So proud, says city’s first Bangladeshi councillor

The Oxford Times: Farida Anwar has been elected as Oxford's first Bangladeshi councillor Farida Anwar has been elected as Oxford's first Bangladeshi councillor

OXFORD’S first city councillor from a Bangladeshi background has spoken of her pride at being elected.

Farida Anwar became a councillor for Headington Hill and Northway last week, winning a majority of nearly 300.

The Headley Way resident has lived in Oxford for about 40 years and was in tears when she was elected at the Town Hall.

She said: “It was very emotional for me. I am very proud that I have become Oxford’s first Bangladeshi councillor.

“The news has gone all the way to Bangladesh and they are also very proud that I have become a councillor in a city as famous as Oxford.

“I am very much looking forward to starting work.”

Mrs Anwar, a Labour councillor, is married to Sayedul Hague and is a grandmother of three.

During her career she worked as a civil servant in the Department for Health and Social Security and as a local government commissioner in the London Borough of Camden.

She is an honorary secretary of the Oxfordshire Bangladeshi Association.

Mrs Anwar said: “There are a lot of issues in my ward and this is my first time as a councillor so I have to talk to people and find out what their concerns are.

“One of the issues in my ward at the moment is the traffic and the safety of the roads.”

Mrs Anwar, a practising Muslim, came to the UK in 1966 as a student.

She said: “In the elder generation, Oxford’s Bangladeshi community has a lack of language skills and they are not getting their welfare rights and education.

“Housing is also a big issue and you often find families with a lot of children living in small houses. They need someone from their culture who can represent them.”

According to figures from the 2011 Census, there are 1,791 people of Bangladeshi origin in Oxford, making up 1.1 per cent of the population.

Last year Mrs Anwar’s colleague Mohammed Abbasi, originally from Pakistan, became Oxford’s first non-white Lord Mayor.

At last month’s elections, Labour increased its majority on the city council by three, meaning it now has 33 of 48 available seats.

Mrs Anwar’s seat was previously held by Lib Dem Mohammed Altaf Khan, who is now a city councillor for Headington.

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Comments (5)

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6:42am Mon 2 Jun 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

Housing is also a big issue and you often find families with a lot of children living in small houses. They need someone from their culture who can represent them.”.......What a racist comment. As a white father if two, who is going to represent be? I need someone from my culture to represent me? Or is that bring racist??????
Housing is also a big issue and you often find families with a lot of children living in small houses. They need someone from their culture who can represent them.”.......What a racist comment. As a white father if two, who is going to represent be? I need someone from my culture to represent me? Or is that bring racist?????? HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 7

10:55am Mon 2 Jun 14

Quentin Walker says...

"...Mrs Anwar, a practising Muslim, came to the UK in 1966 as a student.

She said: “In the elder generation, Oxford’s Bangladeshi community has a lack of language skills and they are not getting their welfare rights and education..."

Mrs Anwar, along with rights, come responsibilties. I suggest these people learn the language of the country they have decided to live in.
"...Mrs Anwar, a practising Muslim, came to the UK in 1966 as a student. She said: “In the elder generation, Oxford’s Bangladeshi community has a lack of language skills and they are not getting their welfare rights and education..." Mrs Anwar, along with rights, come responsibilties. I suggest these people learn the language of the country they have decided to live in. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 4

11:45am Mon 2 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

She said: “In the elder generation, Oxford’s Bangladeshi community has a lack of language skills and they are not getting their welfare rights and education.

“Housing is also a big issue and you often find families with a lot of children living in small houses. They need someone from their culture who can represent them.” ...........
..............If they are living in this country they should be able to speak, read, and write in English....if they can't, they certainly don't have any "welfare rights".......and if they could speak the language, they'd be able to represent themselves.

As I've said on many occasions, I don't care where people come from, what their religion, or skin colour, if they want to live in this country, they should be able to speak the language, and accept our laws etc......, because if all they want to do is form their own communities and carry on as if they're still in the country they came from, then they should stay where they are because it's obviously not that bad.
She said: “In the elder generation, Oxford’s Bangladeshi community has a lack of language skills and they are not getting their welfare rights and education. “Housing is also a big issue and you often find families with a lot of children living in small houses. They need someone from their culture who can represent them.” ........... ..............If they are living in this country they should be able to speak, read, and write in English....if they can't, they certainly don't have any "welfare rights".......and if they could speak the language, they'd be able to represent themselves. As I've said on many occasions, I don't care where people come from, what their religion, or skin colour, if they want to live in this country, they should be able to speak the language, and accept our laws etc......, because if all they want to do is form their own communities and carry on as if they're still in the country they came from, then they should stay where they are because it's obviously not that bad. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 2

11:50am Mon 2 Jun 14

PJay says...

I wonder what percentage of all those thousands and thousands of brits living on the Costa del Crime can speak Spanish?
I wonder what percentage of all those thousands and thousands of brits living on the Costa del Crime can speak Spanish? PJay
  • Score: 2

11:52am Mon 2 Jun 14

Quentin Walker says...

PJay wrote:
I wonder what percentage of all those thousands and thousands of brits living on the Costa del Crime can speak Spanish?
A good point, well made. However, that still doesn't mitigate the main issue being discussed here.
[quote][p][bold]PJay[/bold] wrote: I wonder what percentage of all those thousands and thousands of brits living on the Costa del Crime can speak Spanish?[/p][/quote]A good point, well made. However, that still doesn't mitigate the main issue being discussed here. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 3

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