Award-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden is moved to permanent home as lasting tribute to Sir Simon Milton
Sir Simon Milton, who was knighted for his services to local Government, served as Deputy Mayor of London and as Boris Johnson’s chief of staff between 2008 and 2011, after a hugely successful period in leading Westminster City Council between 2000 and 2008.
He unexpectedly died on 11 April 2011 after a short illness at the age of 49.
The garden, located at Paddington Recreation Ground, was formally opened at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 5, by Sir Simon’s former partner Cllr Robert Davis, Sir Simon’s mother Ruth Gross, his sister Lisa Milton and Margery Kraus, founder and CEO of APCO Worldwide.
Cllr Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster City Council, paid tribute to Sir Simon: "He was an outstanding leader. Respected, admired, and held in affection across the political spectrum for his grasp of strategy, his effectiveness, modesty, integrity, and warmth – and of course his mischievous humour," he said.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London added: "Simon Milton was a wonderful friend, an extraordinarily gifted colleague, and a great servant of the people of London."
Margery Kraus, founder and CEO of APCO Worldwide, a leading global communication firm with more than 30 offices around the world, spoke of her respect for Sir Simon: "As the first managing director of APCO’s London office, Simon made important contributions not just to APCO’s growth, but also to our company values. His passion, personal dedication, professionalism, fundamental decency and very human touch ensured his success both at APCO and in the distinguished political career he pursued afterwards. Simon was a great friend to me and to the company. I am absolutely delighted that Westminster City Council is able to give The APCO Garden a permanent home in Simon’s memory. I hope this lasting memorial will be a constant reminder of Simon’s inspiration and the invaluable contribution he made in so many spheres of life."
As a further tribute the Sir Simon Milton Foundation is now established in his name, with a focus on tackling unemployment, looking after the elderly and supporting young people to achieve their potential.