WE write this joint statement as former Lord Mayors of Bradford district, who are proud and humbled to have served the whole district in this position. It’s Yorkshire Day and we proudly stand behind our current Lord Mayor, Cllr Shabir Hussain, in celebrating the day.
We are individuals from different parts of the district and different political parties. We have had different life experiences and we have our own opinions on all sorts of subjects – and like any good Yorkshire man or woman, we certainly don’t shy away from a lively debate, especially in the council chamber. But despite those differences, we never, ever lose sight of the most important thing of all: what we share in common is far more important than what divides us. And one thing we share is a real pride for this district, this place we call home.
Better than most we have had the opportunity to see how Bradford district works together as a whole. There are gems to be found everywhere – from our community spirit, cultural heritage, and industrial history, to our diversity and our resilience. As councillors, we represent wards such as urban Great Horton, the spa town of Ilkley, the villages of Menston and Burley as well as our largest town Keighley, and everything in between. But more than anything we represent the fantastic people who live in every corner of the district; the unsung heroes going about their daily lives, the children and young people doing great things, the older folk active in their communities and looking out for their neighbours – you are all what makes this whole place special.
We are immensely proud and privileged to have served this district as Lord Mayor. We can all say, without exception, that the biggest joy for each of us was getting to meet so many amazing people and seeing what they achieve both individually and as one. So many of you have told us during our terms of office that you share our pride in our place.
In times when too many people are intent on division and doing us down, let’s not forget: we are united as one district, and we are hugely proud to be a part of it. One People, One District, One Yorkshire!
From former Lord Mayors: Cllr Zafar Ali, Cllr Joanne Dodds, Cllr Mike Gibbons, Cllr Doreen Lee, Cllr Geoff Reid, Cllr Dale Smith