Ian Thomas recommended as new Lewisham Council CEO

Ian Thomas, the man who led the response to Britain's worst-ever child sexual abuse scandal, has been recommended as the new CEO of Lewisham Council. The Council says:

The recommendation was made following a rigorous selection process by an appointments panel consisting of Sir Steve Bullock, the Mayor of Lewisham and a cross-party group of eight councillors.

The recommendation will go to Full Council on 14 March 2018. Organisations from across the Lewisham borough also took part in the selection process, including:
  • Lewisham Hospital
  • The police
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Phoenix Community Housing
  • SE London Chamber of Commerce
Ian’s work at Rotherham Council Ian is currently the Strategic Director for Children and Young People at Rotherham Council. Since becoming the statutory children’s officer for Rotherham in January 2015, he has been busy responding to the reports of Professor Jay, Louise Casey CB and Ofsted, in what has been the most challenging time for any council.

Under Ian’s leadership, children’s services in Rotherham have been transformed, improving from a rating of ‘inadequate’ to ‘good with outstanding features’ within three years. Ofsted report that there is now ‘a positive organisational culture’ in Rotherham.

At the same time, education standards have improved and, as lead commissioner for victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation (CSE), Ian has mobilised a response with partners which has resulted in 30 sex criminals being convicted, now serving around 400 years in jail between them. A range of community-based services are now in place to support around 1,100 survivors of CSE.

Ian was formerly Deputy Chief Executive and Strategic Director for Children and Younger Adults at Derbyshire County Council and Assistant Director (Social Care and Housing Strategy) at Trafford MBC.

Ian Thomas said, ‘I feel both humbled and privileged to be offered the role of Chief Executive of Lewisham Council. This is an exciting time for the borough, which has been well led by Dr Barry Quirk and Sir Steve Bullock over many years. I look forward to working with the new mayor, ward councillors, staff, partners and residents, to build on what has been achieved in the borough, address the challenges ahead, as well as seize the opportunities to improve the lives of all Lewisham citizens.’

In 2014, Ian was named by innovation charity NESTA and The Observer as of one of ‘Britain’s New Radicals’ for his creative ideas in raising aspirations for children in care. He holds a master’s degree in Developing Professional Practice (incorporating change management) and is a master’s-level qualified executive coach and mentor.


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