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New Lord Mayor of Leicester takes office

Leicester’s new Lord Mayor has been handed the chains of office in a ceremony at the city’s Town Hall.

Councillor Bhupen Dave, who represents the city’s Rushey Mead ward, will serve as Lord Mayor for Leicester until May 2025.

Leicester Time: New Lord Mayor of Leicester takes office
Picture: Leicester City Council

Councillor Dave was born and educated in Uganda before coming to the UK in 1972 with his parents. He studied at the universities of Bristol and Southampton before working for Leicestershire County Council as a qualified social worker. He later joined Leicester City Council, where he became director of community care.

Cllr Dave has a long career in politics, and served as a city councillor from 1983 to 1995, when he represented Highfields and later Belgrave wards. He was deputy leader of the city council for many years and also served as a local councillor for Oadby & Wigston Borough Council from 2012 to 2019.  He was re-elected to Leicester City Council in May 2023 and now represents Rushey Mead ward.

He is a ‘people person’ and has initiated many community and business projects in the city over the years. As well as being a founder member and chairman of ASRA Housing Association – which provided specialist housing for vulnerable elderly people – Cllr Dave has also supported youth provision and accommodation for vulnerable women and children with specific needs.

Cllr Dave was instrumental in establishing twinning links between Leicester and the city of Rajkot in India, and he has also served as a trustee and director for many charities and community organisations.

Cllr Dave said: “I’m honoured to be serving Leicester as Lord Mayor. Throughout my life, I have always promoted community harmony by treating all communities fairly and equally. I look forward to working with people from all walks of life to promote Leicester as a beacon of good community relations.”

City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “In 50-plus years of attending mayor-makings, it gives me particular pleasure to welcome Bhupen to the role, as he has been a personal friend for over 40 years. I remember him approaching me when he was setting up ASRA Housing, something I was very pleased to support. I wish him well in his year as Lord Mayor for Leicester.”

Cllr Dave is married to Usha, who will support him as Lady Mayoress throughout the year. They have two sons, a grandson and granddaughter.

Cllr Teresa Aldred will be the new deputy Lord Mayor, while Cllr Manjula Sood will remain as High Bailiff.