The Westminster Scandal: The prominent names facing surcharges: The Council Policy-Makers

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The Independent Online
A BRIEF biography of David Weeks, issued by Westminster City Council before he resigned as its leader last July, says he saw the authority as 'a business operation offering residents high quality services at low cost'.

The philosophy was in keeping with Dame Shirley Porter's, from whom he inherited the position in April 1991. At the time, she was facing allegations that a pounds 100,000 slush fund had been set up to help the Tories win the previous year's elections.

Mr Weeks joined the council in 1974 and was deputy leader between 1983 and 1991, chairing its planning and development, financial management and personnel committees. He remained leader for just two years, resigning last July amid allegations that he used his council office for electioneering.

Along with the membership of numerous organisations, he lists the Royal Parks Review Group, the Council of the Zoological Society of London and the Conservative Friends of Israel.

Judith Warner is chairman of Westminster's education committee. She came to national prominence in 1991, while chairman of the housing committee, when she defended moves by the council to find homes for homeless Westminster families in other parts of the country. Critics accused the council of trying to 'export' the problem.

Ms Warner was elected in May 1986 and besides the housing committee, is a former chairman of a number of housing-related committees. She is a lecturer in three-dimensional design and a governor of the London Institute.

Dr Michael Dutt was elected to the council in 1986 and rose to the position of joint chairman of the housing committee by February 1988. He was also a vice-chairman of the council's planning and development committee.

He did not stand in the 1990 local elections, choosing instead to contest the parliamentary seat of Leicester South in the 1992 general election. He came second to the Labour candidate, some 9,400 votes adrift.

Peter Hartley was elected in May 1978 and became housing chairman in June 1987 following the resignation of Patricia Kirwan, the former Tory councillor.

He was chairman of the environment committee when the council sold off three cemeteries for 15p. He and Lady Porter were criticised over the affair by the district auditor. He resigned in February 1988 and now has a catering business, according to council officials.

Bill Phillips was the first council official to carry the title of managing director. He joined the council as head of its policy unit in July 1976 on secondment from the Department of the Environment. He left in February 1991 to join a firm of recruitment consultants.

Robert Lewis joined the council in June 1986 as its deputy city solicitor and left in April 1988 to go into private practice.

Graham England, 49, has been with the council for 21 years. He became director of housing in the autumn of 1985. Paul Hayler is also an officer of the housing department. Both officials are still in their posts.

(Photograph omitted)

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