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New generation take leading positions at Lewisham Council

The Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, has announced a number of key nominations, who will help lead the Council in delivering its vision for the borough and put its commitment to equalities into action.

The nominations were formally announced at the Council’s Annual General Meeting on 3 April.

  • Cllr André Bourne, Cabinet Member for Culture, Jobs and Skills (job share)
  • Barbara Gray, Mayoress of Lewisham, and the Mayor and Council Adviser on BAME health inequalities
  • Royston John, Mayor and Council Adviser on BAME career progression

Councillors also nominated two councillors to chair key Council committees; Cllr Juliet Campbell to Chair the Safer Stronger Select Committee and Cllr Peter Bernards to Chair the Housing Select Committee.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said:  ‘I’m delighted to see new faces coming forward to key roles at Lewisham Council.

‘Our borough is one of the most diverse places in the world and that is one of our greatest strengths. However, we know that many residents face barriers to opportunity. Barbara and Royston are experts in their field and will support and challenge us in developing our understanding of those barriers and how they can be overcome.

‘I am delighted to welcome Cllr Bourne to the Cabinet, where he will be focussing on culture, arts, sport and the night-time economy. Lewisham has a fantastic cultural and sports offer, which all our residents should be able to enjoy and benefit from. Cllr Bourne is a fantastic councillor and is going to be a big asset to Lewisham.'

Councillor André Bourne, Cabinet Member for Culture, Jobs and Skills (job share)

Mayor Damien Egan with Cllr André BourneIn his new role as job share Cabinet Member for Culture, Job and Skills, Cllr Bourne will have responsibility for culture, arts, leisure centres, sports development and the night-time economy. He was Vice Chair of Council last year and previously held a number of Committee roles, including Vice Chair of Planning, Safer Stronger Select Committee and the Lewisham Safer Neighbourhood Board. 

He has represented Downham ward since 2014, is an active sportsperson, vegan and father.

Cllr Bourne said: ‘I am honoured to be selected as a cabinet member. Having been a councillor for 5 years, I am prepared for hard work and I can’t wait to get started! This is a really interesting portfolio, especially with such a diverse borough like Lewisham. I’m really looking forward to working on sports development and the youth games to name a few. Culture is one of the largest economic contributions to the UK, so I really want to take advantage of this, especially in such a creative borough.’

Barbara Gray – Mayoress of Lewisham and Mayor and Cabinet Adviser on BAME health inequalities

Barbara is an equalities campaigner and agent of change. She leads the health inequalities work of the Lewisham BME Network, which promotes sustainable development in the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community sector. She is passionate about empowering communities to achieve their ambitions and transform their lives, and reducing health inequalities for BAME adults and children.

Barbara said: “I’m very happy to be appointed as Mayoress of Lewisham. Our borough is a great place to live and we are stronger for our diversity, but we know that more needs to be done so that every resident can live their best life. 

'Evidence shows that BAME residents are not accessing health services and support that meet their needs, which impacts on their quality of life. I am determined to change that in my Mayoress and Mayor Damien Egan with Mayoress of Lewisham Barbara Gray and Mayoral Adviser Royston Johnadviser role and hope I can be an inspiration to our young black residents. Lewisham is at its best when it celebrates its diversity and everyone is able to thrive.'

Royston John, Mayor and Cabinet Adviser on BAME career progression

Royston lives in Catford and has worked nationally with councils and other public bodies as well as the third sector to deliver training & development, coaching, team building and organisational change; for senior staff and those wishing to progress their careers, services and organisation.

Royston said: ‘I am motivated by supporting and enabling people to work to their full potential. Lewisham is a vibrant and diverse borough. Having worked in several areas across London and regions, I believe that Lewisham is a borough willing to work towards achieving true community integration.

‘I am thrilled to be working with Damien. In my role, I will be seeking to ensure he has a balanced perspective to support his decision-making process. This includes the pros and cons of what could be done differently, whilst recognising budgetary constraints and other potential barriers for change. I am also determined that Council staff from BAME backgrounds, who are full of potential, feel encouraged and empowered to progress in their careers.’

Chair, Safer and Stronger Select Committee

Juliet Campbell was elected as councillor for Blackheath in 2018. She has a background in local government and public health.

Chair, Housing Select Committee

Peter Bernards was elected as councillor for Forest Hill in 2014. He has experienced being homeless in the past and is passionate about housing. A Lewisham resident since 2008, he is the director of a security company and member of the Lewisham Homes Board.

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