We are very sad to hear that the Chair of the Be First Board, Lord Bob Kerslake, died on Saturday 1 July.

Despite his recent illness, he continued to offer guidance and support to Barking & Dagenham Council and the Be First team.

Bob was a hugely respected public figure who lived and extolled the best in public service values.  We mourn his loss, and we send our heartfelt condolences to all his family and loved ones.

Ceri Richards, Be First Board member,  and Geoff Raw, Managing Director of Be First,  said: “Those of us who have worked with Bob over the years, have lost a great friend and trusted colleague and we are deeply sad at his death.  He brought tremendous energy, acumen, and commitment to his work in transforming Barking & Dagenham and the best way we can celebrate his life and honour his contribution is to deliver on that ambition.”