Southwark has announced that its Director of Housing & Modernisation, Gerri Scott, is to leave the borough’s employ after seven years in the job.
Scott – who is one of the council’s top five highest-paid officers – has been at the heart of major regeneration schemes including controversial redevelopments of the Heygate and Aylesbury estates, and has been instrumental in giving Southwark more council homes (54,000) than any other London borough. Another 11,000 are in the pipeline for delivery by 2043.
She will step down at the end of December (after “overseeing the conclusion of various important projects”), with an intention to launch her own business venture. “I have decided to completely change my career path,” she said.
Councillor Peter John, leader of Southwark Council: “In 2010, we pledged to create a housing department to fully support our residents in a way that hadn’t been happening previously. Gerri Scott took on this huge challenge and has ensured in her calm and committed way that the service has grown and developed into one we can be proud of. She has coped brilliantly with every challenge we have set, including making every council home warm, dry and safe, and improving our repairs service for residents. Her handling of the events of recent months since the Grenfell tragedy, challenging assumptions and reassuring residents, has been exemplary. Gerri is a huge asset to the council and I will miss her hugely. I, and my cabinet colleagues, wish her every success and happiness for this next chapter of her career.”
Here’s how Scott announced here departure, in an email to chairs of tenants and residents associations in the borough:
“I have decided to completely change my career path and will be leaving the council at the end of December.
“I am incredibly proud of the progress we have made in Southwark, and your support and commitment to providing the very best services for residents has been a huge part of what we have achieved. The next few months will continue to be busy as there are some important tasks to finish, not least putting in place a long-term plan for the residents of the Ledbury estate, and the transition of the Capita contract to the shared IT service with Brent and Lewisham.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working for what I believe is the very best council in London, with fantastic colleagues, councillors, residents and partners but I have ambitions beyond local government that I would like to fulfil, including a long held dream of setting up my own business. After nearly 30 years in public service, it’s time to get back to my creative roots.
“This has been the most challenging job in my career but also the most satisfying, not least because of the amazing people I have had the pleasure to work with. There will be plenty of time to say goodbye but in the meantime I would like to sincerely thank you for everything you do.”