|City of Westminster|
Trafalgar Square, a major junction in the city
Westminster shown within Greater London
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Created||1 April 1965|
|Admin HQ||City Hall, Victoria Street|
|o Type||London borough council|
|o Body||Westminster City Council|
|o Leadership||Leader & Cabinet (Conservative)|
|o Lord Mayor||Ruth Bush|
|o London Assembly||Tony Devenish (Conservative)|
|o MPs||Nickie Aiken (Conservative)|
Karen Buck (Labour)
|o Total||8.29 sq mi (21.48 km2)|
|Area rank||309th (of 309)|
|o Rank||63rd (of 309)|
|o Density||32,000/sq mi (12,000/km2)|
|o Ethnicity||35.2% White British|
2.3% White Irish
0% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
24.1% Other White
0.9% White & Black Caribbean
0.9% White & Black African
1.6% White & Asian
1.8% Other Mixed
4.6% Other Asian
4.2% Black African
2% Black Caribbean
1.3% Other Black
|Time zone||UTC (GMT)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
City of Westminster is an inner London city and borough. It forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and much of the British government. The city and borough's southern boundary is the Thames. It occupies a large area of central Greater London, including most of the West End. To its west is the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of London. To its north is the London Borough of Camden. Historically, Westminster was a part of the ceremonial county of Middlesex. Many London landmarks are within the borough, including Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament), Westminster Abbey, Whitehall, 10 Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square.
The borough is divided into a number of localities including the ancient political district 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. Aside from numerous large parks and open spaces, including Hyde Park and most of Regent's Park, the population density of the district is high.
The London Westminster borough was created with the 1965 establishment of Greater London. Upon the creation, it inherited the city status previously held by the then Metropolitan Borough of Westminster from 1900, which was first awarded to Westminster in 1540. The local government body is Westminster City Council.
The current Westminster coat of arms was given to the city by an official grant on 2 September 1964.
Westminster had other arms before, which had a chief identical to the chief in the present arms. The symbols in the lower two thirds of the shield stand for former municipalities now merged with the city, Paddington and St Marylebone. The original arms had a portcullis as the main charge, which now forms the crest.
After the depopulation of Roman London in the 5th century, an Anglo Saxon agricultural and trade settlement likely developed to its west, associated with the Middle Saxons, sometimes called Lundenwic ('London village' or London port'). Over time, Lundenburh ('London fort'), the former Roman city with its still-existing Roman walls, was repopulated and Lundenwic declined, becoming pastoral and partly known as Aldwych (Aldwic - 'old village'), the name of which lives on for a section of Westminster.
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.
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.
Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries abolished the abbey at Westminster, although the former abbey church is still called Westminster Abbey. The church was briefly the cathedral of the Diocese of Westminster created from part of the Diocese of London in 1540, by letters patent which also granted city status to Westminster, a status retained after the diocese was abolished in 1550. The Westminster Court of Burgesses was formed in 1585 to govern the Westminster area, previously under the Abbey's control. The City and Liberties of Westminster were further defined by Letters Patent in 1604, and the court of burgesses and liberty continued in existence until 1900, and the creation of the Metropolitan Borough 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 restructuring 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.
In addition to the City and Liberty of Westminster, 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.
The following table shows the ethnic group of respondents in the 2001 and 2011 census in Westminster.
|Number||Of total||Number||Of total|
|White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller||76||0.03%|
|Asian or Asian British: Indian||5,665||3.12%||7,213||3.29%|
|Asian or Asian British: Pakistani||1,828||1.01%||2,328||1.06%|
|Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi||5,000||2.76%||6,299||2.87%|
|Asian or Asian British: Chinese||4,077||2.25%||5,917||2.70%|
|Asian or Asian British: Other Asian||3,614||1.99%||10,105||4.61%|
|Asian or Asian British: total||20,184||11.13%||31,862||14.52%|
|Black or Black British: Caribbean||5,613||3.10%||4,449||2.03%|
|Black or Black British: African||6,678||3.68%||9,141||4.17%|
|Black or Black British: Other Black||1,190||0.66%||2,882||1.31%|
|Black or Black British: total||13,481||7.44%||16,472||7.51%|
|Mixed: White and Black Caribbean||1,382||0.76%||1,869||0.85%|
|Mixed: White and Black African||1,204||0.66%||1,927||0.89%|
|Mixed: White and Asian||2,436||1.34%||3,584||1.63%|
|Mixed: Other Mixed||2,458||1.36%||4,015||1.83%|
|Other: Any other ethnic group||8,613||3.93%|
|Black, Asian, and minority ethnic: total||48,571||26.79%||84,066||38.32%|
|Number||Of total||Number||Of total|
|Religion not stated||15,877||8.76%||20,519||9.35%|
A study in 2017 by Trust for London and The New Policy Institute found that Westminster has the third-highest pay inequality of the 32 London boroughs. It also has the second-least affordable private rent for low earners in London, behind only Kensington and Chelsea.
In education, 82% of adults and 69% of 19-year-olds having Level 3 qualifications.
A lord mayor is elected annually to serve as the official representative of the city for one year. See List of mayors of Westminster for a list of former mayors (1900-1965) and lord mayors (1965 to date).
|St Marylebone||Westminster North||Regent's Park and Kensington North||Westminster North|
|Paddington South||Cities of London and Westminster|
|Westminster St George's||Cities of London and Westminster||Cities of London and Westminster|
|City of London|
The City of Westminster covers all or part of the following areas of London:
Many global corporations have 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 a busy shopping destination.
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.
Four National Rail stations serve the City of Westminster:
|London Charing Cross||South Eastern Main Line||South East London and Kent including London Bridge, Lewisham, Dartford, Orpington, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells. Services operated by Southeastern.|
|London Marylebone||Chiltern Main Line||North West London, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Midlands including Wembley Stadium, Harrow, Aylesbury, Oxford and Birmingham Moor Street. Services operated by Chiltern Railways.|
|London Paddington||Great Western Main Line||West London, South West England and South Wales including Ealing Broadway, Reading, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Oxford, Plymouth and Worcester. Services operated by Great Western Railway and TfL Rail .|
|London Victoria||Brighton and Chatham Main Lines||South East London and Kent including Peckham Rye, Dartford, Gravesend, Dover Priory and Ashford International. Services operated by Southeastern.|
The City of Westminster is served by 27 London Underground stations and 10 lines.
By 2009 Westminster City Council had 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. By 2018 there were 60 electric vehicle charging locations.
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%.
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, and there are several non-profit-making junior and senior independent schools.
The city operates two reference libraries; Westminster Reference Library and Marylebone Information Service. Westminster Reference Library holds several special collections: of which the Sherlock Holmes, Arts and Business collections are the most comprehensive. In addition to the collections in Westminster Reference Library the city has two specialist libraries: the Westminster Music Library, the largest music library in the UK and the Westminster Chinese Library in the Charing Cross Library.
Free City of Westminster operated public lending libraries in Westminster include:
Many countries' embassies or High Commissions are in Westminster.
The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the City of Westminster.
This list is incomplete; you can help by . (October 2019)
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