- Mayor to nominate Brenda Dacres to be new Deputy Mayor of Lewisham
- Also nominates Kim Powell to be Cabinet Member for Jobs and Skills
Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, today announced his intention to nominate Cllr Brenda Dacres to become Deputy Mayor of Lewisham. He also announced his intention to nominate Cllr Kim Powell to become Cabinet Member for Jobs & Skills (job share). The nominations will be made at the Lewisham Council Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May 2021.
Cllr Brenda Dacres became involved in her local community when she joined a campaign for better funding for her son’s primary school in Lewisham. She became a community activist in Deptford and joined the Labour Party. She has been a Labour councillor since 2014 and has served in the Lewisham cabinet since 2018. She is a graduate of the first Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme and serves as Secretary and executive member of the National Association of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Councillors. Cllr Dacres has a law degree and was called to the bar in 2006.
As Deputy Mayor of Lewisham, Cllr Dacres will retain her cabinet responsibilities for community safety, continuing her work on developing Lewisham’s public health approach to youth violence, and will support the Mayor on borough wide projects and initiatives.
Cllr Kim Powell is a ward councillor for Whitefoot in the south of the borough and was first elected in 2019. Cllr Powell is the manager of the Catford Soup Kitchen, a community outreach project providing food to residents in need, and is a director of the Whitefoot and Downham Community Food Plus Project. As Cabinet Member for Jobs & Skills, she will lead Lewisham Council’s relationships with local businesses and employers, and she will lead the Mayor’s Apprenticeship Programme.
Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham said: “I am delighted to be nominating Brenda Dacres to become the new Deputy Mayor of Lewisham. Brenda is a hardworking community activist who has so much to offer our borough. Her values of fairness and equality are leadership qualities I admire, and I know she will serve our Council well in her new role. Brenda is a visible local leader, absolutely rooted in her community, and I really value her support and friendship.”
“I am delighted to be nominating Kim Powell to become the new Cabinet Member for Jobs & Skills as a job share. Kim is an asset to our Lewisham community, working hard to promote local food projects that offer hope to people who most need our help. Lewisham’s businesses are vital to our COVID recovery and Kim will help us promote and support them in any way we can.”
“I would also like to thank Chris Best for her support as Deputy Mayor over the last three years. Her experience, support and ability to get things done has been invaluable to me. I am very fortunate that Cllr Best will continue in Cabinet as the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care – a role in which her experience and expertise has been demonstrated time and again over this past year.”
“Cllr Joani Reid will also be stepping down from Cabinet having been a fantastic cabinet member over the past three years in multiple roles. I would like to thank Cllr Reid for being a hard-working and trusted Cabinet Member who has always been a source of ideas and energy driving change throughout the council, helping us to implement a public health approach to youth violence.”
Cllr Brenda Dacres said: “I am honoured to be nominated as Deputy Mayor of Lewisham. It is a privilege to represent New Cross and Deptford since 2014, and Lewisham as a Cabinet member since 2018 under Mayor Damien Egan. My Mum and Dad came to the UK from the Caribbean in the early 1960s and I am very proud of my heritage as a Black Caribbean Lewisham resident. My Dad was a taxi driver and my Mum was an NHS nurse. Our family story is one of hard work and community values, and in everything I do as Deputy Mayor I will try to make my family proud.”
“As a hardworking single mum of a son who went to Lewisham Schools I know how difficult life can be, the pressures our communities are under, and the challenges facing our young people, and I will continue to champion our communities. I am inspired by the vibrant diversity of our borough, residents and businesses, and I will work hard to support the Mayor to bring this passion into the heart of Lewisham Council.”
Cllr Kim Powell said: “It is an honour to be asked by the Mayor to join the cabinet. I am particularly pleased that my cabinet portfolio will include responsibility for working with our fantastic local businesses, and the Lewisham apprenticeship programme. There is a youth employment crisis in the country and we have to do everything we can to make sure our residents have access to Living Wage jobs.”
Cllr Chris Best, who will be handing over as Deputy Mayor, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my role supporting Damien Egan for the past three years. As Lewisham’s longest serving councillor, with 16 years’ experience as a Cabinet Member in the previous administration, I have brought my knowledge, understanding and skills to the new administration. I am proud to be handing over the baton to Brenda Dacres and I look forward to continuing my work as Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care.”
Notes to Editors:
Cllr Joani Reid is stepping down from the cabinet. There will be no further changes made to the membership of the cabinet.