In a first, Yakub Patel, a Muslim from Gujarat, has been sworn in as the 695th mayor of Preston, in the northern English county of Lancashire. Patel, who was born in Gujarat’s Bharuch area and who graduated from the University of Baroda in 1976, relocated to the UK. He was a prominent member of the neighbourhood’s English community before being selected to the Preston City Council. He was chosen as the Labour Party councillor for Avenham Ward in 1995, becoming the first Muslim councillor in Preston City Council’s history. Following Councillor Neil Darby’s term in office, he served as the Deputy Mayor for the entirety of 2022–2023, and he is currently the Mayor.
The Preston City Council stated that Yakub “has always been involved with local nonprofit and community organisations.” His primary goal has always been to improve the neighbourhood where he lives. Yakub’s priorities in life are his family and the neighbourhood he serves, the statement read.
Yakub claimed that he first became active in politics at the young age of 10 while canvassing and delivering flyers for his late father, who was a devout supporter and member of the Congress Party, which was then governed by Indira Gandhi in India.
The mayor of Preston speaks on behalf of the city and is a significant component of its identity because they serve as the city’s first citizen. In addition, they stand in for local residents at civic and formal occasions.
Once chosen and after serving as Deputy Mayor for a year, a Preston City Councillor steps up at the following Annual Council to serve as the Mayor for a year. This position denotes an elected function to represent the communities.
Patel has a close connection to the city because it was there that he began his career with Preston Corporation in 1979. Prior to his retirement in July 2009, he worked as a Revenue Inspector, Traffic Inspector, Assistant Chief, Chief Inspector, and Operations Manager. With Preston Bus, the city’s bus company, he has held a variety of positions, including Board of Director, Health and Safety Representative, and Chairman of ACTS Union. He participates in Preston Muslim Burial Society and Preston Jamea Mosque as a co-opted member.
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