Council History

Recognising the growing disparities between Queen’s Park and other parts of Westminster, a group of residents took the opportunity presented by the 2007 change in legislation. They began their campaign to form the Community Council on Saturday, 22nd January 2011, at a public meeting in the Beethoven Centre. Their aim was straightforward: to empower local people to make decisions addressing local issues.

The Campaigners needed at least 10% of the registered voters to sign the petition requesting that the City Council permit forming a Community Council. The group mobilised residents with the message: “Your Community Needs You” and distributed booklets outlining the need for local decision-making. Since Queen’s Park is one of the poorest areas in the City, the campaign was an uphill battle as the new Community Council would raise its funds through a ‘precept’ – a small addition to the council tax paid by residents. However, the campaigners made their case to residents and gained momentum. In the end, a thousand six hundred residents signed the petition.

Campaigners holding posters

On Monday, 9th May 2011, Campaigners presented their petition to the City Council Leader Colin Barrow and Chief Executive Mike More. Following this, the City Council launched a community governance review, consulting community groups on whether they supported the setting up of a Community Council. When the results of this consultation came back in favour, the City Council called a referendum – the final step in deciding whether or not to form a Community Council. The referendum took place in 2012, and with 70% of votes in favour, forming a Community Council was permitted. However, the City Council ruled that the election of Community Councillors could only take place in 2014 when local ward Council elections were due to take place.

Getting to work

Despite this, the campaigners kept the momentum. A Development Group was set up and got to work consulting with residents to discuss and agree on policies and procedures that would guide the new Community Council. One critical commitment from these discussions was that the new Community Council would be non-partisan, and all Councillors would primarily serve the interests of local people rather than political party affiliations. The group also ran various other activities and projects, such as the Queen’s Park Summer Festival, the Fireworks Display and the installation of new equipment in the Queen’s Park Gardens.

The First Elections

On 22nd May 2014, seventeen local people stood in the elections to become Community Councillors. The first twelve democratically elected Community Councillors were announced in the early hours of the following day. Voter turnout at this local election was among the highest ever.

Continuing the Work

Within the first year, Queen’s Park Community Council continued the projects started by the Development Group and initiated a range of new projects, including:

  • Initiating the ‘Community Grant’ programme- funding residents and local organisations to run events, projects and services that benefit the community.
  • Working with police to address dog issues in Queen’s Park and with the City Council to formulate a plan for the management of Queen’s Park Gardens
  • Managing the Harrington Court allotments
  • Publishing the e-bulletin and the Queen’s Park Voice newsletter to share updates and news with residents
  • Organising the ‘Front Garden’ competition, a local ‘Clean Up Day’, and a Community ‘Tea Party’ collecting unwanted items that were too difficult to dispose of
  • Auditing local assets to be brought into Community ownership if the opportunity arose.

QPG PlaygroundQueen’s Park Garden’s Playground

In 2013 Westminster City Council (WCC) removed an old steel climbing frame, leaving the park with minimal provision for school-age children. QPCC partnered with WCC and the Friends of Queen’s Park Gardens to raise funds from Sita Trust. A new climbing frame with a slide, a cone climber and a roundabout was among the new equipment installed in 2014.

Bike Shelters

Bike Shelters

QPCC also helped to install the first secure street bike hangars in the borough on Ilbert Street in 2017. They have been successful and very popular.

After an initial year trial period, WCC agreed to extend the provision for another year. QPCC will continue to campaign for them to be made permanent and for the installation of additional shelters elsewhere in Queen’s Park.

Queen’s Park Gardens Enhancement

Since 2016 QPCC has enlisted local environmental charity Hammersmith Community Gardens Association to enhance the Queen’s Park Gardens. Their work includes coordinating community gardening sessions, training local volunteers and running children’s activities. 

In 2017, work began on a brand new community orchard in the rose gardens, which kicked off with a community planting day after several months of clearing overgrown corners and diseased plants. We are grateful to have had the Queen’s Park Rangers, a Bangladeshi women’s group from Queen’s Park Library and the numerous residents who kindly sponsored trees. 

The Neighbourhood Plan: Your Community. Your Decision

The Community Council also began consulting residents on developing a Neighbourhood Plan as part of its commitment to localism and its vision of a community with access to the best possible facilities, services and natural environment.

Elections in 2018 and 2022 introduced two more cohorts of Councillors and have shaped the Community Council as a prominent local organisation.

Today, Queen’s Park Community Council continues to grow into its role, representing local needs to the City Councils and other statutory bodies and utilising its resources to support local projectsand services for those who work, live and visit the area.

Neighbourhood planning was introduced in the Localism Act 2012, allowing local people to produce a statutory binding planning document for their area. Developing a Neighbourhood plan empowers communities in decision-making about planning, ensuring that new developments reflect the community’s shared vision.

After a decade of consultations with residents, the City Council and local organisations, Queen’s Park Community Council published the final version of  the Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Plan, which needed to go to a community-wide referendum before it could be adopted.

Following months of campaigning with the slogan “Your Community. Your Decision,” the referendum occurred on 21st October 2021. Each voting resident had the opportunity to vote on whether or not to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan. Again, the Queen’s Park Community Council received overwhelming support from residents, with 91% of votes cast in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan now functions alongside Westminster City Council’s planning policies to inform all planning decisions in the area.