Lewisham council appoints new chief executive who won millions for rooftop library bar

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A council boss who won millions in government cash to pay for a rooftop bar at a library has been appointed to the top town hall job.

Lewisham housing boss Jennifer Daothong will take over as acting chief executive of the council from March.

Daothong secured £19m in government levelling up funding to give Lewisham town centre and its library a facelift in January.

She will take over from Kim Wright who is leaving the council after four years to take the top job at Brent council in north west London.

During her time in the council’s top housing and regeneration job, Daothong was responsible for overseeing the Building for Lewisham programme, which aims to create new cheap social homes in the borough.

She was also in charge of supervising the roll-out of so-called ‘school streets,’ in the borough, roads where cars are banned during school drop off and pick up times. Lewisham now has more school streets than any other London borough, according to the council.

Before joining Lewisham council, Daothong worked in senior roles at Waltham Forest council and has previously worked with Southwark council, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and City Hall.

She was appointed to Lewisham’s top job at a council meeting on Wednesday.

Jennifer Daothong said: “I am really excited to be taking on this role as acting chief executive. Kim has been a wonderful role model and delivered some excellent results for the borough in her time as chief executive. Lewisham is a council with ambition and a borough full of opportunity and talent.

“I am looking forward to working with our partners to continue building on our success to make Lewisham the best place to live, work and invest, for our residents.”

Damien Egan, mayor of Lewisham, said: “We’re all delighted that Jennifer will be stepping-up into the role of acting chief executive. Jennifer is a deeply respected officer who is well regarded by members and officers alike.

“Jennifer will be supported by a strong executive management team and together with my cabinet and our councillors, we’re looking forward to working together to build on Lewisham’s recent successes and addressing the new and emerging challenges faced by our residents.”

Pictured top: Jennifer Daothong will take over as acting chief executive of Lewisham Council (Picture: Lewisham council)

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