COVID-19 Update from Westminster City Council Leader Rachael Robathan

We are all aware of the difficult period that is being experienced by everyone living across Westminster. I want to assure you that your local council will continue to provide whatever support or advice is needed in the coming weeks. Many of you are contacting us, often with offers of help, for which we are very grateful. There are further details of how to register those offers of help below. If you need our assistance, or have concerns about a vulnerable neighbour or relative, then do get in touch with us, or you can ask for help through the council’s website.

Council Services

The Council is currently providing its normal services with limited disruption. This may change as the situation develops.

Please keep up to date on what Council services are affected by visiting our website. This is being updated on a very regular basis with the latest information. The front page of the Council’s website has had a major makeover to signpost people to everything related to COVID-19.

We are making contact with our vulnerable residents and tenants to support them. That process is working well and is not disrupted at the moment.

City Libraries are currently closed, but the Council is currently working on plans to provide ongoing access, in a safe environment, to online services for those members of the public that need access to the internet and do not otherwise have the ability to get online. Free online resources, including eBooks and eMagazines are available here.

Support for Businesses

This is a time of extreme disruption for many businesses across Westminster. We are doing everything we can to support them.

The Leader of the Council wrote to the Chancellor last week, resulting in the Chancellor’s announcements on 17 March that provided support for many retail and leisure businesses who will now pay no business rates for 12 months. The Leader of the Council has written to the Chancellor again asking for further support for the many non-retail and leisure businesses who will also need help.

So, we are pleased to see the Chancellor’s announcement on 20th March that 80% of worker’s wages will be covered up to £2,500 per month by the Government. 

The Council is also convening a meeting with the major land and property owners in the city to develop a co-ordinated response on how we can further support local businesses throughout the city.

How you can help

We have been seeing many offers of help from individual and local groups. We have set up Westminster Connects to co-ordinate people who want to help and to support those in need.

Anyone would like to volunteer to help should register via the online form here.

Anyone who needs help – or is concerned about a vulnerable neighbour or relative - should email the Council or complete the online form here.

We are also asking for those that are already offering services to email us so that we can promote these more widely.

Your councillors are there to support everyone in the community and, by working together, we will get through this. We are all hugely grateful for the incredible work that is being done by the NHS and also all our dedicated council staff who continue to serve our community from collecting rubbish to protecting the vulnerable. They are keeping the city running, which we are determined to do.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us during this period. We will do all that we can to help you and your neighbours.

Keep safe,

Cllr Rachael Robathan

Leader of Westminster City Council