Redbridge has sworn in its new mayor.

Cllr Zulfiqar Hussain, Labour councillor for Clementswood ward, has been named the 55th Mayor of Redbridge at the council’s annual Mayor Making ceremony.

The new mayor, who lives in Ilford, spent 42 years working for the Post Office and held the role of Justice of the Peace for 22 years.

Cllr Hussain has been a ward councillor since 2010 and said he was “honoured”.

He added: “It is a huge privilege and an honour to be the first citizen, Mayor of this Borough. I would like to thank all the councillors for bestowing this honour to me.

“Redbridge is a multi-cultural and religious borough. It’s a nice place to live and work here, I have been living in Ilford for the past 50 years and enjoy every bit of it.”

The new mayor hopes to reach out to “as many people as possible” in the coming weeks and months.

As his mayoral charity, Cllr Hussain has chosen to support the Healthy Living Project based at the Welcome Centre in Ilford and Imagine Independence Mental Health.

The Welcome Centre provides accommodation for rough sleepers and day services to help those who find themselves on the streets.

Imagine Independence Mental Health is dedicated to helping people experiencing mental health issues and provides valuable support in developing skills, housing and employment.

Cllr Hussain said: “It is our duty to support our fellow residents who are not as fortunate as the rest of us. We should do our best to help and support those who are less well-off.

“I am confident that all of you would support upcoming fund-raising events for these worthy causes.”

During the ceremony congratulations were given to Cllr Debbie Kaur-Thiara, the outgoing mayor, who raised over £90,000 for her mayoral charity Every Life Has A Purpose during her 2018/19 term.

Cllr Kaur-Thiara said: “I’m extremely grateful for the privilege and honour to have served as your Mayor for this wonderful borough for the past year. I believe I will be leaving this position having represented the borough to the best of my ability. I believe we have had a very successful and rewarding year.”