Mayor of Redbridge stepping down after 'challenging' year
PUBLISHED: 12:14 09 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:14 09 May 2013
"Challenging, exciting and pleasantly enjoyable" is how the Mayor of Redbridge says he will remember his year in office.
Cllr Muhammed Javed is hanging up his robe today as the new mayor, Cllr Felicity Banks, of Roding ward, takes over.
Over the past year, Cllr Javed has seen the Olympic Torch come to Redbridge, and helped people across the borough celebrate Diamond Jubilee street parties.
He said: “It’s an honour when you’re chosen. It’s been challenging, exciting and pleasantly enjoyable. You get to meet lots of people and go places you wouldn’t normally go.”
The mayor said one of the highlights of his year was visiting people on Christmas Day who did not have anyone to spend it with.
He said: “We delivered meals on wheels and I was the only visitor. They wanted me to come back and have a cup of tea. They appreciated it and it was unforgettable for them.”
Other highlights included the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations which Cllr Javed said brought people together.
“People from all backgrounds came together as a community and forgot their differences,” he said. “It showed how the people of Redbridge are tolerant and peaceful and pleasant towards each other.”
His slogan for the year was “Give Time To Others” and he helped raise more than £50,000 for his two chosen charities.
The money will go to Redbridge Carers Support Service, Station Road, Ilford and Redbridge Mencap, which meets in Albert Road, Ilford.
Cllr Javed said: “Carers who give time for others is something we don’t appreciate as a society and the sacrifice they make.
“I wanted to give them something so they can have a day off. I want Mencap to continue with the money we’ve raised.”
He said that coping with having a full-time job and managing his duties had been tough but worth it. “It was a year that was memorable and, as they say, all good things come to an end.”