The council’s top boss, Cllr Peter John, has announced he will stay on in his role to help manage the coronavirus crisis.
Cllr John had been due to stand down from the role this month, after a decade at the helm at the town hall.
But after unprecedented moves announced by the Government yesterday, Cllr John said he would stay on to help the local authority plan its response to the outbreak.
“Given the unprecedented challenge of the #COVID19UK crisis I have agreed to stay in post as Leader of Southwark Council and Chair of London Councils beyond the 25th of March, and to help my successors to ensure our plans are robust and working and our communities safe,” he said.
Given the unprecedented challenge of the #Covid19UK crisis I have agreed to stay in post as Leader of @lb_southwark & Chair of @londoncouncils beyond the 25th of March, and to help my successors to ensure our plans are robust & working and our communities safe.
— Peter John (@peterjohn6) March 17, 2020
Officials at Tooley Street are currently locked in discussions to plan their response to the government’s changes, which has been likened by the Prime Minister to the biggest national effort in peacetime.
Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced that the government was advising against all non-essential social contact, including visiting pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants.
“Londoners must pay special attention to what we are saying about non-essential contact, avoiding pubs, restaurants and working from home,” he said.
Londoners are also being advised to avoid non-essential travel. The government is also recommending whole household isolations, if anyone in your family have symptoms, for two weeks.
These measures are expected to last a “significant period of time.”
“What we are announcing today is a substantial change in the way we want people to live their lives,” said Mr Johnson yesterday.
He said this is a change that has not been seen for years, saying he has not seen one in his lifetime.