Civic Service Awards presented to retired councillors

Published Friday 29 July 2022 at 13:42

Civic Service Awards were made to three BwD councillors who retired at the May elections this year.

Former councillors Maureen Bateson, Yusuf Jan-Virmani and former Council leader Mohammed Khan were presented the awards by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr Suleman Khonat at last night’s Council Forum.

The Civic Service Awards were established in 2016 and recognise long service by councillors on their retirement.

The former councillors are among a small number to receive Civic Service Awards in recognition of outstanding service to the borough, Council and the local community.

Maureen Bateson said:

I has been an honour and my pleasure to service this borough, particularly my ward of Ewood.

I want to say a big thank you particularly to the children and young people of Blackburn with Darwen. They have given me so much pleasure over the years, as well as the dedicated staff within Children’s Services & Education.

I’m delighted to leave the Ewood ward in safe hands, with my daughter Coun Elaine Whittingham elected in May, which was a big thrill to me. My other daughter says she’s enjoying having her mum back, but she’s now lost her sister to council work.

Yusf Jan-Virmani echoed his pride at serving the residents of his ward.

When I came to this country from 1972 as a refugee from Africa, I had no idea I would become a councillor one day. I remember attending my first Council meeting and there was a real buzz.

I have been delighted to serve the residents of my ward over the years, and I hope that they will continue working together as they have done so well.

Former Council leader Mohammed Khan praised the support and dedication of officers in this speech in the Council Chamber:

It’s been the greatest honour of my life to serve this brilliant authority, which I have always done to the best of my ability. I’ve enjoyed working for the benefit of the people of this borough.

I want to thank local residents, and also the Council’s workforce who are committed, dedicated and passionate.

All three former councillors were humbled with their recognition for their commitment and dedication to public service.

Mayor Cllr Suleman Khonat who presented the awards said:

It was an honour to present these three inspirational councillors with their Civic Service Awards on behalf of the Council. I appreciate everything that they have done for Blackburn with Darwen over many decades.

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