Worcester's new Mayor aims to unite Worcester’s varied communities, with his theme for the year being love, not hate. Cllr Jabba Riaz was voted into office at the Annual Council meeting, taking over the chain of office from outgoing Mayor, Cllr Steve Mackay.
Cllr Allah Ditta is the new Deputy Mayor.
Cllr Riaz said: “I am honoured to be chosen as Mayor. I love Worcester, its people and its culture. I’ll be working tirelessly to change perceptions, unite communities and above all, to bring us all together.
“During my year in office I’ll be making the most of my chain of office to support city charities that work across our many and varied communities.”
The new Mayor’s charities for the year will be: St. Richard’s Hospice (www.strichards.org.uk), a local charity which supports patients with life-limiting illnesses, and their loved ones; the Worcester Community Trust (www.worcestercommunitytrust.org.uk), which runs six community centres across the city, offering a wide range of activities particularly for young and older residents; and Worcester Live (www.worcesterlive.co.uk), the main arts provider for the city which runs the Swan Theatre, Huntington Hall, Henry Sandon Hall and also the annual Worcester Festival.
40-year-old Jabba Riaz grew up in Worcester, living in the Ronkswood, Stanley Road and Wylds Lane areas of the city.
He attended Perry Wood and Stanley Road primary schools, Nunnery Wood High School and King’s School, before studying for a degree in business in Leicester.
Jabba has been self employed in the past, at one point taking over the running of the post office on Worcester’s London Road to save it from closure.
He is now employed by Air Products – a local company which supplies a wide range of cryogenic and specialist gases to clients in the science, leisure and industrial sectors.
Jabba first became a Worcester City councillor in 2010, and has held two cabinet posts. He has also been Chair of the Council’s Licensing Committee.
Jabba is married, and has three children. He is an active member of his local community, playing and coaching cricket in his spare time.