May saw the departure of Councillor Dilip Patel as Havering’s Mayor and a new Mayor installed. Councillor Patel has left huge shoes to fill as he has gone down in the record books as ‘Havering’s best Mayor’.
He raised an incredible £82,000, the highest total ever raised by a Mayor in the borough that went to his three chosen charities, Havering Mind, the Rainbow Trust and the Lennox Children’s Charity Trust.
He attended an amazing 645 events that was the most amount of events a Mayor for Havering has ever attended. And to top it off, Councillor Patel was given the prestigious title of being called ‘The People’s Mayor’.
Dilip told The Enquirer: “I was given the title of People’s Mayor by the people themselves, everywhere I went I always spent time with people.
“I always made sure that I had the opportunity to meet the amazing residents the borough has and to spend time talking to them and listening to what they have to say.
“I gave a hundred percent to my role as mayor, I loved doing the job and embraced every aspect of it and the people always responded very well. I’d love the thank the borough for giving me the incredible opportunity of allowing me to be mayor as I have truly loved the past year.”
Councillor Patel was a Mayor who was always seen shaking hands with people or sitting in the corner chatting away to residents, hearing what they had to say. His charisma and personality did make him the best Mayor the London Borough of Havering has ever seen.
He continued: “I have been very fortunate and lucky in having an amazing team of supporters behind me who have helped me very much and I am very grateful to them for all they have done.
“One of the many highlights in my job was going to the Ravensbourne School in Harold Hill, where I had the opportunity of meeting many very amazing children with severe disabilities whose faces lit up when I arrived in all my mayoral robes. Their faces of pure happiness will be something I will treasure with me always. I have really enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life and spending time talking to them and listening to what they have to say.”
Another highlight in Councillor Patel’s mayoral year was to give the speech at Havering’s first ever Pride march.
“That was an amazing moment, to know that I was the first person to give a speech at the borough’s Pride March was great for me. I have really taken pride in my role as mayor and I made sure that I was a people’s mayor that I was there for everyone and wasn’t a snobby type person that couldn’t be approached. I think that is what has made me so successful.”
Tributes to Councillor Patel were made from every party in the borough and his farewell speech as Mayor bought non stop laughter to the council chambers that will be remembered by all.
Councillor Ciaran White who was part of the Mayoral Committee told the Enquirer: “Dilip has been a great mayor and has done amazingly well during his year. The level of money he has raised for charity is staggering. I was honoured to be a part of his fund raising committee. “
Councillor Jan Sargent told The Enquirer: “Dagnam Park hosted a dog walking day to raise money towards the Mayors charity and everyone had a fun time. Dillip is such a warm, welcoming person who’s kind words reassured me through my first year of being a councillor.”
Councillor Viddy Persaud said: “Our Past Mayor Cllr Dilip Patel is an inspiration. He embraced his role as mayor with Passion and enthusiasm to serve the people of Havering.”