RoeCongratulations to Cllr Philippa Roe who was chosen last night to become the new leader of Westminster City Council and is sure to emerge as one of the most important high profile figure in local government. This was an important contest for local government beyond Westminster and Philippa was an excellent choice. She will keep up  the momentum of Cllr Colin Barrow of Westminster as an innovative, radical council. Philippa has strong Conservative principles and will be determined to keep the Council Tax at the lowest in the land while maintaining excellent services. She willl also wish to discuss with Ministers the way forward in reducing welfare dependency.

She emerged triumphant from a vigorously fought leadership race that even attracted the interest of Ladbrokes. Here election last night was as leader of the Conservative Group which means she will be their nominee for the post of Leader of the Council when the full Council convenes next Wednesday night which is when she will officially take over.

The current Council Leader Colin Barrow said last night:

“Philippa has shown drive, skill and understanding as Cabinet Member for Housing until 2011 and over the last year, for Finance. She has started the renewal of our housing estates and has seen the council through the toughest budget in its recent history. Once elected by Full Council she will be the eleventh Leader of the City Council since it was formed in 1965.

“It has been a great privilege to lead this council for four years and I am sure that she will be successful as Leader and take forward policies that enable people to live, and business to thrive in the heart of London.

Philippa said:

“Westminster is an exceptional place and if elected as Leader next week I will govern for the whole city; for the local family, the city worker and the many visitors who come to the heart of London.

“We have a fundamental role to play in making sure that Westminster is ready to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and support the Olympic Games, as well as meeting the daily challenge of running the heart of London.

“And we will encourage everyone who lives or works here to do their bit for the good of the city; building on the principles we set out in the Civic Contract.

Philippa was elected to the Council in 2006, represents Knightsbridge and Belgravia ward lives in Westminster. Her mother Dame Marion Roe was a Conservative MP.

Philippa has written for Conservative Home on the her Hohusing Benefit cap here and here.