THE new Mayor of Pendle, Coun. Asjad Mahmood, has taken office.
Thirty-five-year-old Coun. Mahmood has represented the Whitefield ward of Pendle as a Labour councillor for six years.
Coun. Mahmood works as an MRI radiographer at Burnley General Hospital, having trained at the University of Salford and Hope Hospital.
He is a former pupil of Lomeshaye Primary School, Edge End High School and Nelson and Colne College.
Having grown up in Nelson, Coun. Mahmood now lives in Barrowford with his wife of seven years, Samina Khan, who will be his Mayoress.
Coun. Mahmood said: “Samina and I are excited about representing Pendle as Mayor and Mayoress.
“It’s a real honour and we’re most looking forward to getting out and meeting lots of Pendle people over the next year.”
Coun. Mahmood and his wife have chosen the charities they will support through fund-raising activities during their Mayoral year.
These are Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the Rainbows at the Holden Centre, Barrowford, and Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Coun. Mahmood added: “Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research is particularly close to my heart as a friend and colleague of mine, Mary Bourke, recently died from the illness.
“She was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago. Then four months ago she developed leukaemia as a very rare side effect of her treatment. Sadly she died in March.
“Before she died, I talked to her about using my mayoral year to help raise money to fund research into leukaemia. Of course, she thought it was a great idea.
“We’ve also chosen to support the Rainbows at the Holden Centre in Barrowford and Derian House Children’s Hospice because we want to help raise money for local children’s charities.”
Also at the afternoon ceremony, Coun. Smith Benson became Pendle’s Deputy Mayor.
Coun. Benson (71) has represented the Horsfield ward as a Conservative councillor for four years.
He worked in Pendle’s textile industry, is now retired and lives in Colne.
The Deputy Mayoress will be his daughter, Margaret Ingham, who lives in Barnoldswick.
Coun. Benson said: “I’m not sure what to expect but I do know the next year will be a learning curve for me.
“It feels like a 12-month apprenticeship as I train to become the Mayor of Pendle this time next year!”