It was wonderful to give my maiden speech in the Council Chamber this week - a special moment that I will always remember.
In my speech, I paid tribute to my predecessors, Oni Oviri for her service and Badsha Quadir for the 12 years he gave Purley & Woodcote. Badsha is a much-missed friend and I am grateful for all his encouragement and support over the years.
I also had the opportunity to remember my great uncle, Amrit Devesar or Papaji who made history as Croydon’s first minority councillor back in 1971 representing Bensham Manor ward. An inspirational pioneer of multi-racial politics, it is a huge honour to stand in his footsteps more than 50 years later.
It was great to talk about Purley & Woodcote and talk about our dynamic businesses, supported by the active Purley BID, passionate resident groups like the PWRA and HADRA, organisations like Purley in Bloom which works tirelessly for a more attractive community and the Purley Food Hub which supports our most vulnerable.
I acknowledged that Purley & Woodcote has suffered from overdevelopment but said I am determined at the same time to encourage regeneration of its district centre.
In closing, I thanked those who voted for me across Purley & Woodcote and promised to stand up for those who didn't with just as much vigour and enthusiasm.
Cllr Samir Dwesar