Mayor’s Viewpoint: Cllr Abdul Khan

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As my time as Mayor of Hyndburn draws to a close, I want to say a huge thank you to all who have made this such a pleasurable year. Working as Mayor of Hyndburn, alongside my supportive wife and Mayoress, Bushra Khan, has been a true honour and a privilege.

Both the Mayoress and I would like to offer our humblest thanks to all the organisations and charities who have invited us to be part of their special events and activities across the borough. From commemorative events to local food and entertainment festivals to local award ceremonies, it has been fantastic to meet so many community groups and learn about the brilliant work that they do.

In other news, I was honoured to receive a card from HM The King. It was in response to the message of condolence I sent on behalf of Hyndburn when Queen Elizabeth II passed. This card has a beautiful image of The King as a small boy with his mother and a message of thanks from HM The King which reads:

“It was so very kind of you to send me such a generous message following the death of my beloved mother. Your most thoughtful words are enormously comforting, and I cannot tell you how deeply they are appreciated at this time of immense sorrow.”

Difficulties have been rife around the world this year, but I am continuously proud of the sheer strength of our community in times of hardship. I would like to take a moment to reflect on the minute silence we held to mark one year since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. We raised the Ukrainian flag at Accrington Town Hall and a maroon flare was released at 11am. People joined together to reflect on the strength and courage shown by Ukrainians over the past 12 months in a tender moment of community. We stand in solidarity with you, Ukraine.

It is also important that we recognise the devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. As this crisis continues to cause unthinkable strain on all who are affected by it, I sincerely hope that people will find safety and peace with the support of international aid. My heartfelt thoughts are with everyone impacted by conflict or disasters throughout the world.

Here in Hyndburn, we have recently lost a great individual who was loved by many. Bill Pinder got on with everyone and was a true gent. Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends at this devastating time. It was moving to hear the kind words and tributes to Bill Pinder shared during the most recent Hyndburn Full Council meeting and we recognised his many positive contributions during his time as a Councillor here.

To end on a lighter note, I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has bought tickets and confirmed that they will be attending the Charity Ball this year. This evening is one I am incredibly proud to be a part of and I am confident that it will be a wonderful evening full of food and entertainment. For my year in office, I chose four charities to support: Macmillan Cancer Support, Lancashire Air Ambulance, East Lancashire Hospice and Accrington & District Blind Society. These charities are close to my heart, and it has been a great honour for me to work with them throughout the year. All four do some truly amazing work and I am proud that we can join together as a community to support them and raise much-needed funds for their worthy causes. I look forward to updating everyone after the event about how much funding we will have raised for our chosen charities.

I would like to conclude by extending my well wishes to Cllr Terry Hurn on his mayoral year in 2023/4. Terry is someone who is well respected and held in high regards by all Councillors for his humble approach to everyone. Terry and his wife, Jean Hurn, have both made a wonderful Deputy Mayor and Mayoress so I am looking forward to supporting them in this upcoming year. I have no doubt that they will enjoy their time immensely.