Principles met

  • We will develop systems that enable citizens to be equal partners in designing and commissioning public services and in determining the use of public resources.
  • We will explore ways for councils to act as a platform for helping the community to contribute to local outcomes, and to re-think the role of councillors as community connectors, brokers and leaders.
  • We will embrace innovation in how we work with local communities to drive positive change.
  • We will capture and ‘expand’ the experience and learning from individual projects and approaches in order to encourage broader application of co-operative principles within individual member Councils and across the Network.
  • We will support the development of a framework and criteria for social value, giving substance to the concept and supporting Councils with the tools to ensure better local social and economic outcomes.

Westminster has long been reported as a focus point for money laundering in the UK, with the rise of American Candy stores on Oxford Street presenting a peak in the discourse around this. While a lot of the policy and enforcement levers to tackle these matters are not directly in the control of the Council or the vast majority of our businesses, it was imperative for us to do all we could.

Bringing together academics, NGOs, the public sector and business we co-produced a set of commitments that we could deliver working together – along with a Fair Tax commitment from the Council to lead the way. This culminated with the signing of the Westminster Against Dirty Money Charter with the New West End Company, the Fair Tax Foundation and Heart of London Business Alliance – the first agreement of its kind setting out three pillars:

  • Supporting Fair Taxation;
  • Transparency and Accountability, and
  • Constructive Challenge. 

This marked us as a willing partner – working with business – to do everything we can to tackle dirty money in the city and encourage partners to come forward, recognising the Council wants change but cannot solve these problems on its own.

L-R Mary Patel – Movement Building and Outreach Manager the Fair Tax Foundation, Cllr Adam Hug – Leader of Westminster City Council, Sara Hall, Head of Movement at Tax Justice UK at a Dirty Money Round Table event

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