'˜My heart's in Leighton Buzzard' says new Mayor Syed Rahman
Ambitious Town Mayor, Syed Rahman, is making big plans to help five charities as he begins fundraising in Leighton-Linslade, the town he calls his 'destiny'.
Conservative Councillor Rahman, Grovebury Ward, took over from Cllr Steve Cotter as Town Mayor in May, an honour he admits has made him “very excited!”
The former owner of Akash restaurant, North Street, is a familiar face to many, and after a year serving as Deputy Mayor, Cllr Rahman was ready to wear the grand gold chain.
He said: “To be mayor I am so happy. I made so many friends over the years and I enjoyed talking to all the customers.
“My heart is in Leighton Buzzard, as I have spent most of my life here. Moving to the town was concidence - luck - but it is my destiny to be here.”
Cllr Rahman originally hails from Bangladesh, and after after graduating from college, he lived in Germany during the 1970s, managing a McDonalds restaurant.
However, in the 1980s, Cllr Rahman set his sights on England, moving to Leighton Buzzard in the mid 80s and opening his North Street restaurant in 1985.
Cllr Rahman said: “Comedian Bob Monkhouse came into the Akash as a customer and some of the other punters were saying ‘oh look, that’s Bob Monkhouse!’ In real life he was a very friendly, jokey type.
“I enjoyed running the restaurant and used to live above it at one point.”
Cllr Rahman likes the town’s quirks, such as its fame for The Barron Knights and Kajagoogoo. He also enjoys hot food, and if you ever host Cllr Rahman in the future, his favourite treat is a vindaloo!
He said: “I don’t know what the biggest challenge will be – when it comes I will meet it! For now, I’m concentrating on my charities, hoping to hold an evening fundraiser.”
Cllr Rahman has a wife, who works for the NHS, one daughter, who works for the Home Office, and two sons, one a teacher, and the other studying at Luton Sixth Form College. Cllr Rahman has recently become the president of Luton North Rotary Club, which will start this month.
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Town Mayor’s five charities:
1. Homeless Service Leighton-Linslade: overnight shelter
2. Keech Hospice: specialist care for people facing terminal and life-limiting illnesses
3. Aquarius: helping solve alcohol, drug and gambling issues
4. Autism Bedfordshire: support for those with autism, as well as their families and carers
5. St John’s Hospice: end of life care and support