The new Mayor of Brent has described the chance to represent the borough as its ‘first citizen’ as “a huge honour”.

Cllr Arshad Mahmood was appointed mayor at Brent Council’s annual meeting last night.

Speaking during the mayor making ceremony at Brent Civic Centre, he paid tribute to his predecessor, Cllr Bhagwanji Chohan, and outlined his plans for his own tenure.

He said: “It is a huge honour to be appointed Mayor of Brent and to serve this great borough.

“I’m looking forward to working together with residents and community groups across Brent, as well as raising money for my chosen charities for the year.

“I would also like to thank my friend and colleague, the outgoing Cllr Chohan, for his significant contribution to the office of mayor.”

Born in Pakistan, Cllr Mahmood came to the UK aged 14. Settling in Dollis Hill, he has lived there ever since and is now a councillor for the ward.

He has selected Sufra NW London, which addresses the impact of poverty in the region, and the READ project, which seeks to create school spaces for poor children, as his chosen charities.

Cllr Chohan raised more than £30,000 for his charities last year, the Asian Women’s Resource Centre and the Akshay Patra Foundation UK.

At the meeting, councillors and representatives from Brent’s voluntary and community organisations paid tribute to Lesley Jones, a Willesden Green representative who died earlier this month.

And Cllr Muhammed Butt – who intends to serve as council leader for at least the next four years – named his cabinet for the upcoming administration.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, who was chosen as deputy leader, will be responsible for resources, while Cllr Shama Tatler will take care of regeneration, highways and planning.

Cllr Krupa Sheth was given responsibility for the environment, Cllr Amer Agha will lead on schools, employment and skills, and Cllr Mili Patel was appointed to children’s safeguarding, early help and social care.

Public health, culture and leisure was handed to Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Cllr Harbi Farah will manage adult social care, and Cllr Eleanor Southwood will be responsible for housing and welfare reform.