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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Abdul savours election success at third attempt

By Kelly Eve

CARLISLE restaurateur Abdul Harid is planning to hold a party this week to celebrate his success at last Thursday’s local elections.

It was third time lucky for Abdul, who succeeded in winning a seat on Carlisle City Council after defeats in 2003 and 2004.

He now represents the Currock ward after winning 571 votes and becomes the city’s first Asian councillor. He celebrated his success with a champagne toast and plans to hold a party this week.

Abdul said: “I know I’ll have a responsible role and I know it is an example to other people to come and do something for their community and be persistent. I want to show people that they can work towards what they want.”

Abdul, a Labour councillor, said: “I started running for council in 2003 and went up against the then mayor Alan Toole in Belah. I got 650 votes.

“The following year I went up against David Morton, in Belah again, and got 642. This time I purposely chose Currock. It’s a local ward to me. I live on London Road, in the south of the city, and I know people there.”

The 38-year-old married father-of-two is now eager to get involved in public life after meeting voters on the campaign trail. “People were pleased to see a candidate knocking on doors and seeing them face to face. A lot of people were encouraging me,” he said.

Abdul owns the Dhaka and Nowab restaurants and the Currymaster takeaway on Caldewgate.

He came to Carlisle 15 years ago after living in London and growing up in Oldham. “Now I want to give something back to my community,” Abdul said. It’s a small community town and I want to work towards improving services here particularly for the elderly and the vulnerable.

“I also want to look at anti-social behaviour which is a prime issue in Currock.”

Abdul visited the Civic Centre on Friday after his ballot box success, meeting council chief executive Maggie Mooney and various department heads.

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