“As someone from a British Kashmiri background I stand here with immense pride and satisfaction as the Mayor of Hyndburn for the municipal year 2022/2023.
“I am one of the second generation of people who came to England in the sixties from a small but beautiful village of Domal in District Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, to join my family. Then in late 1973 I moved to Accrington, ever since I have lived in central ward Accrington, here working through different industry I settled as a bus driver.
“I would like to appreciate the retiring Mayor Kathleen Pratt who under the circumstances of Covid took office of Mayor upon herself, which I think was a very brave decision and fulfilled her duties with honour and dignity. For me it will be hard act to follow, so thank you Kath.
“I would also like to congratulate Cllr Terry Hurn and his good wife Jean for taking up the office of Deputy Mayor & Mayoress of Hyndburn, Terry is someone who is well respected and held in high regards by all Councillors for his very humble approach to everyone. I could not have wished for a better Deputy Mayor so congratulations to you both.
“I myself contested my first election in 2002 when my family and friends encouraged me to put myself forward for an election which I unfortunately lost that was an experience, enough to say never again! Obviously, that wasn’t the case, and once again I was unanimously selected to successfully contest the 2012 election. I have held this seat ever since and thank all the residents of Central Ward for supporting this. I am very proud and very humble to be in this privileged position.
“For my Mayoral year I have chosen four charities to support that are very close to my heart: McMillan’s Cancer Research, Lancashire Air Ambulance, East Lancashire Hospice and Accrington & Blind District Society. I look forward to lots of events and fundraising activities for these very worthy causes over the next 12 months and hope the whole Hyndburn community will support these efforts.
“Working as Mayor for Hyndburn, alongside my supportive wife and Mayoress, Bushra Khan, will be an honour. I pledge to work to the best of my ability to serve the community as the elected first citizen and enjoy every moment of this fantastic achievement.”