


Piccadilly Circus

The City of Westminster contains many of the most famous sites in London. Some of the popular tourist sites are Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) and Big Ben and nearby Westminster Abbey.

Parks and open spaces[]

These include Green Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent's Park and St. James's Park. In addition to parks and open spaces within the borough, the City owns and maintains East Finchley Cemetery and crematorium in the London Borough of Barnet.


London Marylebone


These include Chelsea Bridge, Grosvenor Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Hungerford Bridge and Waterloo Bridge, listed west to east (downstream).

National Rail stations[]

Stations include: London Charing Cross, London Marylebone, London Paddington and London Victoria these are all main London termini stations.

London Underground[]

The City of Westminster is served by 27 tube stations, and 10 of the 11 Underground lines (the Waterloo and City line is the exception).

Electric charging points[]

Westminster City Council now has electric vehicle charging points in 15 locations through the city (13 car parks and two on-street points). Users pay an annual fee to cover administration costs to register and use the points.[45]

Travel to work[]

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: underground, metro, light rail, tram, 21.0% of all residents aged 16–74; on foot, 9.3%; bus, minibus or coach, 9.3%; driving a car or van, 6.0%; work mainly at or from home, 5.5%; bicycle, 3.1%; train, 3.0%.[46]


The main entrance to the London School of Economics

Westminster Children's Services administers many primary and secondary schools. In addition, there are several state-funded faith schools, primarily Church of England (CE), and Roman Catholic (RC), but Christian non-denominational (ND) schools are also in the borough,[47] and there are several non-profit-making junior and senior independent schools.

Universities and colleges[]

  • The University of Westminster has its three campuses in the borough; 309 Regent Street (with 4-12 / 16 Little Titchfield Street and 32 / 38 Wells Street buildings uniting under the same campus), 115 New Cavendish Street, and 25 Marylebone Road.
  • The Strand campus of King's College London is located within the district.
  • The London Business School, in Regent's Park.
  • The London School of Economics, at Clare Market, near Aldwych.
  • The Royal Academy of Music, on Marylebone Road.
  • University of the Arts London has constituent colleges in Millbank (Chelsea College of Art and Design) and Oxford Street (London College of Fashion).
  • The Courtauld Institute of Art, in Somerset House, Strand.
  • Brigham Young University London Centre, on Palace Court.
  • The northern half of Imperial College London's main South Kensington campus lies within the borough.
  • City of Westminster College is a further education college with campuses on Paddington Green and at Queens Park. It also owns the Cockpit Theatre, which is used as a training and performance venue.
  • Regent's College, whose campus is within the grounds of Regent's Park, which houses: European Business School London; Regent's American College London; Regent's Business School; School of Psychotherapy and Counselling; Webster Graduate School; Internexus, a provider of English language courses.
  • Westminster Kingsway College is a further education college with centres in Soho and Victoria in Westminster. It also has centres in Camden.

Public libraries[]

Charing Cross Library

The London Library, an independent lending library, is at 14 St. James Square.[10][48]

The city operates one reference library, the Westminster Reference Library.[49] City-operated public lending libraries in Westminster include:

  • Charing Cross Library[50]
  • Church Street Library[51]
  • The Maida Vale Library[52]
  • Marylebone Library[53]
  • Mayfair Library[54]
  • Paddington Library[55]
  • Pimlico Library[56]
  • Queen's Park Library[57]
  • St. John's Wood Library[58]
  • Victoria Library[59]

In addition the city has two specialist libraries, the Westminster Music Library, the largest music library in the United Kingdom,[60] and the Westminster Chinese Library in the Charing Cross Library.[61]

Home ownership[]

In terms of tenure, the borough ranks highest on one standard criteria in analysing housing supply and demand, the proportion of private rented accommodation relative to other types of housing in England. This is indicative of a high density of development and higher investment demand relative to other districts in England and most of the 15 highest-ranking local authorities are boroughs of Greater London. Tourism also increases the proportion of willing third-party landlords, as the two authorities which are outside of London in the list are England's largest south coast holiday resorts.

Highest-ranked local authorities by proportion of Social Housing (2011 Census)[62]
Local Authority Privately rented Socially rented Shared ownership
City of Westminster London Borough 37.6 11.9 0.8
Kensington and Chelsea London Borough 34 9.2 0.9
City of London London Borough 33.1 10.4 0.3
Newham London Borough 32.6 18.3 1.8
Tower Hamlets London Borough 30.8 17.3 2.4
Camden London Borough 30.5 23 0.7
Haringey London Borough 30.3 17 1.5
Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough 30 15.7 1.6
Wandsworth London Borough 30 12.8 1.5
Brent London Borough 28.8 9.7 1.5
Bournemouth Unitary Authority 28.2 5.9 0.7
Brighton and Hove Unitary Authority 28 9.8 0.9
Lambeth London Borough 27.7 19.6 1.5
Hackney London Borough 27.6 23.8 2.3

International relations[]

Methodist Central Hall Westminster is part of the Methodist Church.

Twin towns – sister cities[]

  • Sylhet, Bangladesh

See also[]

  • History of local government in London
  • History of London
  • London Government Act 1963
  • London Underground
  • River Westbourne
  • Tri-borough shared services
  • Westminster
  • Westminster City Council
  • Westminster St Margaret and St John



  1. ^ Data Management and Analysis Group, Greater London Authority, Demography Update October 2007, (2007)
  2. ^ Gray, p. 68
  3. ^ City Council Elections 2010 - Results at
  4. ^ Previous Elections (for by-election results) at
  5. ^ "Company Info." BAE Systems. Retrieved on 31 August 2011. "Registered office 6 Carlton Gardens, London, SW1Y 5AD, United Kingdom"
  6. ^ "London > BAE Systems plc." BAE Systems. Retrieved on 31 August 2011. "BAE Systems plc Address London - Stirling Square Carlton Gardens London SW1Y 5AD United Kingdom "
  7. ^ "Head Office." BAE Systems. Retrieved on 31 August 2011. "As you might expect, our London Head Office is the base for our Executive Board and for other senior group managers in strategic roles." and "Head Office is located in Central London but also has a number of support functions and functional specialists based in Farnborough, Hampshire."
  8. ^ "Terms and Conditions." BBC. Retrieved on 6 January 2010. "British Broadcasting Corporation Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA."
  9. ^ "Contact BP in the United Kingdom." BP. Retrieved on 18 August 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Maps." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 28 August 2009. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Map" defined multiple times with different content
  11. ^ "[1]." BP. Retrieved on 22 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Investor Contacts." Pearson PLC. Retrieved on 28 August 2009.
  13. ^ "26. What is Penguin Books Limited's company registration number?." Penguin Books. Retrieved on 28 August 2009.
  14. ^ "Contact Us." Rio Tinto Group. Retrieved on 9 April 2010. "Rio Tinto plc head office 2 Eastbourne Terrace London W2 6LG UK"
  15. ^ "Locations." Economist Group. Retrieved on 12 September 2009. "The Economist Group 25 St James's Street London, SW1A 1HG United Kingdom"
  16. ^ "Kingfisher Group." Kingfisher plc. Retrieved on 2 February 2011. "Corporate Responsibility Kingfisher plc 3 Sheldon Square Paddington London W2 6PX."
  17. ^ "United Kingdom." SABMiller. Retrieved on 20 October 2009. "SABMiller plc Head office One Stanhope Gate London W1K 1AF England"
  18. ^ "Contact us." British American Tobacco. Retrieved on 15 December 2009.
  19. ^ "Company > Contacts." Marks & Spencer. Retrieved on 21 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Contact Information JOHN SWIRE & SONS OFFICES." Swire Group. Retrieved on 12 September 2011. "John Swire & Sons Ltd. Swire House 59 Buckingham Gate London SW1E 6AJ England"
  21. ^ "Welcome to Pret." Pret a Manger. Retrieved on 27 February 2010.
  22. ^ "Rolls-Royce headquarters". Rolls-Royce Group plc. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  23. ^ "Contact Us." Global Infrastructure Partners. Retrieved on 27 February 2010.
  24. ^ "About Us." EasyGroup. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  25. ^ "Privacy Policy." Gulf Oil International. Retrieved on 10 March 2010.
  26. ^ "Legal Notice." AstraZeneca. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  27. ^ "United Kingdom." AstraZeneca. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  28. ^ "Global Contacts." Informa. Retrieved on 4 February 2011. "Head Office Gubelstrasse 11 CH-6300 Zug Switzerland"
  29. ^ "Company Locations." Northrop Grumman. Retrieved on 6 September 2011. "Northrop Grumman Corporation United Kingdom Headquarters Clareville House Oxendon Street London SW1Y 4EL UK"
  30. ^ "Company Info / Contact Info." Korean Air. Retrieved on 30 August 2011. "Europe Headquarters 66/68 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0HJ, U.K"
  31. ^ "London Office." Iraqi Airways. Retrieved on 30 August 2011. "Sales Office in London Address: IKB House 230 Edgware Road London , W2 1DW"
  32. ^ "Contact Us." Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  33. ^ Gardner, Charles. British Aircraft Corporation: A History. Batsford, 1981. 40. Retrieved from Google Books on 1 September 2011. "The London headquarters chosen for bac were at 100 Pall Mall - on the top floors of a new concrete box which had sprung up on the site of the old, historic (and bombed) Carlton Club. It was the view of bac that small London headquarters[...]"
  34. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 28 September 1967. 530. "Head Office: 78 Buckingham Gate, London SW1"
  35. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 28 September 1967. 530. "Head Office: Portland House, Stag Place, London SW1"
  36. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 29 March-4 April 1995. 62. "53 Mount Street, London W1Y 5RE, UK"
  37. ^ Muspratt, Caroline. "Cadbury swaps Mayfair for Uxbridge." The Daily Telegraph. 1 June 2007. Retrieved on 27 April 2010.
  38. ^ "Contact us." Diageo. Retrieved on 15 December 2009. "main content Diageo plc 8 Henrietta Place LONDON W1G ONB"
  39. ^ "BAA plc Head Office, Victoria, London." BAA Limited. Retrieved on 2 October 2010. "BAA plc 130 Wilton Road London SW1V 1LQ:"
  40. ^ "BAA Offices - Location Maps." BAA Limited. 17 March 2006. Retrieved on 2 October 2010. "BAA plc Head Office, Victoria, London (121KB)."
  41. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 12 April 1962. 548. "Head Office: Princes House, 190/195 Piccadilly, London Wl."
  42. ^ "Contact." P&O Princess Cruises. 5 June 2002. Retrieved on 19 September 2011. "P&O Princess Cruises plc Registered office: 77 New Oxford Street London WC1A 1PP UK"
  43. ^ "IranAir moves to new offices." Iran Air. Retrieved on 29 February 2012. "177-179 Hammersmith Road, London, W6 8BS"
  44. ^ "Ticket Payment Information." Iran Air. Retrieved on 29 February 2012. "Iran Air Sales Office, 73 Piccadilly, London W1J 8QX"
  45. ^ City of Westminster: Additional on street charging points for electric vehicles
  46. ^ "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013.  Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey's longest part by distance.
  47. ^ Westminster Education service accessed 17 May 2007
  48. ^ "Visit." The London Library. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  49. ^ "Westminster Reference Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  50. ^ "Charing Cross Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  51. ^ "Church Street Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  52. ^ "Maida Vale Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  53. ^ "Marylebone Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  54. ^ "Mayfair Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  55. ^ "Paddington Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  56. ^ "Pimlico Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  57. ^ "Queen's Park Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  58. ^ "St. John's Wood Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  59. ^ "Victoria Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  60. ^ "Westminster Music Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  61. ^ "Westminster Chinese Library." City of Westminster. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  62. ^ Office for National Statistics 2011 Census Key Statistics: Tenure.

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Coordinates: 51°30′N 00°08′W / 51.5, -0.133

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at City of Westminster. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.