Redbridge’s first Muslim mayor is elected

The new Mayor of Redbridge will begin his first full day in office today after he was officially elected during the council’s annual meeting last night.

Cllr Muhammed Javed, who has become the first Muslim borough mayor, donned his robes and chain at the meeting in the council chamber at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

He was elected unanimously across all three parties and follows on from Cllr Chris Cummins who, along with deputy Cllr Felicity Banks, served the borough in 2011/2012 and raised over �40,000 for his chosen charities.

The new first citizen said he was “deeply honoured” to have been chosen, adding that he hopes people from all backgrounds will ”come together” to help him mark the year of once in a lifetime events.

On the upcoming Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, he said: “A few hours together, chatting, sharing a cup of tea and a cake would reduce tensions, bad feelings and foster good community spirit that normally takes years to develop.”

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He also took the time to announce his chosen charities for his year as mayor that will receive his support and that of his deputy, Cllr Elaine Norman.

Redbridge MENCAP was selected for its valuable support for people with mental illness and learning disabilities, while Redbridge Carers Support Service was chosen for a development called ‘Give me a break’.

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He added: “The diverse community of Redbridge is rich, very caring and tolerant, but there are pockets of deprivation, hardship and above all loneliness.

“My message to every one is to give time for others, whether this be one hour a day, one hour a week, or one hour a month. Give what you can, it all counts.”

Fellow council members paid tribute to the new mayor who has served on Redbridge Council since he was first elected in 1982.

Cllr Wes Streeting praised the selection of Cllr Javed, as well as the work of former deputy Cllr Banks, before noting he had not been born when the new mayor was elected on to the council.

Council leader Cllr Keith Prince added that he hopes the unanimous selection of Cllr Javed will see a new era where there is no “ping pong” of party politics over future decisions.

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