A huge statue of former leader of Westminster Council and Deputy Mayor of London, the late Sir Simon Milton, was unveiled near Tower Bridge last week.
Cricklewood native Milton was a widely respected one-nation Tory who, as leader of Westminster Council, did much to restore its reputation after the homes for votes scandals of predecessor Dame Shirley Porter and for the poorer parts of the borough.
He was knighted for services to local government in 2006 and wen ton to chair the Local Government Association (LGA) in 2007, representing all councils on the national political stage.
In 2008 as Mayor Boris Johnson’s chief of staff and deputy mayor during his first term he brought organization and professional discipline to the Mayor’s Office and was respected for his approach to planning across London, and his oversight of the London Plan, in which the outer boroughs were given greater attention than hitherto.
He died on 11 April in 2011, aged just 49, after a long, painful and heroic battle against leukaemia.
The statues, sculpted by Philip Jackson, depicts Sir Simon seated on a bench gazing at City Hall and the River Thames across Potters Fields Park. The artwork has been installed at the entrance to Crown Square, part of the One Tower Bridge development by Berkeley Homes.
London Mayor Boris Johnson, now in his final month of office, unveiled the statue last Monday in the presence of his civil partner Westminster councillor Robert Davis, Robert Davies who is in charge of planning for Westminster Council, and communities secretary Greg Clark MP.
Such statues are more associated with 19th century tributes to political figures but there are a surprising number of monuments to Sir Simon, very much a 21st century public representative including a statue by Bruce Denny at Paddington Basin, a bust at Westminster City Hall, an image of him in a decorative frieze in Eagle Place, Piccadilly, a water feature outside the Connaught Hotel, and a memorial garden at Paddington Recreation Ground.
Next year the Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College next to Victoria Station will be opened in his memory.