First person of Indian origin elected as Mayor

A warm welcome was given to Cllr Ankur Shiv Bhandari, as he became the new Mayor of Bracknell Forest at the Annual Meeting of the Council on Wednesday 18 May. Cllr Bhandari is the first person of Indian origin and also the first person of colour to have taken this position.
 
Cllr Bhandari, who has represented Binfield with Warfield ward since 2019, was elected during the mayor making part of the meeting.  He will now take over as first citizen of Bracknell Forest from Cllr Ash Merry, who has been mayor since May 2020. 

Ankur, his wife and 2 children have considered Bracknell home for 17 years. He is an entrepreneur, running businesses in fields of shopper marketing and digital led training. Previously Ankur has held senior positions with companies such as Procter and Gamble, Accenture and WPP. He is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors. Ankur has worked around the world in more than 50 countries. He holds an MBA, a post graduate teaching qualification and is about to complete his master’s degree in law.

During the mayor making ceremony, Cllr Ankur Shiv Bhandari introduced the new deputy mayor, Cllr Lizzy Gibson, who represents Great Hollands South. 
 
He is looking forward to engaging with the voluntary groups, businesses and schools across the borough and recognising them, and individuals, for their significant contribution to the community. He will be accompanied by the Mayoress, Rishi Bhandari.

The new mayor, Cllr Ankur Shiv Bhandari said:

"I am looking forward to the year ahead and carrying out mayoral duties across the borough. In particular, I am looking forward to getting out into our local communities and spreading the message of wellbeing, happiness and saying thanks. I will be particularly focusing on opportunities for young people and businesses in the borough and will try to further the laurels of Bracknell as the 'Borough of Opportunity'.”

The outgoing mayor, Cllr Ash Merry, said:

"It has been an honour and a privilege to be mayor of this very special borough for the past two years. COVID has meant that we have had to do things differently, but one thing is for sure ‘the bigger the challenge, the bigger the hearts here in Bracknell Forest!’ Thank you to everyone who has helped others and made a difference when it was most needed. I send Ankur, our new mayor, my best wishes in this, Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Year."