Monthly column: Labour councillors bring knowledge, continuity and new ideas to the council

All 14 Bedford Labour Group councillors
All 14 Labour Group councillors: Mohammed Nawaz, Nesreen Akhtar, Mohammed Masud, Colleen Atkins, Zara Layne, Ralley Rahman, Mahboob Din, Carl Meader, Sue Oliver, Abu Sultan, James Valentine, Caroline White, Fouzia Atiq and Harish Thapar. Image: Bedford Labour Group

The Labour Group on Bedford Borough Council now has fourteen councillors. We have both new and experienced councillors, a combination which ensures we have knowledge, continuity and new ideas, which will make us an effective Labour group representing the people we serve throughout the Borough. I’d like to introduce them briefly.

In Cauldwell Ward, we welcome Harish Thapar who joins councillors Fouzia Atiq and Abu Sultan. They have a strong record of tackling local issues and are regularly out and about in their ward.

Harish and Abu are both on the Planning Committee. Abu is also a Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Authority executive member and Fouzia chairs the Health Committee.

Returned in Harpur Ward with a large majority, new councillor Zara Layne brings her experience as a caseworker in the office of Mohammad Yasin MP whilst Colleen Atkins MBE has a strong reputation as a dedicated, hard-working experienced councillor.

Zara serves on Housing and Children’s Services committees and Colleen is chair of the Environment committee.

In Kempston Central & East, newly elected Caroline White worked in the health service and is well known for her voluntary work. She serves on the Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee. She joins Mohammed Nawaz, a former Speaker of the council, chair of Audit Committee, and a member of the Police and Crime Panel.

Former leader of the Bedford Labour Group, Sue Oliver, with new leader, Cllr Carl Meader
Deputy leader of the Bedford Labour Group, Cllr Sue Oliver with leader, Cllr Carl Meader. Image: Bedford Labour Group

Long-standing councillor Sue Oliver was elected with an increased majority and continues to represent Kempston North. She serves on Climate Change and Licensing committees. Having stepped back as Labour Group Leader, she’s now Deputy Group Leader.

In the ever-growing ward of Kempston West, experienced councillor James Valentine, former Children’s Services Portfolio Holder, is now Chair of the Children’s Services Committee.

We welcome Ralley Rahman as Labour councillor in Kingsbrook Ward. Ralley brings valuable experience from her extensive community and charity work. She serves on the Adult Services Committee.

A huge turnout of support saw three Labour councillors elected in Queen’s Park with Mahboob Din joining councillors Mohammed Masud and Nesreen Akhtar.

All are well known in the community and for taking action to improve the area, plus working with different community groups. Mahboob serves on Environment, Nesreen chairs Adult Services Committee, Masud is vice-chair of Budget and Corporate Services Committee.

I am proud to have been re-elected to represent Kempston South and I’m Vice-Chair of General Purposes Committee and now Labour Group Leader.

All Labour Councillors work hard for the benefit of residents. We’re here for you, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Cllr Carl Meader, Labour Group Leader.
It is published unedited and does not reflect the views of the Bedford Independent.