Newham Council appoints first Children and Young People's Commissioner

Newham Council has announced the appointment of Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney as its first Children and Young People’s Commissioner who will support Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and her administration in their commitment to keep young people safe.

Members of the Chief Officer Appointments Sub-committee, chaired by the Mayor, met to undertake final interviews as part of a rigorous selection process.

Mayor Fiaz said: “I am delighted that we have recruited someone as talented and experienced as Geeta. My Cabinet and I are committed to make sure the children and young people of this borough are safe and supported and are able to reach their full potential.

“I want greater leadership in our children’s services to ensure the voices and ambitions of young people are reflected across everything we do. Our Children and Young People's Commissioner will touch all services at Newham Council to ensure they all transform to better serve young people. There is no reason why Newham cannot be the best child-friendly place around.”

Geeta has 20 years’ experience in local government across operational, strategic, front line and corporate services. She is currently Director of Public Protection and Safety at Lewisham Council and oversees the management and delivery of services dealing with youth offending, community safety, supported accommodation and public health commissioning and air quality amongst others.

She chairs pan-London boards leading on community safety and youth justice, bringing together the collective voices of the public sector in these fields. She provides advice and support to the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and London Councils, playing an integral role in developing a pan-London local authority agreed response to knife crime and leading on a pan-London County lines programme.

Her role at Newham will be to support the Council’s move towards becoming a fully children and young people centred borough. She will have lead the Council’s approach to decriminalising young people caught up in violence, and harness the efforts of the Council and its partners to safeguard young people and direct them into positive lifestyle choices.

Newham’s Chief Executive Althea Loderick said: “Geeta is an accomplished senior leader in local government with experience of operational, strategic and partnership management including policing and community safety. I am delighted she will be part of our new Corporate Management Team to help ensure brighter futures for Newham’s young people.”

Geeta said: “I am extremely proud to be appointed to this exciting new role. Children and young people deserve the best throughout their childhood. This includes opportunities to grow and thrive, be supported when things are getting difficult and above all, to help them progress each and every day with positivity, strong self-identity and having the resilience to navigate challenges they face.

“Newham is a borough that embraces the strengths of children and young people and I feel truly privileged to be joining and to be part of the vision.”

Published: 15 Oct 2019