New Mayor of Kirklees takes office - to a rock soundtrack
Coun Nigel Patrick, who represents Holme Valley South for the Conservatives, will serve as the Mayor of Kirklees for the year ahead.
He succeeds Coun Mumtaz Hussain who, due to no change-over because of the Covid-19 pandemic, has completed a historic two-year term of office alongside the Mayoress, his wife Noreen.
He is the first Mayor to serve two terms since Kirklees Council was formed in the local government reorganisation of 1974.
The Deputy Mayor for 2021-22 will be Coun Mahmood Akhtar, who represents Batley East for Labour.
The civic ceremony in the concert hall of Huddersfield Town Hall was limited in terms of attendance, but the panoply of tradition was nonetheless evident.
In his address Coun Patrick said he and his wife Judith, who will be the Mayoress, intended to fill their diary and to play an active role through the period of renewal following the emergence of Covid-19.
He also paid tribute to all those who had worked to combat the virus – as well as those people who had lost family and friends.
His chosen charity will be Holme Valley Mountain Rescue.
Among the music played during the event was the song Shooting Stars by the American band Rival Sons. Coun Patrick quipped: “Why not? Isn’t it time we had some rock music at mayor-making?
“The song resonates with me. It’s about the importance of recognising the differences in our communities and indeed in our council chamber and being able to accept that we share the same goals even if we come at them from a different perspective.
“Respect and tolerance is something this council and our councillors strive to achieve but sometimes forget.
“I sincerely hope I will keep that perspective and work to support and balance the council in its council meetings.”
Council Leader Coun Shabir Pandor gave the vote of thanks to Coun Hussain, who he described as stepping up to spearhead the council’s response to Covid.
“I take my hat off to him," he said. "He rolled his sleeves up and got stuck in to the communities that he is here to serve across Kirklees.
“He has put people first – and he has done that all the time. He has got a heart of gold. He has made us all proud.”
Coun Hussain thanked all those who had supported him during his unprecedented two-year term. He described wife Noreen as “a pillar of support” and joked that he wasn’t jealous when she, not he, was often mistaken for the Mayor.
He also thanked his children and grandchildren including grandson Hasan, who said: “You better mention my name because one day I want to become the Mayor.”