City Corporation appoints new Town Clerk and Chief Executive

The City of London Corporation’s new chief officer says he is ‘inspired’ by the prospect of leading the Square Mile’s governing body.

Ian Thomas CBE was appointed as the organisation’s Town Clerk and Chief Executive today at a meeting of the Court of Common Council – the City Corporation’s primary decision-making body.

He takes over in February after a four-year stint as Chief Executive at the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and will succeed current incumbent John Barradell, who steps down on 31 December after 10 years in the role.

The Town Clerk, a position dating back to the 13th century, acts as head of the paid service, leading over 4,000 City Corporation staff, and is the organisation’s principal adviser to elected Members on matters of policy.

Incoming City of London Corporation Town Clerk and Chief Executive Ian Thomas CBE said:

“I am inspired by the prospect of joining the City of London Corporation as its Town Clerk and CEO. The engine room of the UK economy and London’s public services is here in the Square Mile.

“I aim to build on all the excellent work already underway to enable the City’s residents, businesses and visitors to enjoy outstanding public and commercial services.

“I would like to thank the Members, staff and partners at the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames for the opportunity of working with them over the past four years and know that the Royal Borough will go from strength to strength.”

Mr Thomas, who will become the City Corporation’s 51st Town Clerk, has built a national profile as one of the country’s leading public service Chief Executives, having forged his career as a leader in transformation, social care and health services.

He was awarded a CBE in 2019 for his transformative leadership at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in the wake of the child exploitation scandal in the town, going on to lead award-winning public services and a £1.2bn regeneration programme at Kingston.

City of London Corporation Policy Chairman Chris Hayward said:

“Ian has a proven track record in providing inspirational leadership in the public sector. He joins us at a time when we face many challenges but also many opportunities, and will lead, influence and shape the City at a time when our role has never been more important.

“Working collaboratively with Members and partners, he will play a key role in developing Destination City, our ambitious new programme to reimagine the Square Mile as a world-leading destination in which to live, work and visit.”

The City Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile, dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK.

It is a major London public services provider and represents the UK’s financial and professional services sector, which contributes nearly £100 billion in taxes and provides over 13% of the UK’s total tax revenue.

Leader of The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Councillor Andreas Kirsch said:

“The City’s gain is Kingston’s loss. It has been a real pleasure working alongside Ian Thomas for the residents of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. He has made a huge positive difference to the council and the Royal Borough.

“Under Ian’s leadership, Kingston Council has become a national exemplar in education and social care, award winning in the areas of systems leadership, workforce development, community engagement and technology and is pioneering new, innovative approaches in delivering net zero by 2030.”

Kingston Chamber of Commerce CEO Forbes Low said:

“Ian has shown genuine leadership and driven positive collaboration during an immensely challenging period. The results can be seen in new partnership developments with the private sector, investment in public realm and strategies to attract inward investment.

“Under his tenure, the business community benefited from the council’s rapid and consistent support during the pandemic, while Ian’s commitment to the green agenda has energised businesses to transition to more sustainable processes.”

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

About Ian Thomas CBE:

Ian Thomas CBE is a son of the Windrush Generation, born to Jamaican parents. He was raised in Sheffield, attending Newfield Comprehensive School, later going on to achieve Masters level qualifications at Lancaster University.

He has 37 years’ experience working in the voluntary, private and public sectors. A systems leader, he is South-West London’s lead local authority CEO for Health and Social Care and One Public Estate, London’s lead CEO for employment, economy and skills and is the national (SOLACE) local government lead for leadership and learning.

His most notable achievements include:

- Leading Kingston’s exemplary response to the pandemic

- Enabling Kingston’s award-winning service delivery in systems leadership, community engagement, workforce transformation (equalities, diversity and inclusion) and Internet of Things technology

- Kingston falls in the top 3% nationally for all age social care and exemplary education provision

- Leading a £1.2bn regeneration programme providing 3,000 new homes, schools, leisure & cultural facilities, 4,000 new jobs and apprenticeships and attracting inward investment, including Unilever’s new global HQ

- Pioneering new initiatives to deliver net zero by 2030

- Transformation of Children’s Services in the wake of the child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham, in a three-and-a-half-year spell at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

- Development of new emotional support response for 1,100 survivors of child sexual exploitation

- Council lead partner for South Yorkshire Police’s criminal investigation into CSE perpetrators, resulting in 30 criminals convicted, serving a total 400 years in prison

- Transformation of Children’s and Younger Adults Services, placing families at the heart of communities and promoting social mobility, over eight and a half years, culminating as Deputy CEO at Derbyshire County Council

- Named as one of Britain’s ‘New Radicals’ by The Observer/ NESTA in 2014, for technological innovation in supporting care experienced children

- Seven years as senior leadership team member overseeing transformation of social care and housing at Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council

Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services
City of London Corporation
07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk