This is Jahangir Akhtar’s page on the Council website:
Ward: Rotherham West
I, with my mother and two brothers joined my father to live in Rotherham when I was nine years old in 1969. I attended Thornhill Primary School and then went on to study at South Grove Comprehensive School.
At 16 I took on my very first job as an apprentice steel maker. This involved learning how to process steel through hands on experience along with studying for my City and Guilds qualification in steel making. Following my apprenticeship, I then got a permanent job in British Steel working in the spring workshop. For the next four years I worked hard and through the 16 week strike, fought hard for employee rights. This was the start of my political development.
Around 1983, with my family’s backing, I left the steel industry and bought a small supermarket. From then on I have had a number of local businesses, newsagents and restaurants.
Why did I choose politics?
When I first started working within the community, my eyes were opened as I began to see how communities really lived together. After witnessing first hand a few incidents of community tension, I approached my local Councillor Ahmed (now Lord Ahmed) who advised me to join with others and gather support to tackle community cohesion at a higher level.
This led to me organising and forming a community organisation called the Rotherham Civil Rights Group which facilitated meetings between the Council, Police and young people within communities to tackle issues in order that harmony could be restored. As things started to change I became even more focused on making my community a better place for me, my family and future generations. Having seen the success of active participation within the community and being a long standing member of the Trade Union, I joined the Labour Party in 1990.
One of my first real successes was as a result of a campaign to create a multi-cultural centre for Rotherham, and through lobbying and working together with partners, the Rotherham Unity Centre was born, which does what is says on the tin ‘unites multi-cultural communities of Rotherham into one community’.
As I started to become more active within my political party, I took the tentative step to stand for the local elections in 2000 and was pleasantly surprised to secure a seat for the Central Ward, covering Masbrough, Ferham, Kimberworth and Meadowbank, learning about local ward issues, understanding political structures, learning how to change policies from the ground up. Since the boundary changes, I now represent Rotherham West which includes Blackburn, Ferham, Henley, Kimberworth, Masbrough, Meadowbank and Richmond Park.
I was delighted when in 2011 I was elected Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council. I have seen this as the political highlight of my career as it has given me even more opportunity to serve the people who have supported me over the years. Those who know me know that I am passionate about Rotherham and I have been greatly honoured with this remarkable opportunity to represent the town that welcomed me as a young boy and nurtured my social and political growth.
A few personal facts
- I have been married for over 30 years
- I have five grown up children and two grandchildren
- I have lived in the same area for over 35 years
- I have a black belt in Kung Fu
- I was a keen cricketer for 30 years but now only have time for chess!
My political history to date
2000-2004 Advisor to Cabinet Member for Housing and Environmental Health
2006 Vice-Chair of Democratic Scrutiny
Board Member of RBT
2007 Chair of Regeneration Scrutiny Panel
Member of Planning Board
2008 Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and as of July 2010 now changed its title to Cabinet Member for Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods
Member of Planning Board
Member of Transform South Yorkshire Sub-Regional Group
Regional Representative for South Yorkshire on the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Housing Board.
2011 Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council
- Deputising for the Leader when required
- To lead on all matters relating to Legal and Democratic Services and corporate governance
- To lead on Financial and Performance Management Internal Audit, Risk Management, Commissioning and Procurement
- To drive the Council’s organisational development and change agenda
- To act as mentor for new Cabinet Members
Kimberworth Children’s Centre, Kimberworth Community School, Kimberworth Road, every Monday – 5.00pm to 5.30pm
Masbrough Community Centre, College Road, Masbrough, every Thursday – 6.00pm to 6.30pm (6th and 13th June – cancelled)
Rotherham West Councillors also hold regular monthly street surgeries that are advertised locally.
Please do not wait for the next surgery if you have an urgent matters to discuss, please telephone, email me or write to me.
Committee and meeting information
Further information on this councillor can also be accessed via the link below specifically relating to personal/prejudicial declarations at meetings, special responsibilities, committee appointments, terms of office, and appointments to outside bodies.
Community Leadership Fund
As an elected member I have a small amount of money to spend each year on groups, projects or activities that benefit the local community. So far this year I have supported the following:
- Happidayz Nursery
- Kimberworth Park Community Partnership
- Rotherham Central Childrens Centre
If you would like further details about applying to the Community Leadership Fund please contact Neighbourhood Partnerships on 01709 823159 or alternatively please contact me directly.