Cllr Farzana Kharawala
Town Mayor 2022-2023
At the Annual Council Meeting held on 16 May 2022, Cllr Farzana Kharawala was elected to continue as Town Mayor for the next municipal year (May 2022 – May 2023).
Cllr Kharawala was delighted to have been re-elected to this post and is looking forward to acting as the Chairman of the Council as well as performing civic duties and helping to fundraise for her chosen charities. For 2022-23, it is hoped that a full year of fundraising activity can take place without the difficulties and restrictions of the last two years due to the Covid pandemic.
Cllr Kharawala has been a Leighton Buzzard resident since 2004 and has always been involved in the community, including volunteering for various groups over the years, long before being elected as a town council member in 2015.
Cllr Kharawala stands as the 48th Mayor of Leighton-Linslade Town Council since its inception in 1974 and is the town’s 13th female Mayor.
It is normal practice, when introducing the Mayor at a function to refer to her as either “Madam Mayor”, “Town Mayor of Leighton-Linslade” or “Councillor Kharawala”.
Deputy Town Mayor
On 16 May 2022, Council elected Cllr Sheona Hemmings to the post of Deputy Town Mayor for 2022-2023. Cllr Hemmings will support the Mayor in her fundraising activities and deputise at events which the Mayor is not able to attend.
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Town Mayor's Chosen Charities
Leighton-Linslade Helpers provide a range of services, from food parcels, community fridge, prescription deliveries, welfare checks, counselling and listening, personal shopping, to many other ways of supporting the community.
Leighton-Linslade Helpers is a collective of community volunteers who came together to support their community through the Covid 19 lockdown in their town and surrounding areas. It very quickly grew into an organisation that is continuing to support its community by forming a charity.
What started off as an emergency food bank to those in hardship or those shielding, without access to food, has grown into a range of services, from food parcels, community fridge, prescription deliveries, counselling and listening, to many other ways of supporting families, the elderly and the isolated.
They are now established in Leighton Buzzard High Street and continue to support our community, other agencies and wider Bedfordshire.
Citizens Advice Leighton-Linslade give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward. They offer free, confidential advice to everyone in Leighton-Linslade.
They have been giving quality advice and information to local people for over 45 years.
- Debt – providing a comprehensive money advice service
- Employment – Advice on employment rights and enabling clients to exercise those rights
- Consumer – Advising clients on their rights of redress against shops and traders, providing goods and services
- Benefits – Benefit calculations, completing claims and helping with appeals
- Housing – Problems include repossession, establishing the rights of tenants and landlords, homelessness
- and many other issues
Town Mayor’s Fundraising
Town Mayor’s Coffee Morning
Rock of Ages Concert
Town Mayor’s Carol Concert
Town Mayor’s Lucky Dates
Annual Civic Service
The annual Civic Service took place on Sunday 15th May 2022 at All Saints Church and was well attended by residents, local organisations, uniformed groups and dignitaries. The service included a presentation and blessing of centenary ribbons by Vice Lord Lieutenant, Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE, to the local Royal British Legion. Readings were done by the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE and the High Sheriff, Lady Jane Clifford.
Councillor Farzana Kharawala, presented cheques to her chosen charities, Home-Start Central Bedfordshire, CHUMS charity, Macmillan Cancer Support and Freddie and Friends.
Councillor Kharawala said “It has been the greatest honour to serve as the Mayor and today is my opportunity to recognise, thank and celebrate all the many unsung heroes in our community and those who make such a positive contribution to our town. It has been truly humbling to meet these people and see their inspirational work”.