Lewisham’s longest serving councillor named deputy mayor

Chris Best has served Lewisham as Sydenham Councillor since 1986, Pic: Lewisham Labour

Chris Best has served Lewisham as Sydenham Councillor since 1986. Pic: Lewisham Labour

Chris Best, Lewisham’s longest-serving councillor, has been announced as the borough’s new deputy mayor, after Janet Daby stepped down to run in the Lewisham East by-election.

Lewisham Mayor, Damien Egan, said the Sydenham councillor had been selected for the experience and wisdom gathered from her 32 years serving the borough.

Speaking at his first council meeting as mayor, Egan said: “[Best has] a depth of knowledge, that is already proving invaluable to me and the rest of the team.”

Best, who is also the cabinet member for health and adult social care, said she has a “real understanding of the local issues having lived in and represented Sydenham for over 30 years.”

In her cabinet role, Best’s recent achievements include helping make the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS trust ‘Smoke Free’; meaning cigarettes, pipes and cigars, are banned from all hospitals and trust sites in the two boroughs.

In her new role, Best said she would work to “deliver on the 64 pledges in the Labour Manifesto”.

Speaking with regard to his full cabinet, Egan said: “The people I have nominated for my new cabinet will implement our pledges on delivering 1,000 new social homes, making Lewisham a borough of sanctuary for refugees, doubling the number of Living Wage employers in Lewisham and much more.

“I pledged to promote flexible working and I am pleased that two cabinet roles will be job shares. My new cabinet is packed full of talent, experience and determination to deliver for the people of Lewisham.”

The Lewisham East by-election will take place on June 14. Labour candidate and former deputy mayor Janet Daby is the favourite to win.

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