Barking and Dagenham appoints new mayor
- Credit: Jimmy Lee Photography
The new mayor of Barking and Dagenham has described her appointment as a "joy and an honour".
Councillor Edna Fergus took over the reins from outgoing mayor, Cllr Peter Chand, at an annual ceremonial event on Tuesday, April 27.
Cllr Fergus said: "It will be a joy and an honour to serve my community as the mayor for Barking and Dagenham.
"I especially look forward to engaging with our children and young people, as well as our elderly residents and help raise valuable funds for both Refuge and Hestia."
Cllr Fergus has lived in Barking and Dagenham for 31 years and has served as an elected member since 2014.
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She represents Becontree ward.
At the town hall, her roles have included deputy chair of the council’s community forums.
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She has worked in education, banking and the NHS.
Cllr Fergus also chaired Alibon police safer neighbourhood team panel meetings and was a member of the independent advisory group which acts as a bridge between the police and communities in Barking and Dagenham.
A former school governor, she has volunteered at the office of Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge for about eight years.
As part of her role, Cllr Fergus will raise funds for her chosen charities during her year in post. These are Refuge and Hestia.
Refuge helps people suffering from domestic abuse as well as running Barking and Dagenham's domestic and sexual violence support service which offers independent help to those in need.
Hestia works across London supporting people recovering from various traumas including domestic abuse, modern-day slavery and the Grenfell Fire tragedy.
Cllr Fergus’s mayoress and consorts will be her daughter and son in law along with Cllr Evelyn Carpenter and Cllr Muhammad Saleem.
Ahead of Cllr Fergus's appointment, council leader Darren Rodwell thanked Cllr Chand, who spent two years in the role because of the pandemic.
Cllr Rodwell said: "He has done his job splendidly on behalf of every resident. He has shown how all who take the role should use [it] for the good of the community.
"His celebration of the diversity of this borough was second to none. The fact that he made sure people with disabilities come to the fore is absolutely honourable."