Last night’s Tower Hamlets Council AGM saw Labour’s Abdul Chunu Mukit MBE elected to serve as the borough’s ceremonial Speaker and First Citizen for the year ahead. Cllr Khales Ahmed, also from Labour, was elected as the Deputy Speaker. In his maiden speech as Speaker Cllr Mukit announced that the charity he would be fundraising for this year was the Tower Hamlets Food Bank.
The ceremony also saw outgoing Speaker Lesley Pavitt praised by all the political parties for her fair but firm chairing of the council. Pavitt, who stood down as a councillor at last month’s elections, also revealed that over her year in office she had managed to raise over £25,000 for her two chosen charities Magic Me and Cardboard Citizens.
The Chairpersons of Council’s various committees were also announced at the meeting:
· Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Cllr Joshua Peck
· Human Resources Committee – Cllr Clare Harrisson
· General Purposes Committee – Cllr Shiria Khatun
· Licensing Committee – Cllr Amy Whitelock Gibbs
· Development and Strategic Development Committees – Cllr Sirajul Islam
· Appeals Committee – Cllr Marc Francis
· Pensions Committee – Cllr Rajib Ahmed
· Audit Committee – Cllr Amina Ali
Giving his maiden speech as Speaker of the Council, Cllr Mukit, said:
“We live and work in an amazing borough. I have called Tower Hamlets my home for 45 years since I moved here from Bangladesh in 1969. Ours is a borough where history is still being made and where different cultures live happily alongside one another, making it a better place. As Speaker I will make it my role to ensure that everyone, whether in this chamber or out in the community, has a voice and can help to shape the community we live in.
“Despite the great bits of Tower Hamlets’ we have to acknowledge that there are also problems. As one of the most deprived boroughs in the country we have many families who face a daily challenge to make ends meet.
“That is why this year I will be working to raise funds for the Tower Hamlets Food bank, a great organisation whose work ensures thousands of families in our borough don’t go hungry by providing support and emergency food donations.