Freedom of the Borough for John Lock

24 October 2016 in Events
Newham Council has formally conferred Honorary Freedom of the Borough on former councillor John Lock in recognition of his distinguished service to the borough.
The decision was agreed unanimously at an Extraordinary Meeting of Council on Thursday evening (20 October). Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “If anyone deserves to have freedom of our borough for his long and distinguished public service, then it is John. Thanks to him, our borough is a much better place than it was 30 years ago in all sorts of ways.”

John said: “I am touched and grateful and very pleased to have made a contribution."

John has lived in Newham since 1979. He was first elected by residents of the former Park Ward from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1990 to 1994. During that time he led a major redevelopment programme of the council’s leisure services department, as well as overhauling libraries, including introducing Sunday opening.

Among the many Council committees on which he served were Policy and Resources, Budget Working Group, Education, Police and Community Safety, Race Equality, Community Affairs, and Leisure Services, which he chaired for many years.

He represented Newham on the Association of London Authorities, the Local Government Information Unit and the Greater London Arts Council, amongst many others.

As well as local government, John has more than 30 years experience in the fields of health, education, arts, urban regeneration, sport, technology, third sector, social enterprise, volunteering, and business development. He served as a school governor for more than 22 years and in 2007 was awarded the Department for Education and Skills Governor of the Year for the London region. He was also constituency office manager and researcher for the late Newham North West Tony Banks MP.

After leaving the council he led the University of East London’s engagement with the 2012 Games and legacy. He reshaped the volunteering programme and transformed their approach to sport.

He played a huge part in gaining funding for the first phase of UEL’s iconic Docklands campus and then subsequent phases including the Knowledge Dock and Sports Dock. Latterly he led the transition of the council’s managed leisure services department into the independent trust activeNewham.

In regeneration, John was a founder member of the Stratford Renaissance Partnership which has spearheaded promotion internationally of Stratford as one of London’s main investment destinations. He was instrumental in the creation of Stratford’s cultural quarter, now home to Birkbeck and UEL. He was the principal promoter of development of Stratford Circus performing arts centre and he served for ten years as a director of Theatre Royal Stratford East.

At Newham Primary Care Trust he worked to transition their services to deal with health challenges strategically rather than reactively. He defined the concept of community ownership of health. He chaired the board of the Sir Ludwig Guttman Health and Wellbeing Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and ensured that there was a significant academic component to its work. In 2014 he was made an Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health.

John is married to former Newham councillor Jan Tallis, chief executive of the children’s education charity School-Home Support, based in Stratford. They have two sons, Nathaniel and Cato, both born and educated in Newham.