Sir Robin Wales has lived and worked in Newham for the whole of his adult life, moving to the borough in 1978 to work for British Telecom. He was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1955 and studied chemistry at the University of Glasgow.
Sir Robin has been part of Newham Council for more than twenty years. He served first as a councillor from 1982 to 1986 and then from 1992 until 1995, when he became Leader of the Council. Following a local referendum in 2002 he became the first Labour directly elected Mayor in England in 2002. He was re-elected in 2006 and in May 2010 won his third election, increasing his vote by more than 20 per cent.
As Mayor, Sir Robin leads the council in delivering its vision to make Newham a place where people choose to live, work and stay. He shares the view that work is the best path out of poverty and has committed to helping Newham residents get jobs and have opportunities to fulfil their aspirations and potential.
Sir Robin was part of the London 2012 Board which put in the successful bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Now that the Games have come to an end, Sir Robin is leading the east London effort to build a lasting legacy for local people from the 2012 Olympic Games.
He helped to establish the Olympic Park Legacy Committee - now renamed the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) - and sits on its board, ensuring that Newham residents benefit from the regeneration opportunities that were promised in the London bid for the Olympics.
In recognition of his services to local government, Sir Robin was awarded a knighthood in the Birthday Honours List 2000. He is the father of two children and lives in Newham.