From Gujarat to Preston: Councillor Yakub Patel makes history as city’s new mayor
Patel has a deep connection with the city, having embarked on his career in 1979 with Preston Corporation
Yakub Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)
Yakub Patel, a dedicated member of the local community and originally from Gujarat, has assumed the esteemed position of Mayor in Preston, a city situated in Lancashire County, northern England.
Preston has a long-standing tradition of having a city Mayor dating back to the 14th century.
Hailing from the Bharuch district of Gujarat, Patel moved to the UK after completing his studies at the University of Baroda in 1976.
With a strong commitment to public service, he first earned his place as a Labour Party Councillor for Avenham Ward in 1995. Notably, he made history as the first Muslim councillor ever elected to the prestigious Preston City Council.
“Yakub has always been involved with local voluntary and community organisations,” the Preston City Council said. “His focus has always been to make a positive difference in the community in which he lives. Yakub’s passions in life are his family and the community he represents,” it said.
The community leader’s political journey traces back to his early days at the age of 10 when he actively engaged in canvassing and distributing leaflets for his late father, a devoted supporter and member of the Congress Party led by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in India.
In the UK, Patel’s commitment to public service led him to serve as the Deputy Mayor of Preston since May of the previous year.
This week, he officially assumed the role of Mayor for the 2023-24 term, following established convention.
As the Mayor of Preston, he holds the esteemed position of the city’s first citizen, serving as a prominent representative who voices the interests of the city and contributes to its unique identity.
Furthermore, the Mayor plays a vital role in representing the local community during civic and ceremonial events.
Patel’s chosen charities for support during his mayoral tenure include Rosemere Cancer, Preston Domestic Violence Services, and Emmaus, an organisation dedicated to providing assistance to the homeless. By choosing these charities, Patel pays tribute to their commendable work and their positive impact on the people of Preston.
Patel has a deep connection with the city, having embarked on his career in 1979 with Preston Corporation. Over the years, he held various positions within the organisation, including Revenue Inspector, Traffic Inspector, Assistant Chief, Chief Inspector, and Operations Manager. After a dedicated tenure, he retired from his role in July 2009.
Within Preston Bus, the prominent bus operator in the city, Patel has actively served in multiple capacities. These include serving as a Board of Director, Health and Safety Representative, and Chairman of the ACTS Union.
Additionally, Patel plays an important role in the local Muslim community. He serves as a co-opted member for Preston Jamea Mosque and the Preston Muslim Burial Society, actively contributing to their endeavours and initiatives.