Queen’s Park Community Council (QPCC) is the first community (or parish) council in London, and was set up following a campaign and a local referendum in 2012. Elections are held every four years. The first 12 councillors were elected in May 2014, and our second elections were held in May 2018. Our councillors are all local residents with a wide range of experiences and views and the Community Council is not affiliated with particular political parties.
Queen’s Park Community Council area shares the same area boundaries as the Westminster City Council Queen’s Park ward boundaries, extending between Kilburn Lane in the north and west, Harrow Road in the south and Portnall Road in the east. It includes the Queen’s Park and Mozart estates.
A community council (also known as parish and town councils) is a local council. Local councils are statutory bodies and, when they come into existence, become the lowest tier of local government in England and Wales. They are distinct from higher tiers of government, (in London, these are the boroughs, for us Westminster City Council, and Greater London Authority), and are not to be confused with local parochial church councils. Local councils come in all shapes and sizes; in Queen’s Park, QPCC represents 14,000+ people living in 5000+ houses. More information can be found in Local Councils Explained or on the National Association of Local Councils website. .
Community Councils are able to raise funds through what is called a ‘precept’, a form of council tax paid by local residents added to local bills. QPCC receives most of its income from a precept, although we do raise funds from other sources. For 2018/2019, this is £46.38 for the average band D household – or 89p a week. In 2014-2018, QPCC spent over £620,000 in our neighbourhood, a budget which is completely immune to public spending cuts dictated by central government.
Our Vision, Mission & Objectives
QPCC aims to promote a strong sense of community and increase the quality of life for all residents of (and visitors to) Queen’s Park. Our vision is of a neighbourhood that has a strong sense of community; a place where people of all ages, cultures, religious and social backgrounds live, work and socialise together.
- To be a voice for Queen’s Park, standing up for all members of our community.
- To respect and safeguard the social mix of the local area, promote community spirit and cohesion, and help to maintain and improve the quality of homesfor all.
- To safeguard local services and facilities, in particular those for vulnerable members of our community.
- To create and develop strong and productive partnerships with a range of statutory agencies and local community groups and organisations.
- To make the local area a safer environment and help to reduce crime and accidents.
- To support the regeneration of the local economy and to improve economic and employment opportunities.
- To cherish and enhance our environment, protect our heritage, and use resources wisely to minimise environmental impact.
- Health and wellbeing – to work with state and voluntary service providers to help identify gaps in services to local people and help fill these gaps where possible with a focus on children and young people, older people and unemployed people.
- A Voice for Queen’s Park – to develop QPCC’s role as a ‘voice’ for the people of Queen’s Park and develop its relationship with partners and key stakeholders.
- Local economy, business and jobs – to consult residents and businesses on improving the area’s commercial viability, and to explore the development of local employment initiatives.
- Improving our environment – to deliver a Neighbourhood Plan, maximise the use of open spaces and the public realm including Queen’s Park Gardens, with a view to optimising the benefits to the community and make our streets safer.
- Community cohesion – to promote community cohesion, neighbourliness and community spirit in all that we do, communicating with residents and supporting local events such as the annual Summer Festival and Fireworks Display.
The History of QPCC
In 2011, Queen’s Park residents from the poorest corner of the City of Westminster started a campaign calling for the formation of a new Community Council in Queen’s Park. The message was a straightforward: by taking the power to address important local issues themselves, the Community Council would find its own way to make up for cuts in public spending with a view to long-term sustainability. Whilst Community (or Parish) Councils have existed in rural areas all over England for many years, it was only possible to create a new one in London since a change in the law in 2007.
The campaign gathered momentum. People joined in, mobilised, and organised. A grassroots movement galvanized people from across the community to work together. A petition attracted 1600 signatures and a local referendum in 2012 secured a historic moment – Queen’s Park became the first ever Community Council in London in over 50 years, a non-political, democratically elected representative group of local residents established to improve the wellbeing of the local community. In 2014, the first Community Councillors were elected.