First woman of colour chair elected at district council
By David Lawrence - Local Democracy Reporter
13th May 2022 | Local News
Warwick district councillors have elected the first woman of colour as their new chairman.
And the decision will also mean that Labour's Cllr Mini Mangat (Leamington Willes) will be the youngest person to take on the role which one of her colleagues hopes will inspire others to follow her lead.
In proposing Cllr Mangat at this week's annual meeting, Cllr Richard Hales (Con, Kenilworth Abbey and Arden) praised the way she had led her party in difficult times following the death of former Labour group leader Jonathan Nicholls.
He told the meeting: "She is very passionate about everything she does and everything she brings to this council and in terms of the way that Mini has taken over control of the Labour group, it has been truly admirable."
Cllr Mangat's seconder was Cllr Geraldine Cullinan (Lab, Leamington Clarendon) who said she was honoured and delighted to have that task.
Cllr Cullinane added: "Having Mini in this prominent position of leadership would send a message, especially to women and girls, that we can lead and put ourselves forward in the public realm. You can influence decision-making and your voice can be heard."
Upon taking up the role, Cllr Mangat admitted it was a great honour but added: "It is hard for me not to reflect with sadness that I am here because we recently lost my friend and colleague Jonathan Nicholls who was chairman elect.
"Also, it was not so long ago that we also lost our vice-chairman Tony Heath. I hope to do my best to make them both proud."
Councillors also elected Cllr Sidney Syson (Lib Dem, Leamington Milverton) as deputy chair for the coming year with proposer Cllr Bill Gifford (Lib Dem, Leamington Milverton) suggesting that her degrees in maths and law would be perfect for her future role.