Bradford City’s promotion celebrations were just one of the highlights of a busy year for the outgoing Lord Mayor.
Councillor Khadim Hussain will officially step down as Bradford’s first citizen at a ceremony at City Hall on Tuesday.
Looking back at his 12 months in the role, and the 900 engagements he attended, Coun Hussain said: “It has been, for me, a very, very good year.
“I started my year on a high, with the Bradford City promotion. That was my first engagement and I couldn’t have asked for a better start.
“And I will be leaving with Westfield motoring on.”
Throughout his mayoral year, Coun Hussain has said his twin aims were to bring people together from different walks of life and to promote all that is positive about Bradford.
But intolerance was brought literally to his doorstep when members of the far-right group Britain First visited his house, as well as local mosques.
Coun Hussain said he was proud of the way Bradfordians had reacted to the group’s behaviour and he had been left feeling overwhelmingly positive about relations between the district’s communities.
He said, in his view, events like the Bradford riots were well behind us.
He said: “Considering that Bradford has been hitting headlines for the wrong reasons in the past, we have moved well away from that. We still have some big challenges but I think we are moving in the right direction.”
Coun Hussain, a former engineer and charity worker, chose Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure to benefit from the Lord Mayor’s Appeal for his year in office. The choice was inspired by the achievements of his autistic grandson Mohammad Hudhayfah whom, he said, demonstrated that people with disabilities also have abilities which should be celebrated.
The final total raised this year has yet to be revealed, but Coun Hussain said he had succeeded in highlighting the achievements of disabled people.
The next Lord Mayor will be Coun Mike Gibbons (Con, Ilkley).
Coun Hussain said: “My advice to Mike Gibbons would be to make sure he enjoys it and makes the most of it. It will be an experience he will never forget. I have seen so many things in all my travels around the district, and I will cherish those moments.”