New Westminster Lord Mayor pledges to widen opportunities for borough’s children

Cllr Susie Burbridge says she wants to take young carers to Disney World

Westminster Council’s new Lord Mayor wants to use her year in office to help give the borough’s young people more opportunities in life.

Susie Burbridge has been a councillor for 13 years – representing Maida Vale and then Lancaster Gate. She was elected last week to take over from Cllr Judith Warner.

Cllr Burbridge wants to work with charity Kidscape, which works to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse, together with schools and community groups.

“Some parents are dedicated to their kids but some children are not so fortunate so I would like to give them as many opportunities as possible,” she said.

“For example, I’m hoping to raise enough money to take some of our young carers, who dedicate a lot of their time to caring, to Disney World. We have about 50 young carers so I would love to take 15 or 20 of them away to Florida for a week.”

After a career including various roles in Parliament and jobs for Marylebone Cricket Club and CityWest Homes, Cllr Burbridge is looking forward to fulfilling up to 1,000 official engagements over the coming year.

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“I like to keep busy and want to really work hard,” she said. “I’m a hands-on person. At the end of the year, I want to say I did this and this and this. I’m a do-er, not just a talker.”

The Lord Mayor will also fundraise for Veterans Aid, which helps ex-servicemen and women in crisis or at risk of homelessness, and the Mayhew Animal Home. This offers services to animals and their carers in north London. She will also select a charity in support of women’s issues.

There is one benefit of the role that is hard to surpass though – the use of a car and driver. “I will be free to go to any place in Westminster to see what is going on so I’m looking forward to that,” she said. “The nice thing is that I will not have to look for a car parking place all the time or get the tube or bus anywhere. In that way, I’m going to be spoiled.”