A JURY has heard from senior local authority figures in the trial of a former Lord Mayor of Bradford.

Naveeda Ikram, 44, pleads not guilty to a single charge of misconduct in public office, said to have taken place between November 1, 2014, and August 31, 2015.

Ikram, of Rooley Crescent, Odsal, Bradford, became the first UK’s female Muslim Lord Mayor in 2011 and also served as a councillor for the Little Horton ward.

She is accused of seeking contracts for Nexus Assist and failing to declare an interest in that company while an elected member of Bradford Council.

Julie Jenkins, Bradford Council’s former assistant director of children’s specialist service, was questioned about a meeting held with Ikram in 2015.

The jury at Leeds Crown Court heard Ikram had contacted her to discuss two issues - one regarding the welfare of a care leaver she had met and another regarding some potential leaving care provision.

During the meeting, Ms Jenkins said Ikram had spoken of a company called Nexus Assist which she said had contacted her and wanted to understand how the system worked and how it could possibly become a provider for Bradford Council.

The jury heard Ikram had “absolutely not” mentioned any connections with the company.

Giving evidence, Ms Jenkins said she got the impression from the meeting the contact from the company to Ikram was “out of the blue”.

She added that emails from a colleague revealed concerns there may have been “some personal interest” - something Ms Jenkins raised with Councillor Ralph Berry, who she said was the then portfolio holder for children and families.

The court previously heard how Ikram had described Ali Arshad, Nexus Assist’s proprietor as a “very dear friend” and was the guarantor of the commercial premises the business occupied.

Tim Nelson, former commercial manager for children’s social work services at Leeds City Council, spoke of a phone call he received from Ikram who said she had been approached by a “constituent” about Nexus Assist and discussed the work it was doing for Bradford Council.

He said she also mentioned she was a close work colleague of Judith Blake, who had been lead member for children’s services at Leeds City Council and he felt there was an element of trying to influence the conversation by the use of her name.

And he said she had described herself as the lead member for children’s services in Bradford, which he verified she was not.

Mr Nelson, who appeared via video link, said he felt it was an “unusual” call, where inaccurate information was being given.

The trial continues.