Election of New Mayor in Ealing for Municipal Year 2013 / 14

by Nigel Bakhai on 14 May, 2013

Please find below a copy of my speech to the annual council meeting in May 2013 in support of Cllr Kamaljit Dhindsa as the new Mayor of Ealing:

On behalf of the Liberal Democrat group it gives me great pleasure that I rise to support the nomination of Cllr Kamaljit Dhindsa as Mayor.

I always enjoy this meeting as it is one of the few times when we put aside our political differences to pay tribute to the good work done by councillors like Cllr Dhindsa for their dedication to the borough and active community service. Cllr Dhindsa has very much followed in the footsteps of his father who served as President and General Secretary of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Havelock Road, and served the Sikh community both in a local and national capacity.

It is also good that we see the human side of councillors on these occasions and we learn more about their backgrounds and how they are more than just a Labour member for Southall Green in this chamber. As we have learnt, Cllr Dhindsa is a devoted family man, husband to Amarjit for 40 years and doting father to their three children. He first arrived in the UK in 1970 and studied at Southall College of Technology. Cllr Dhindsa has worked for the Royal Mail for the past 30 years rising through the ranks to hold a senior managerial role where he manages a team of around 100 people.

Cllr Dhindsa has served the people of Southall and Ealing in this chamber since 1998, initially as a councillor for Lady Margaret ward, and for the last 11 years as councillor for Southall Green. Over that time, he has served on many committees including the Southall Area and Planning committees, as well as briefly serving Cabinet member for Customer and Community Services between 2010 and 2011. He has also been active as a Governor at Featherstone Primary and Featherstone High School, and more recently he has been a Governor at Villiers High School.

I also know Cllr Dhindsa shares with me an interest in cricket, and particularly Indian cricket. Maybe it is lucky omen but I noticed Kings X1 Punjab won an important game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League today. Indian cricket is undergoing a transition at the moment. Many of the old guard, Laxman, Dravid and even the little master Tendulkar are coming towards the end of the career, but as the recent Test series against Australia showed there is plenty of young talent coming through in the shape of Pujara, Murali Vijay and Kohli taking their places.

In much the same way, while we give our thanks to the outgoing mayor Cllr Mohammed Aslam for his service as Mayor, I am sure Cllr Dhindsa will prove to be a safe pair of hands following on as the new Mayor.

The Mayor has an important role not just in chairing meetings in this chamber but also as the ceremonial face of Ealing council at countless events across the next municipal year and in raising funds and awareness of his charities. Cllr Dhindsa’s record inside and out of this chamber with his aptitude for hard work and dedicated community service shows that he is an ideal candidate to show case as the borough’s first citizen and I would like to wish him a successful and enjoyable year ahead.

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