About the council

I am delighted to be appointed as Chief Executive for Newham Council, joining Mayor Fiaz and her administration who are committed to transforming the borough to benefit every resident. I share their vision and ambition for improving the opportunities available to residents in Newham while tackling the inequalities and barriers that exist. This is an exciting opportunity to lead the Council in delivering excellence for our residents and the borough as a whole.

Abi Gbago, Chief Executive

We have launched our Community Wealth Building Strategy; a pioneering and bold inclusive economic approach that aims to address poverty in the borough as well ensure that investment coming into Newham benefits all residents.

A new inclusive economic approach for a fairer Newham

Our Community Wealth Building strategy is underpinned by the principles of economic, social and environmental justice; so that long-term prosperity, wellbeing and fairness for all our residents in the Borough is achieved; and our response to the Climate Emergency is progressed.

As well as attracting growth and investment into the borough, the Council’s new Community Wealth Building strategy will help unleash the potential of residents, businesses and the voluntary sector because they are the source of wealth and talent that will drive a fairer and more prosperous Newham.

The new strategy will help the Council tackle injustices residents face with an unrelenting focus on poverty in the Borough, as well as addressing racial and gendered disparities that exists. It will also be applying Community Wealth Building principals as a key mechanism for responding to the climate emergency we all face.

Our new Community Wealth Building strategy means we will:

Lead by example

  • Use our purchasing power and influence to keep wealth in our local economy
  • Lead on progressive procurement, becoming a living wage employer and encouraging others to do so.

Campaign for a fair deal for Newham workers

  • Our young people will have access to the very best opportunities London has to offer, regardless of their background
  • We will support residents to get a fair deal from their employer and the Government.

Drive forward an inclusive economy

  • Unleash the dynamism of Newham businesses, supporting them to improve their productivity
  • Nurture our cooperative economy, ensuring wealth created and held democratically.

“I have always been clear that I would make the borough a beacon of Community Wealth Building.  Too many of our residents are stuck in jobs that don’t meet their needs and are vulnerable to employment right abuses. Too many of our children are living in poverty. We have a moral duty to change that and through our Community Wealth Building agenda we plan to tackle these issues head on with practical actions and an integrated inclusive economy approach. We’ll be working with our partners, with residents, businesses and the voluntary sector so that Newham becomes a fairer place where prosperity is felt by everyone.”

Rokhsana Fiaz, Mayor of Newham

Governance structure

Council Chair and First Citizen of Newham

Newham Council has elected Councillor Rohima Rahman as its new Chair and First Citizen.

At the Annual Meeting of Council held on 22 May 2023, it was resolved that Councillor Rohima Rahman be elected Chair and that Councillor Salim Patel be re-elected Deputy-Chair, of the London Borough of Newham Council for the 2023/2024 Municipal Year.

Councillor Rohima Rahman was born in Moulvibazar, Bangladesh and along with other family members came to England in 1987. She went to Little Ilford School and East Ham College. She graduated in 1993 with a degree in Business and Finance. In 2008, she completed her post-graduate in Politics at Birkbeck University of London.

Councillor Rahman was first elected to Council on 4 May 2006 and served until the local elections of May 2018, returning to the Council in May 2022 as the representative for Beckton Ward.

In addition to her political engagements, Councillor Rahman has served as a foster parent to 34 children from diverse backgrounds over the past 12 years.

In 2023, Councillor Rahman became the first individual of Bangladeshi origin to be elected as Chair of Newham Council.