Gujarat-born councillor is new Mayor of Preston in north England
Patel, who was born in Bharuch district of Gujarat, moved to the UK after his graduation from the University of Baroda in 1976
Yakub Patel, a Gujarat-born councillor and an active member of the local community has taken over as the new Mayor of Preston, a city in Lancashire county of northern England which has a tradition of having a city Mayor dating back to the 14th century.
Patel, who was born in Bharuch district of Gujarat, moved to the UK after his graduation from the University of Baroda in 1976.
He was first elected as a Labour Party Councillor for Avenham Ward of the city in 1995, becoming the first Muslim councillor in the history of 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 is said to have been involved in politics since the age of 10 when he started canvassing and delivering leaflets for his late father, who was a strong supporter and member of former prime minister Indira Gandhi-led Congress Party in India.
In the UK, Patel served as Deputy Mayor of Preston since May last year and this week took formal charge as the Mayor for 2023-24 as per convention.
The Mayor of Preston acts as the city's first citizen, which means they speak on behalf of the city and are an important part of its identity. They also represent local people at civic and ceremonial events.
As Preston City Councillor, it signifies an elected role to represent the communities and, once chosen and after serving as Deputy Mayor for a year, they step up at the following Annual Council to serve as the Mayor for a year.
Patel's chosen charities for support during his mayoral tenure include Rosemere Cancer, Preston Domestic Violence Services and homelessness support charity Emmaus in tribute to the work done by these organisations for the people of Preston.
Patel has a deep association with the city, where he started his career in 1979 with Preston Corporation. He held roles as a Revenue Inspector, Traffic Inspector, Assistant Chief, Chief Inspector and Operations Manager before he retired in July 2009.
He has served in many roles with Preston Bus, the city’s bus operator, including being a Board of Director, Health and Safety Representative and Chairman of ACTS Union.
He serves as a co-opted member for Preston Jamea Mosque and Preston Muslim Burial Society.