Sir Simon Milton, after whom this University Technical College is named, was Leader of Westminster City Council for a record-breaking tenure (2000-08); from 2007-08 he was Chairman of the Local Government Association and then Deputy Mayor of London (2008-11). He received a knighthood for services to Local Government in the New Year’s honours list in 2006 and in 2008 he was made an Honorary Alderman of the City of Westminster.
An outstanding leader, Simon was respected, admired, and held in affection across the entire political spectrum for his grasp of strategy, his quiet effectiveness, mischievous humour, modesty, integrity and warmth. During his ten year career as one of modern London’s most successful politicians, Simon was passionate that the city should extend opportunity to as many people as possible – young and old. He viewed untapped potential in the young as unjustifiable and believed that the opportunity for older people to thrive in later life was an unquestionable right. He thought that providing an opportunity to succeed would not only help an individual but create a positive cycle of events that would help whole communities.
Simon’s knighthood was in recognition of his pioneering ‘One City’ vision and the role he played in leading a grieving city past its pain and mistrust in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings. The ‘One City’ initiative was founded on his firm belief that a place is truly the sum of its parts. Whether it is in providing young people with education, jobs and training, ensuring that older people are fully integrated into their communities, or creating a built environment that complements the city around it, no stone was left unturned in realising his ideas.
As a result of Simon’s leadership, Westminster policies were adopted by other councils and used by governments of all parties as a model for how a local authority should operate. In September 2011, London First posthumously awarded Simon a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contribution to London
Following his premature death, aged just 49, the Sir Simon Milton Foundation was established with one overriding aim: to continue delivering Simon’s vision of a caring city that offers opportunity for all. The Foundation was instrumental in persuading Westminster City Council to establish the College and is a founding member of the UTC.
“In politics there are talkers and there are doers – those who actually roll up their sleeves and work to make a difference. Simon Milton certainly fell into the latter camp.” David Cameron, former Prime Minister
“Sir Simon Milton was perhaps the most interesting, quietly principled and far-sighted politician of his generation. Millions of Londoners will lead better and richer lives because of his life of unstinting duty and service.” Peter Oborne, political journalist