Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation

Meet the Speaker of Lewisham

We interviewed the New Speaker of Lewisham, Cllr Jacq Paschoud, to learn a little more about her and what she intends to achieve in her year as Speaker of Lewisham.

Cllr Jacq Paschoud

The role of Speaker in Lewisham fulfils civic, ceremonial, and public duties, usually done by a Civic Mayor (Lewisham has a Directly Elected Mayor, Brenda Dacres). Their position includes chairing Full Council, welcoming new citizens, and visitors to the borough, leading fundraising initiatives for the Mayor’s charity, attending community events, and a range of other activities.  

Congratulations on your appointment to Speaker Cllr Paschoud, can you share a bit about yourself

My name is Jacq Paschoud. I have served as a ward councillor since 2011 and have previously been the Speaker from 2018 to 2019 and again from 2019 to 2020. My second term ended as the Covid-19 pandemic started with my final meetings taking place virtually. It’s been interesting to see how we have moved to a hybrid approach to working since then.  

I was also Deputy Speaker of Lewisham from 2023 to 2024. I am involved with a number of charities, I am a school governor, a member of the Royal British Legion and The Last Post Association.  

Ohhh, and I haven’t drunk coffee since 1979! 

For you, how does being the Speaker of Lewisham impact your role as a Councillor? 

I have enjoyed being a Councillor for the last 13 years because it means I can help those in my local ward of Bellingham and solve their immediate problems. I am passionate about helping my community. Being Speaker means I can support residents beyond my ward by acting as an ambassador for all the people of Lewisham. 

Why did you decide to nominate yourself to become the Speaker of Lewisham again? 

It is an honour to be Speaker. As Speaker, you get to show residents the human side of politics. I like to interact with people face-to-face and build genuine connections. I do much better verbally than with loads of papers. The Speaker does chair Council meetings, but they also get to be immersed in the diverse local community to serving and celebrating them. It will be good to regularly engage with residents across the borough in-person, especially as my last time as Speaker ended during lockdown. 

The Council is made up of fellow residents and communities that rely on our service, so we have similar, if not the same issues, that they do. This means we relate to them and would like any problems solved quickly too.  

On the flipside, it means we are also extremely passionate about making Lewisham a great place. I would like to use my time as Speaker to highlight that. 

I am so excited to have now stepped back into the role of Speaker. 

What would you like to achieve during your term as speaker? 

I have already attended about 20 engagements in and out of the borough including school events, charity fundraising events, local festivals, and faith events. I hope to further develop the relationship between residents and the Council. Lewisham is a thinking place, and we care for our residents. I want this to be known in the borough and across London.  

I want to increase the profile of the Mayor’s charity beyond the fundraising engagements I will be hosting for them. I would like them to be known to all residents and for their reach to continue past their year as Mayor’s charity. 

I am eager to represent the people of Lewisham. 

How can people get in touch or invite you to events? 

You can get in touch with me or invite me to an event by emailing civicevents@lewisham.gov.uk

Deputy Speaker

Cllr Laura Cunningham, Deputy Speaker of Lewisham will support Cllr Jacq Paschoud in duties as Speaker of Lewisham.  

Continue reading...

Cllr Tauseef Anwar reflects on four years as the Speaker of Lewisham
Watch out for companies promising compensation for disrepair
Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us anything