It is with personal sadness that I accepted his decision but also with huge pride at having worked alongside someone whose vision, determination and grace has helped steer Lambeth over the last eight years. I will miss him.
Lambeth is a fantastic place to live and work and a borough of great complexity, diversity and culture. Derrick and I have worked closely as a team to open up opportunity to all, realise the ambition of our residents while ensuring fairness is at the heart of our decision-making. This remains our priority.
Lambeth is now recognised for innovation and excellence and that reputation is down to councillors and staff who’ve embraced a new way of working in partnership with local people.
Of course when Derrick came to Lambeth in 2006 it was a different story and it’s to his credit that we’re in a much better place today. He’s helped steer the council’s finances in the right direction, overseen a significant programme of improvements to council homes and helped ensure our children are able to access great education, with recent exam results a testimony to this.
Lambeth is attracting regeneration and investment, bringing huge opportunities to our doorstep. We must continue to use our power and influence to make sure local communities benefit and residents have a chance to seize those opportunities.
After nearly 30 years in local government I know Derrick will continue to make a huge contribution to public life after he leaves us. There will be many opportunities over the next few months to thank him for his contribution to Lambeth but in the meantime, I’d like to use this opportunity to congratulate him on his exceptional record and tremendous commitment to the borough.
Derrick leaves us in a strong position. There is a lot of talent in the organisation and the borough to help Lambeth realise its ambitions. The process to appoint a replacement will begin soon.