I am writing to let you know that that I will be applying to become the Labour Party’s candidate in the newly created constituency, Bristol North East.
This new constituency covers the parts of Bristol where I grew up, where I went to school and where I first got involved in politics and local government.
As you’ll all know, I love Lewisham, our community and the work we’re all doing together for the borough. These are very special circumstances, my family are all in Bristol, and for me this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the place where I’m from.
Having been through a competitive selection when I stood to be the Mayor of Lewisham, I understand that this process will require time and focus.
After discussions with my Cabinet, the Acting Chief Executive and EMT we’ve agreed that over this period I will reduce my hours on a temporary basis. I will maintain my regular meetings with the Acting Chief Executive, Cabinet, uphold key public engagements I’ve committed to and my Meet-the-Mayor public sessions.
I will remain responsible for any decision making and urgent matters that may arise and be available in-person when necessary – I take this approach whenever I take leave from the office. I will also, over this period, delegate more internal meetings to my Deputy Mayor Brenda Dacres and my Cabinet. As the timetable is short for this selection, we feel we can maintain these temporary arrangements until the selection process is complete, which is expected to be by mid to late July.
I have acted closely with the Deputy Mayor and Acting Chief Executive to ensure there will be minimal disruption to the council.
Over this period my allowance will be donated to Lewisham Food Bank, my mayoral charity of the year.