SWORDS, speeches and surprises all featured at the centre of an event to formally welcome in the new Mayor of Hounslow.
The borough’s ceremonial head, the deputy mayor and a cabinet re-shuffle were all dealt with at a meeting on Tuesday.
Former cabinet member for leisure and public health Pritam Grewal, will now take on the chain of office for the next year, succeeding Amrit Mann. His wife Hounslow Central councillor Ajmer Grewal was on hand to step up and fill his old cabinet position.
The father of two said: “It feels great and it is very good to be the mayor this year with the Olympics and the jubilee coming up, it is going to be an extremely busy year and I am looking forward to meeting as many people in the community that I can.”
The Hounslow South ward councillor entered the council in 2002 and cabinet in 2003. He works for G4S in the passport and visa control in Terminal Five of Heathrow Airport.
He chose Mulberry cancer support centre in Isleworth and Feltham Bees Disabled Sports Club as his two chosen charities.
He said: “My father-in-law suffered with cancer and The Mulberry Centre really helped support him. I was really impressed by the good they do and would like to increase the borough’s awareness of their good work. I am a keen sportsman so I wanted to work with The Feltham Bees as I have always thought disabled people are under represented in sports.”
Mr Grewal has lived in Hounslow East since 1976 and studied maths, physics and science at the University of Punjab in India. During the meeting Mr Mann paid tribute to his family and colleagues, and warned his successor the role of mayor was a tiring one.
Isleworth councillor Mindu Bains was appointed as deputy mayor.
Jagdish Sharma stayed on as leader of the council, but biggest surprise of the night was the appointment of former mayor and Labour leader Colin Ellar as deputy leader.
He replaces Ruth Cadbury, who will now be responsible for planning and regeneration.
The Chronicle reported earlier this year how her £6,000 trip to Cannes funded by taxpayers caused controversy with opposition councillors accusing her of hypocrisy as she had spoken out against a similar jaunt while in opposition herself.
Mr Ellar represented the old Feltham Central ward for eight years, from 1998 to 2006, and was council leader for the last two. His son Jason is Hounslow's youngest councillor.
To watch an interview with the new mayor visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8PPhN0C0ek .