Redbridge Council’s new mayor wants to personally thank everyone who stepped up to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Roy Emmett (Lab, Hainault), a councillor once accused but later cleared of “bullying” and asking political favours, was made mayor of the borough last night (April 29).

Cllr Emmett has served as a Redbridge councillor from 1994 until 2002 and then again from 2014, representing Loxford, Fairlop and Hainault wards, and also as chief Labour whip.

In his address to members last night, he asked councillors to let the mayor’s office know which people and organisations had helped out during the pandemic so they could receive his personal thanks.

He said: “In the past 12 months, many people and many organisations have come together in support and help. They were not asked to do so… they just stepped up and did it.

“I will endeavour to go down and visit (the organisations) and thank them officially on behalf of the borough. (For individuals), I will invite them to the mayor’s parlour to thank them in person.”

He added: “Whilst this pandemic has affected a whole range of society across the borough, I believe a group that has had to and will continue to suffer is 18 to 25-year-olds, particularly those who have additional caring and support responsibilities in their life.”

He explained that this is why he had selected Redbridge Carers’ Support Service, who have a project specifically for young adult carers, as his chosen charity for this year.

Cllr Emmett takes over from Cllr Zulfiqar Hussain, who was mayor for an unprecedented two years due to the sudden emergence of the pandemic.

As he is not religious, the mayor’s prayers that begin every council meeting will be replaced by a moment of reflection led by Paul Kaufman, founder of East London Humanists.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

For more breaking news, local headlines and features, ‘like’ our Facebook page.

We also have a Twitter account: @ELondonGuardian

Follow us to keep up-to-date with news in Waltham Forest and Redbridge.