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Tower Hamlets creates history with UK's first Somali mayor

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Tower Hamlets creates history with UK's first Somali mayor

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Local Government

Tower Hamlets creates history with UK's first Somali mayor Tower Hamlets creates history with UK's first Somali mayor

Tower Hamlets marked an historic occasion last night with the confirmation of London’s first Somali Mayor.

Councillor Ahmed Omer, also believed to be the first Somali Mayor in the UK, became the borough’s forty-firth Mayor at the age of forty-five.

Taking up his the Mayoral chains, Cllr Omer said: “Thank you for this opportunity. I will carry out my duties to the best of my abilities.

“There has been a Somali community in Tower Hamlets for over 200 years and there are 10,000 Somalis living in our borough today. My father was a merchant seaman and I was brought up in Bethnal Green. I’m enormously proud of my heritage both as a Somali and as an East Ender.”

Councillor Omer announced his intention to work in particular with the borough’s older community and local young people. His chosen charities for his year as Mayor are St Margaret’s Settlement and the Bangladeshi Parents and Carer’s Association.

The Annual General Meeting of Tower Hamlets Council also saw the confirmation of Councillor Lutfa Begum as Deputy Mayor – the borough’s first female Bengali member to take this position.

Councillor Lutfur Rahman, who retained his position as Leader of the Council, said: “This is truly an historic moment. It’s fitting that the first Somali Mayor is in Tower Hamlets which for so long has been a gateway to Britain for people from so many different backgrounds.”

He added: “We have a tradition locally of democracy, tolerance and community spirit and these values are embedded in Councillor Omer, who has worked hard for the people of this borough and particularly for the local Somali community.”

Praise was also heaped upon outgoing Mayor, Councillor Muhammad Abdullah Salique, by the leaders of all political parties in the borough.

Councillor Salique raised an impressive £43,000 for his chosen Mayoral charities of Apasenth and the Child Concern Consortium during his year in office.

The meeting also confirmed the Council's Cabinet members. Councillor Joshua Peck will be Deputy Leader with the Cabinet made up of: Ohid Ahmed (Resources and Performance), Abdul Asad (Children’s Services), Abdal Ullah (Cleaner, Safer, Greener), Rodique Ahmed (Culture and Leisure), Marc Francis (Housing and Development), Oliur Rahman (Employment and Skills), Anwara Ali )Health and Wellbeing) and Rania Khan (Regeneration, Localisation and Community Partnerships.

 

 

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