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New Croydon mayor is happy to fulfil her mum's wish

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CELEBRATING Croydon's rich diversity and culture will be the theme of her year as Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed said on Tuesday.

She made the commitment during her inaugural speech as mayor at the council's annual meeting.

Cllr Shahul-Hameed said she had come to England from Kerala in India to join her husband Raffi in 1996 and study for a masters degree in scientific and engineering software.

She had been closely involved with the community from the start and had continued to build those relationships since being elected to the council for Broad Green ward in 2006.

Talking about her life in Croydon, she said: "I wanted to fulfil my mum's wishes for me to be more than just a housewife.

"It is a great honour and privilege to be mayor and I think I am in a good position to represent Croydon.

"I have lived here for 15 years and my children have been born and bred here.

"I am proud to be living in Croydon and want others to feel the same."

The mayor went on to tell fellow councillors she wanted debates in the council chamber to be conducted in a positive manner.

She said: "It will be challenging but we must remember how the way we conduct ourselves would look if our residents could see us.

"I want members to refrain from personal insults and debate about issues and not personalities."

Cllr Shahul-Hameed was proposed as mayor by new Labour council leader Tony Newman.

He said: "Manju is determined to be a mayor for the whole of Croydon. There are going to be challenges ahead and I know we are in good hands."

Conservative opposition leader Mike Fisher said: "We will support the mayoralty and make sure that Croydon goes from strength to strength."

Cllr Shahul-Hameed has chosen as her charities for the year Age UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Addiscombe councillor Patricia Hay-Justice is to be deputy mayor.

New Croydon mayor is happy to fulfil her mum's wish


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