Southwark appoints new Strategic Director of Place and Wellbeing

26 July 2018

Cabinet has announced Professor Kevin Fenton as the new Strategic Director of Place and Wellbeing. Professor Fenton joined the council in April 2017 as Director of Health and Wellbeing as part of a three-year secondment from Public Health England (PHE) where he was PHE’s National Director of Health and Wellbeing.

Cabinet agreed the creation of a temporary post of Strategic Director of Place and Wellbeing for the period 1 September 2018 to 30 September 2020, incorporating the Director of Public Health statutory role and functions.

Professor Fenton will lead a newly created Place and Wellbeing department bringing together the council’s portfolios on planning, regeneration, community and voluntary sector engagement and public health. This innovative integration of the council’s major place-based programmes will focus on ensuring that changes taking place across the borough help in transforming, engaging and supporting local communities to be healthier, connected, resilient and economically productive.

The department will work across the council and with a range of partners to promote a community-wide focus on how we positively shape Southwark for current and future generations. In particular the department will deliver regeneration and development that works for all underpinned by a strong understanding of what our residents are telling us is important to them.

Findings from the council’s recently completed Southwark Conversation, involving nearly 3,000 local participants, highlighted the need for more community engagement, with health and wellbeing being properly considered and addressed early in the planning and development process and as part of a wider place-making approach.

Councillor Peter John, Leader of the Council said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Fenton into his new position. This is an exciting new role that will cross departmental boundaries to deliver improved outcomes for all our communities.

“The outcomes of the Southwark Conversation are shaping plans for place making and improving well-being. And as the borough grows and changes we want to make sure that all our communities have the opportunity to benefit. 

“In May 2018 I announced a new set of cabinet portfolios that link together across council departments and services and take a more thematic approach to delivering the Council’s vision of a fairer future. In doing this, it was important that we also look at our senior management arrangements to ensure we deliver at pace the plans to support healthier, more resilient and sustainable communities.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, Strategic Director of Place and Wellbeing said: “It is a privilege to lead this ground-breaking new initiative aimed at ensuring that regeneration works for everyone by creating healthy places, encouraging connected and resilient communities.

“’The new Place and Wellbeing department will work across the council, with local communities, interest groups and our partners to promote healthy living and reduce health inequalities in Southwark. By creating an environment with the wellbeing of it’s residents at its heart we will be better able to tackle our current and future health challenges including social isolation, physical inactivity, air pollution, and mental ill health.

“We know that the way we plan, design and shape our communities can have huge impacts on our health and wellbeing. It influences our opportunities to make healthy choices, the ways in which we engage with and support our neighbours, the services we are able to access, and ultimately our life chances.

“The Southwark Conversation highlighted the importance of actively listening to and engaging with those affected by changes in the borough, prioritising actions on the things that matter most to local communities. We want to build upon and continue this conversation in the years ahead.”

Page last updated: 26 July 2018