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Cllr Peter John announces he's standing down as Leader

26 February 2020
Dear  Friend,

This evening I announced at our Council Assembly meeting
that after 10 years as Leader of Southwark Council, and 16 years as Leader of
Southwark Labour Group, I will be stepping down on March 25th 2020.  It
has been a great privilege to lead the Council over this period, in what has
been an extraordinary decade of delivery. 

When I became Council Leader in 2010 I was determined that
no resident should be left behind, and that everybody – whatever your age or
background - should be able to benefit and take advantage of the changes and
opportunities we were determined to create.  I also said that Southwark
was “open for business”, and in spite of unprecedented cuts to our budget by
government and tough economic circumstances we have managed to deliver positive
growth and change across the borough – with major investment in every
community.  From Blackfriars to Canada Water; Peckham to Elephant and
Castle; Bermondsey to Old Kent Road; and London Bridge to Camberwell, that
investment has brought 15,000 new homes; over 40,000 new jobs; over 5,000 new
apprenticeships which we have helped to create as a council, and millions of
square feet of new office and leisure space.

At the same time we have been able to deliver flagship
policies with the introduction of Free Healthy School Meals for all primary
school children; free swim and gym use for all residents; scholarships paying
the university tuition fees for over 100 young people from low income
backgrounds; pioneering the London Living Wage and the Ethical Care Charter;
our commitment to meet the needs of 100% of children and young people with a
mental health challenge; our ongoing support for widening the opportunities to
enjoy culture and the arts and our work putting public health and social
regeneration at the heart of all that we do as a council.  The schools in
our borough regularly out-perform the London and National averages, and our
voluntary sector is thriving.

The past decade has seen us face huge challenges as a
Council – from riots to floods to terror attacks.  These events have
scarred individuals and communities, but they have also demonstrated the
amazing resilience and support we have been able to offer each other as
residents of Southwark.

Our decade of delivery would not have been possible without the
support of fellow councillors, an amazing team of officers, and friends and
partners right across Southwark and London.  I have always believed that
we work best as a team, and that together we share responsibility for our
successes and any failure.  Thank you for your part in helping to make
Southwark such a borough of hope and opportunity.

Since 2010 we have also kept winning more council seats at
each of the local elections.  I firmly believe that our commitment to
deliver a fairer future for all our residents has been the right formula –
demonstrating that a bold and well-run council informed by our values and
aspirational for our communities and residents is politically popular.

Over the past 2 years as Chair of London Councils it has
been an honour to represent all of London’s 33 local authorities, and to work
with Mayor Sadiq Khan to make the case for our great city.  My Deputy,
Cllr Georgia Gould of Camden, will be the Acting Chair until London Councils
AGM in June.

A new Leader of Southwark Council will be elected on March
25th.  Until then I look forward to carrying on working with you and
saying a personal “thank you” to as many of you as possible! 

With very best wishes,

Cllr Peter John OBE

Leader of Southwark Council

Chair of London Councils

Labour Councillor for Champion Hill Ward


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