10:10AM, Thursday 23 May 2019
The new mayor of Slough has been heralded for her tireless work in serving the community.
Cllr Avtar Kaur Cheema (Lab, Colnbrook with Poyle) officially took up her role as the town’s first citizen during Slough Borough Council’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 16.
Her appointment will go down in the history books, as she becomes the first baptised Sikh woman to take on the position.
Council leader James Swindlehurst described her as a ‘quiet, dependable and hard-working councillor’ as he nominated her for mayor.
He said: “She is not one who seeks the limelight or demands attention for the work she steadfastly carries out for the community.
“Avtar is a councillor who simply goes about her business representing her constituents of Colnbrook and it’s this humble nature which I think makes her particularly suited for being our town’s first citizen.”
Cllr Cheema, whose father served in the Sikh regiment of the British Army in the Second World War, moved to the town in 1985 with her family.
The mother-of-four was elected as a borough councillor in 2014 and has recently been joined in the council ranks by her daughter Harpreet, who won a seat in the Langley Kedermister ward in this month’s local elections.
Her chosen charity for the year is Basics Thames Valley, a charity that helps provide emergency care for people injured in the streets.
She takes over from Cllr Paul Sohal who has served as the town’s mayor for the past year.
“I am extremely proud and privileged to become our town’s mayor,” Cllr Cheema said.
“I love our town and long to spend my year furthering and enhancing all that is good about Slough.
“Slough is fortunate to have a wonderful selection of voluntary groups and organisations who are working hard to make the town a special place.
“They are the unsung heroes of our communities who make a real difference.”
She will be supported by Cllr Preston Brooker (Lab, Langley Kedermister) who will serve as deputy mayor.
He was nominated by his Labour colleague Cllr Rob Anderson (Britwell and Northborough).
Cllr Anderson said: “Preston is probably the epitome of the old phrase ‘if you want something done properly, give it to a busy man’.
“Preston is one of the busiest people I know and anyone who has witnessed hin at a late-night council meeting with a table full of energy drinks will know that he is the very epitome of that busy man getting things done.”
Cllr Brooker thanked his wife for her support and told his fellow councillors he was hoping for a quiet year.
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