Search

First Bangladeshi woman elected speaker of Tower Hamlets Council

PUBLISHED: 18:18 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:26 19 May 2017

Civic reception for Tower Hamlets' first Bengali woman council speaker Sabina Akhtar ready to cut the cake, joined by councillors from all parties and even a Parliamentary candidate. Picture: LBTH

Civic reception for Tower Hamlets' first Bengali woman council speaker Sabina Akhtar ready to cut the cake, joined by councillors from all parties and even a Parliamentary candidate. Picture: LBTH

Archant

The first-ever Bangladeshi woman speaker of Tower Hamlets Council was elected without opposition at last night’s annual general meeting at the town hall.

Mayor John Biggs with new Tower Hamlets Council speaker Sabina Akhtar and deputy mayor Rachael Saunders. Picture: LBTH Mayor John Biggs with new Tower Hamlets Council speaker Sabina Akhtar and deputy mayor Rachael Saunders. Picture: LBTH

Cllr Sabina took up the post unopposed at the meeting which also saw the mayor’s reshuffled cabinet for the new municipal year.

“Tower Hamlets is the most exciting borough in the UK,” Cllr Akhtar told the meeting. “There are so many opportunities here.

“I look forward to working with the mayor, the people, charities and organisations over the coming municipal year.”

Her appointment was welcomed by mayor John Biggs, who also announced his reshuffle after two councillors stepped down from the cabinet.

Sharia Khatun and Mayor Biggs at Whitechapel rally for knife-death victim Sayed Islam as Tower Hamlets community safety cabinet member. Picture: MIKE BROOKE Sharia Khatun and Mayor Biggs at Whitechapel rally for knife-death victim Sayed Islam as Tower Hamlets community safety cabinet member. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

One leaving was Shiria Khatun, who has held cabinet responsibility for community safety during a fraught year when the East End’s knife crime has risen sharply.

Among her most recent public roles was with the Mayor at last month’s rally at Whitechapel’s Altab Ali Park to mark 20-year-old Sayed Islam’s death who was stabbed outside his home at Mile End. Her community safety role has gone to Asma Begum.

Ayas Miah has also left the cabinet as environment member to take up the role of deputy council speaker to Cllr Akhtar.

Joining the cabinet is Abdul Mukit for culture and youth and Amina Ali for environment.

Deputy Mayor Siraj Islam... responsible for Tower Hamlets response to government's welfare changes. Picture: MIKE BROOKE Deputy Mayor Siraj Islam... responsible for Tower Hamlets response to government's welfare changes. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

The Mayor said: “We have a wealth of talent, experience and backgrounds in this cabinet as well as some fresh ideas about how to make this one of the best places in London.”

Other cabinet posts include statutory deputy mayor Sirajul Islam who continues with responsibilities for the local authority’s response to the government’s tough welfare changes. He also works with the East End’s faith communities and heads the council’s community language service. Rachael Saunders continues as deputy mayor with responsibility for health and adult services.

Remaining posts are Joshua Peck on work and economic growth, Rachel Blake for strategic development, Amy Whitelock Gibbs on education and children’s services, David Edgar on resources, Abdul Mukit for culture and youth and Amina Ali for environment and for setting up the council’s Somali task force.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 19:00

Pupils at a school in Poplar are using an app to help them learn their multiplication tables.

Yesterday, 16:25

The Chinese are to open their biggest embassy at the old Royal Mint site on Tower Hill to rival their Washington DC complex.

Yesterday, 12:46

Neighbours and wellwishers are holding a fundraiser to help pay for therapy for Reece Kempley after he was paralysed when a prankster pushed him off a pier into the sea while on holiday.

Yesterday, 12:14

Rogue landlords, look out! All London boroughs have signed up for an online database allowing residents to ‘name and shame’ dodgy property owners.

Mon, 19:00

Tower Hamlets Council today began a week of activities raising awareness of a deadly brain disease.

Mon, 18:17

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have donated flowers from their Royal Wedding on Saturday to a hospice that cares for patients from Newham and Tower Hamlets.

Mon, 17:49

If you’re using c2c to get home, your train could be leaving earlier than expected - or not calling at your stop at all.

Mon, 16:00

A multicultural orchestra is running events throughout summer in Bethnal Green and Victoria Park.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now
$render.recurse($ctx, '$content.code.value')