Mayor's biography

Find out more about the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales.

Sir Robin Wales has lived and worked in Newham for the whole of his adult life, moving to the borough in 1978 to work for British Telecom. He was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1955 and studied chemistry at the University of Glasgow.

Sir Robin has been part of Newham Council for more than twenty years. He served first as a councillor from 1982 to 1986 and then from 1992 until 1995, when he became Leader of the Council. Following a local referendum in 2002 he became the first Labour directly elected Mayor in England in 2002. He was re-elected in 2006 and 2010. In May 2014 he won his fourth term in office.

As Mayor, Sir Robin leads the council in delivering its vision to make Newham a place where people choose to live, work and stay. He shares the view that work is the best path out of poverty and has committed to helping Newham residents get jobs and have opportunities to fulfil their aspirations and potential.

Under Sir Robin's leadership Newham is at the forefront of public policy and has led the way on a number of ground-breaking schemes. In housing, Newham was the first local authority to introduce borough-wide licensing of private rented properties, giving private tenants in Newham more protection than anywhere else in England. Seeking out new income streams, Newham has established a wholly-owned company that will build and acquire properties to rent, increasing the availability of good quality homes in the borough.

Newham was also the first borough in the country to offer free school meals to all primary school children. Robin's commitment to giving Newham’s young people the best chance in life is also reflected in the Every Child programme - through one-to-one reading support for children who are struggling to a wide range of free sporting activities and free music tuition in Every Child a Musician.

In recognition of his services to local government, Sir Robin was awarded a knighthood in the Birthday Honours List 2000. He is the father of two children and lives in Newham.
Back to top

Contact us

  • The Mayor of Newham
    London Borough of Newham
    Newham Dockside
    1000 Dockside Road
    E16 2QU

    Email us