'I love you, dad': Dewsbury councillor Masood Ahmed's heartfelt message to his 92-year-old father as he becomes new Mayor of Kirklees

The new Mayor of Kirklees, Dewsbury councillor Masood Ahmed, was elected in a ceremony in Huddersfield Town Hall yesterday (Wednesday).

By Tony Earnshaw, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 4:30 pm

The Kirklees Council veteran has represented Dewsbury South for Labour for the past 16 years and said to become the first citizen of the borough was “a day I never imagined”.

The balcony in the town hall was packed with family and friends. And, looking on, was Coun Ahmed’s 92-year-old father, Abdul, the hard-working migrant who came to England in the 1950s to make a new life and raise a family.

Coun Ahmed was proposed by his fellow Labour councillor Nosheen Dad, who praised him as a role model and a family man.

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Dewsbury South councillor Masood Ahmed is the new Mayor of Kirklees. He is pictured with daughter Iram, who will be his consort.

His heart, she said, has always been in Dewsbury, where he grew up and went to school.

The proposal was seconded by his childhood friend Coun Habiban Zaman.

In accepting the mayoralty – his consort will be his daughter, Iram – Coun Ahmed thanked his friends “from the bottom of my heart” along with the voters of his home town.

For his father there were four key words: “I love you, dad.”

The Deputy Mayor is Coun Cahal Burke, described as “the epitome of a public servant” by his nominee and close friend Coun Anthony Smith, who also spoke of the infectious energy and enthusiasm he brings to being a councillor in Lindley.

Coun Burke was referred to as “Mr Lindley” for his accessibility, reliability and willingness to help people in his ward.

Coun Smith said he will be “an exemplary ambassador” for Kirklees.

Handing over the chain of office after a year as Mayor was the now former councillor for Holme Valley South, Nigel Patrick, who stood down this year after almost two decades on the council.

He joked that he was now a free man but was thankful for 20 years of support in the Holme Valley.

He also referenced how Covid had lightened the mayoral diary but that through perseverance he had managed to get out and about, particularly to see key workers

He called it “no ordinary year, difficult but fulfilling” and said the role of Mayor “should not be underestimated”.

He added: “Sadly I think the importance of the role as seen from within the council has lessened.

"I think the Mayor can do much more to connect with the people, the communities and the businesses, particularly when the council can be out of step with the same.”