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Lewisham set to appoint new permanent chief

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Lewisham LBC is set to appoint Kim Wright as its new permanent chief executive.

Ms Wright, who is currently Hackney LBC’s group director, neighbourhoods and housing, will be the borough’s first female chief executive and is expected to take up the role in October.

She replaces Janet Senior, executive director for resources and regeneration, who has been acting chief executive since the previous permanent chief Ian Thomas left in October last year after just seven months in the role. His departure followed differences with the borough’s mayor, Damien Egan (Lab), who was elected after Mr Thomas’ appointment.

Mr Egan said: “I am delighted that Kim will be joining us and helping us to deliver our manifesto for change in the borough. Kim has significant experience of strategically leading high quality services including the delivery of one of the country’s largest council house building programmes.”

Ms Wright has been at Hackney since 2004 and has held a number of senior roles, including director of adult social care for 11 years. She was also heavily involved in ensuring the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games brought real and lasting economic and social benefits to Hackney and east London with jobs, skills, training, new parks and open spaces accessible for all.

Ms Wright said: “I am proud to be joining Lewisham at this time, and look forward to bringing my experience here to help deliver the borough’s vision for change and to working with the mayor and councillors, alongside staff, local communities and partners, to make a real difference to local people’s lives.”

Speaking to LGC earlier this year Ms Wright revealed she started her local government career as a leisure centre manager on the Isle of Wight. She has also worked at Barnet LBC and Spelthorne BC.

Describing her approach to leadership she said: “Never say never if you are offered an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone… I’m always poking with my ignorance stick and asking questions.”

Lewisham’s interview process included three panels of interviewers from the community, business and elected councillors, as well as a final member panel interview. The appointment will be subject to council ratification on 24 July.

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