Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation

Honorary Alderpeople

On Wednesday, 15 May 2024, Lewisham Council recognised and conferred its first-ever Alderpeople.

An honorary Alderman or Alderwoman is a title available to any person who, in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent, exceptional, and distinguished services to their council and community, above such duties as are expected of a councillor, as past members of that council. 

The Local Government Act 1972 grants the statutory right to confer Honorary titles of Alderman and Alderwoman under Section 249.

We are pleased to announce Dr Mee Ling Ng OBE, Jim Mallory, Obajimi Adefiranye and Stella Jeffrey, four distinguished former councillors as Aldermen and Alderwomen for their years of esteemed service to the London Borough of Lewisham. 

Dr Mee Ling Ng OBE

Dr Mee Ling Ng OBE 

Dr Mee Ling Ng OBE was elected as a Labour councillor in 1986, representing Evelyn ward in the constituency of Deptford. She was a member of Lewisham Council for four terms and in her time, she chaired a number of committees including the Women’s Committee; Economic Development; Health and Social Care, and was Deputy Leader to former Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, former Council Leader. In the Women’s Committee, Mee Ling led the development of the first carers’ policy and was also Chair of two regeneration Boards in Deptford that worked with external partners including, Goldsmiths and the Laban Centre. 

Mee Ling was the founder and chair of the first borough-wide Refugee Forum and co-led the Council’s community work on Anti-Apartheid. She was an international Election Monitoring and Peace Officer in South Africa in its first free general election. After leaving the Council in 2002, she continued public service as a non-executive Board member of Goldsmiths Council; the Lewisham and Guys Mental Health Trust, SLAM Mental Health Foundation Trust, the Ministry of Justice’s Her Majesty’s Courts Services Board; and Chair of Southwark PCT. 

Dr Mee Ling Ng is currently a Board member of Transport for London and London South Bank University.

Jim MalloryJim Mallory

First elected in 1986, Jim Mallory was a Lewisham councillor for 28 years, representing Grinling Gibbon ward in the constituency of Deptford for 16 years and Lee Green in the Lewisham East constituency for 12 years. From 1995 to 1998 he was Leader of the Council. 

At the Town Hall, he was an innovative and effective Committee Chair who oversaw and led work as diverse as introducing wheelie bins to the Borough – the first Council in England to adopt them – to helping Lewisham schools adapt to the immense changes under the Council after the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). He helped create Local Assemblies as a member of former Mayor Sir Steve Bullock’s sustainable communities’ commission.

Jim has been a committed activist, joining and supporting many local organisations, most notably as founding Chair (2010-2022) of Lee Green Lives, which runs a vibrant community centre. Through the Lee Green Assembly, he was responsible for securing funding for Manor Park and other local activities and services. He has also been a trustee for Deptford Challenge Trust since 2007 and has chaired Abbey Manor College governing board for the Borough’s excluded students since 2006. 

Jim has also undertaken the roles of Labour Group Chair, Chief Whip, and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in his time as a councillor.

Obajimi AdefiranyeObajimi Adefiranye

Obajimi Adefiranye has lived in Lewisham since 1975 and has always been active in the community. He took part in the Battle of Lewisham against the National Front and the campaign to save Lewisham Hospital. He was a school and college governor for over 50 years and participated in various Community Organisations, such as the Lewisham Race Equality Council. 

He was the first African to be elected to the Council in 1990 and served as a councillor for 28 years, including seven years as Chair of Council (Civic Mayor). Obajimi chaired several Council committees, including Education, Finance, Personnel, and the Equalities Committee, in which he initiated the annual Black History Month celebration. He welcomed Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, to the Borough as part of Outreach Africa and played a leading role when Education was devolved to the Borough after the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority. 

As Chair of Council, he hosted many events to promote Lewisham and raise funds for the Mayor’s charity, including Tea and Tour of the House of Lords; and lunch and tours at Goldsmith’s Hall, the Horniman Museum, and historic Deptford. 

As an Honorary Alderman, Obajimi hopes to be able to continue to represent and promote the wonderfully rich diversity and culture of Lewisham and its people.

Stella JefferyStella Jeffrey sitting at dining table

Stella Jeffrey has lived in Lewisham for 50 years with her family and worked as a teacher. Membership of the Community Health Council widened her experience of the problems faced by older residents and the issues confronting the NHS. 

For over 30 years she was a school governor, notably at Chelwood Nursery School, always raising the concerns of early childhood education. Chelwood was judged as Excellent in every Ofsted inspection. 

She was a Councillor for Lewisham Central ward in Lewisham Deptford constituency from 2010 to 2018, during which she was Chief Whip. Her major focus was the Healthier Communities Select Committee, but she also contributed to the Corporate Parenting Group, the Virtual School Governing Body, and the Positive Ageing Council. She visited Lewisham’s twinned towns of Antony, France and Charlottenburg, Germany where her speeches promoted friendship. 

Since stepping down she has continued to assist asylum seekers and refugees facing hardship, working with Lewisham Churches for Asylum Seekers, which she chaired for 13 years, and as a founding trustee of the London Churches Refugee Fund. She is an active member of the congregation of St. Mary’s Lewisham, singing in the choir, as a member of the Mothers’ Union and chairing Lewisham Parochial Charities.

Freedom of the Borough

Lewisham awards Freedom of the Borough, the highest honour that we can bestow, to those who have also gone above and beyond to make Lewisham a great place to live, works and for service users. Find out more about the recipients of the freedom of the borough status.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us anything