UK to get first Asian woman Lord Mayor
Thursday, May 15, 2008 (London)
Britain will get its first Asian woman Lord Mayor on Thursday when Ludhiana-born Manjula Sood will take over as the first citizen of the multicultural town of Leicester in the East Midlands.
Sood, a teacher and councillor for several decades, will hold the office of Lord Mayor for one year. Until Thursday, Sood was the High Bailiff of Leicester.
Each year, the longest serving city councillor is offered the role. That councillor may defer it and if so it is then offered to the next in line and so on.
Any member of the public who becomes a city councillor may become Lord Mayor if the person is re-elected enough number of times.
The Lord Mayor has a high profile role in maintaining and promoting the interests of the city and its people, and attends a variety of engagements. This year is the 800th anniversary of the Lord Mayor's office in Leicester.
She will be the fifth Lord Mayor of Indian origin in Leicester, which has a large population with roots in India.
She will, however, be the first Asian woman Lord Mayor anywhere in Britain.
Previous Indian-origin Lord Mayors of Leicester were Piara Singh Clair (2004), Ramnik Kavia (2003), Culdipp Bhatti (1996) and Gordhan Parmar (1987).
Sood said that it was a great honour for her to be selected for the position, and would do her best to serve the multicultural city.