Former restaurateur, property entrepreneur and recipient in 2017 of the British Empire Medal for services to charity, Cllr Mohammed Farooq is the not surprise choice to be the new leader of Peterborough City Council. Cllr Farooq, a recent Conservative councillor, is now one of the 11 independent members of Peterborough First; their number has been growing.
After gaining an engineering degree in the 80s Farooq worked for British Rail in various management roles while studying successfully for an MBA, specialising in finance and economics.
Since then, he has worked as a consultant advising corporates on strategy with the aim of making their organisation more efficient through streamlining and improving working practices.
At the same time, he set up and ran several successful restaurants in and around Peterborough, while supporting the fundraising efforts of a wide range of community and charitable initiatives.
One notable project saw him raise over £70,000 three months ahead of plan to purchase a state-of-the-art cardiac echo machine, a much-needed piece equipment for the children’s ward of Peterborough City Hospital.
He has been a Peterborough city councillor for Hargate and Hempsted ward since 2018 but will now be asked to put his political and management to the immediate task of running Peterborough City Council.
His candidature won the backing of all Opposition parties who had earlier supported the no confidence vote in the Conservative leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald.
Afterwards Cllr Farooq was clear about the way he and his cabinet team – announced moments after his victory was declared – intend to proceed.
“Our vision is for the core values of transparency, compassion and ambition to become embedded into a financially stable and collaborative council,” he said.
“This can only be achieved away from party politics by capable councillors working solely for the common interests of the city rather than for political gain.
“We immensely appreciate the hard work that our council staff and officers do for our residents, together with my experienced cabinet team we look forward to delivering the best service possible service to our residents.”
Cllr Farooq added: “I am humbled and honoured to have been nominated and elected as leader of our fast-growing city, growth which brings big challenges and opportunities.
“Our primary duty is not only to deliver essential services to residents but provide best value for money for council taxpayers.”
He said: “We are fully aware of the financial challenges our council is facing and while there is no ‘magic bullet’ our aim is to deliver a long-term financial strategy while providing stability in the medium term, working closely with our council staff to deliver and commission services.”
“We extend the hand of friendship to our Conservative colleagues; with their co-operation and goodwill this council can achieve and demonstrate the united political leadership this city deserves.”
Cllr Farooq said: “I am particularly grateful to all the Opposition groups for having confidence in us to deliver these critical statutory services… protecting the vulnerable, caring for the environment, providing the best education for our children and providing adult health and social care fit for purpose, all being delivered in a transparent and compassionate way.”
Can you help us?
While you’re here, we are asking, for the first time, for readers to support us financially by taking out a modest subscription.
£2, or £3 or even £5 will help us achieve our goals. It will mean the second year of CambsNews will be livelier, healthier, and much better placed to cover the important issues affecting our everyday lives.
Your subscription simply means we can provide and expand our news FREE to all readers (Read More)Will you help us? Simply click the link below to make a donation.