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Rotherham director set to be named Lewisham chief

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Lewisham LBC has recommended Ian Thomas as its new chief executive.

If approved by full council he will succeed the long-serving Barry Quirk, who moved after 24 years in office to take charge of Kensington & Chelsea RBC following last summer’s fatal fire at Grenfell Tower.

Elected mayor Sir Steve Bullock (Lab) said in addition to councillors he had involved local organisations in the selection process including the NHS, police, Goldsmiths College, Phoenix Community Housing and South East London Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Thomas is strategic director for children and young people at Rotherham MBC where he took office in January 2015 to lead the response to reports by Professor Jay, Louise Casey and Ofsted on child sex exploitation in the town.

He was formerly deputy chief executive and strategic director for children and younger adults at Derbyshire CC, and assistant director (social care and housing strategy) at Trafford MBC.

Sir Steve said, “Ian is a highly-regarded local government leader who has delivered big improvements to public services. His skills, experience and knowledge made him an outstanding candidate and I am confident he will work alongside Lewisham’s communities to make our borough the best place in London to live, work and learn.”

Mr Thomas said: “I look forward to working with the new mayor, ward councillors, staff, partners and residents, to build on what has been achieved in the borough, address the challenges ahead, as well as seize the opportunities to improve the lives of all Lewisham citizens.”

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