First Female Muslim Mayor Appointed at Sandwell Council

Cllr Syeda Khatun appointed the mayor of Sandwell for 2024/2025
Syeda Khatun Sandwell Council
Syeda Khatun. Photo: Sandwell Council

Councillor Syeda Khatun has been appointed as the mayor of Sandwell for the 2024/25 term following a ceremony in Oldbury on Tuesday.

A longstanding Sandwell councilor, Khatun made history in 1999 as the first Bangladeshi woman elected in the Midlands region and the first Muslim woman to secure a seat on Sandwell Council.

Her dedicated service to community development in Sandwell earned her an MBE in the 2004 New Year Honours.

Expressing her gratitude at the full council meeting on Tuesday evening, Cllr Khatun remarked, “I am very humbled and honored to become the borough’s first citizen.”

The deputy mayoress of Sandwell, Val Thacker, deputy mayor Cllr Steve Melia, mayor Cllr Syeda Khatun and mayoress Syeda Hasna
Photo: Sandwell Council

Assuming her role as mayor, Cllr Khatun pledged, “I will uphold this honor and make Sandwell proud. As Sandwell’s first female Muslim mayor, I am proud to represent everyone in our diverse borough.”

She extended her well wishes to the council leader, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, and all councilors, regardless of political affiliation. Khatun also thanked the outgoing mayoral team for their dedicated service.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Cllr Steve Melia was appointed deputy mayor, with his sister, Val Thacker, serving as deputy mayor.

In recognition of her new role, Khatun’s daughter, Syeda Hasna, will serve as mayoress.

Mayor Khatun’s fundraising efforts will benefit the children’s charity Acorns and the Yemeni Community Association’s Let’s Talk Hope project. Acorns provide palliative care and support to children with life-limiting conditions and their families, while Let’s Talk Hope raises awareness and support for those affected by cancer, aiming to destigmatize discussions around the disease.

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