Why we should be proud of Burnley | Rachel Bayley
Last week was the final week of tenure for Burnley’s former mayor Lord Wajid Khan. Lord Khan became Mayor in May 2020 and hit two milestones when he took up the role.
The first was becoming the youngest mayor of the town at 40. And the second?
Well, that was being installed as mayor during an online ceremony at Burnley Town Hall. As a result of the Covid-19 restrictions, the event was conducted virtually.
And whilst this was a first for a Burnley mayor, it unfortunately meant that Coun. Khan’s parents could not be there in person to witness this monumental occasion. However, he was joined by his wife Anam, who became Mayoress.
Since then, he’s also hit another impressive milestone, joining the House of Lords in March this year. Burnley.co.uk interviewed Lord Khan at the time, he told us that the average age of the members of The House of Lords is 70, whilst the majority of members are also from the south east of England, east of England and London (56%).
Furthermore, there are just 6% from a minority ethnic background.
“I think I can add value to The House of Lords and not just because I’m not from the typical background. I’m a really modern and progressive thinker and I think the Lords needs to ensure it reflects the views of the people.”
And it turns out the new title has gone down well in his household.
“My wife Anam is now Lady Khan of Burnley and my children Hassan, 3, and Ameera, 6, are ‘Honourables’.
"Ameera is the princess in our home and she’s taking great pleasure in reminding us that she’s now an Honourable – she’s researched it and knows her stuff," Lord Khan said.
We like Ameera a lot!
Recognising the community
During his tenure, Lord Khan introduced the Mayor’s Medal for those in the community who have been an inspiration during the pandemic. These have been given out over the past few months, with more to be given.
But one special one we had the pleasure of being part of last week was the presentation of a Mayor’s Medal to Jordan North.
Jordan is the Radio 1 DJ who put Burnley firmly on the map when he chanted “happy place Turf Moor” during a challenge on I’m A Celebrity. He’s been an ambassador for Pendleside Hospice for a long time, but inadvertently raised tends of thousands of pounds for the hospice when Burnley FC printed his famous slogan on t-shirts and sold them for charity.
His passion and pride for Burnley was also recognised, helping put the borough in a positive light and being a positive role model, especially for younger people in Burnley and Padiham.
A huge congratulations to Jordan and we look forward to seeing who else in our community is awarded one.
And of course, congratulations to Coun. Mark Townsend, who is now the new Mayor of Burnley. He has chosen Safenet as one of his charities, which keeps women and children safe from domestic abuse. The Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal and Derian House have also generously been chosen by our new mayor.