Stephen Lawrence friend is standing for borough mayor

One of the candidates to become a borough’s mayor was with Stephen Lawrence when he was killed.

Duwayne Brooks, who was a Liberal Democrat councillor in Downham ward from 2009-14, will aim to succeed Sir Steve Bullock as Lewisham mayor. Sir Steve announced earlier this year that he would quit next May.

The other candidates to have declared so far are Labour’s Councillor Damian Egan, currently cabinet member for housing, and the Conservative’s Ross Archer.

As a councillor, Mr Brooks was chosen to sit on Lewisham’s Safer Communities Board at the Local Government Group (LGC) and became its deputy chairman.

The LGC also made him community cohesion and Prevent champion. He later went on to lead on developing policies for violence against women and girls, as well as overseeing the creation of police complaint scrutiny panels.

Mr Brooks, who is standing for mayor as an independent candidate, said: “I want Lewisham to become a safer and more inclusive borough for all our residents, especially our most vulnerable, who have had their voices muffled due to politics.

“It is time we as a borough not only acknowledged the issues keeping us from striving, but tackled them together to ensure our children can grow and develop in a stable, safer environment, full of opportunity.

“I want us to stop these issues of deprivation from continuing to tear down our borough, and let’s break the cycle through implementing progressive steps for positive growth for all, irrespective of your creed.”

He has also vowed to publish all documents relating to Lewisham council’s attempt to acquire land around Millwall’s ground, The Den, to give businesses and residents more peace of mind.

He has also stated no one on Universal Credit will be evicted; and that he will shut all pupil referral units.

He also wants a local debating society for all young residents aged 12 to postgraduate level.

He wants the role of Young Mayor to be boosted by making the term of office last two years, double the current spell. Every teenager would be guaranteed a work placement, he said.

There would also be victim support for young people who had been hit by crime, as well as legal support for young people placed in custody at police stations. And he wants free personal hygiene products for all young women.

Mr Brooks has said he would scrap business rates for small businesses within the borough and freeze street trading licence fees for all market stall holders to increase occupancy rates.

Stephen Lawrence was a black British teenager murdered in a racially-motivated attack while waiting for a bus in Well Hall, Eltham on the evening of April 22, 1993. The case became one of the highest profile racial killings in UK history.

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