Lewisham Council - Biography

Mayor's biography

 Sir Steve Bullock’s career is characterised by his commitment to improving local services, both as a council member and a local government officer.

Moving to London in the mid-1970s from his native Redcar, Steve’s local government career started in policy in the then Greater London Council (GLC). There he was associated with a number of high profile campaigns, including Fare’s Fair, which aimed to give Londoners a better deal on public transport.

Local Government Association

After leaving the GLC in 1986 and until he became a full-time politician, most of Steve’s professional life was devoted to delivering training for local government officers and working for the Local Government Association. He took a year out in the late 1980s to do a post-graduate course at Goldsmiths.

Joins Lewisham Council

Meanwhile, after moving to Lewisham 30 years ago, Steve’s professional interest in local government took a personal turn and in 1982 he was elected on to the Council.

Various responsibilities followed, from chairing education, finance and leisure committees to becoming deputy leader and then, for five years between 1988 and 1993, leader.

Health service responsibilities

He also took on health roles, running a local community health council and becoming non-executive director and then chair of Lewisham Hospital Trust. This makes him unusual in local government because very few local politicians have also been responsible for health services.

First directly-elected mayor for Lewisham

Steve briefly stood down from the Council for three years between 1998 and 2001, although he continued with his health roles. The introduction of mayoral governance allowed Steve to take a full-time interest in leading the borough and in 2002, he was elected as Lewisham’s first directly-elected mayor. He was elected for a fourth term in May 2014.

As Mayor, Steve looks at Lewisham in two ways. Locally, his aim is simply to create the conditions in which people can fulfil their potential and in particular, to provide great learning environments for young people. In terms of its place in a premier world city, he wants to make sure that the borough gains the maximum benefit from its wider development, in particular the growth of east and south-east London and major projects such as the Olympics.

As well as his mayoral duties, Steve chairs the Local Strategic Partnership, which brings organisations together to tackle local issues, such as street safety. He is also the borough’s civic leader and his mayoral charities include the Lavender Trust, a breast cancer charity.


Steve's services to local government were recognised with a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2007.