Backing local businesses and celebrating Croydon’s diversity are the priorities of Croydon's new Mayor who has been sworn in for his year of office.

Cllr Humayun Kabir, who represents Bensham Manor Ward, has lived in the borough for more than 40 years, serving as a councillor since 2010.

During his term he will champion five local causes, reflecting the borough's diverse needs and make-up, and will be launching a new Mayor's ambassador scheme to encourage civic pride and harness the talents of local fundraisers.

Mayor of Croydon Cllr Kabir said: “I am delighted and honoured to serve as Mayor for our wonderful community in Croydon.

“My background as a small business owner means I’m passionate about this vital part of our local economy, providing services, jobs and opportunities for our residents, and making our town and district centres the vibrant and prosperous places we want them to be.

"My later career as a parent advocate and my experiences as a local councillor have also made me keen to support people with disabilities.

“As Mayor, I plan to celebrate Croydon’s rich cultural diversity, and look forward to working with as many different groups as possible to do this.”

The father-of-three moved to England in 1972, settling in Croydon five years later. After studying for a Bachelor of Education degree, he later began a career at Tower Hamlets Council as a parent advocate and family support manager.

In his time at Croydon Council, he has served as deputy cabinet member for economy, jobs, finance and treasury as well as being vice-chair of the planning committee for several years.

He has also been president of Croydon Bangladesh Welfare Association for two terms, and founded the Asian Resource Centre.

His charities for the year include Mind in Croydon, which promotes mental health, Croydon Vision, which helps blind or visually impaired people and their families, and Croydon Refugee Day Centre, which offers practical advice and support to asylum seekers and refugees.

The Mayor will be supported by his wife of 37 years, Rahena, who will be his consort.

Assisting councillor Kabir as this year’s Deputy Mayor is councillor Maddie Henson, who represents Addiscombe East.

Councillor Henson was born and bred in the borough, growing up in South Norwood.

She attended Crossfields Nursery where she is now a governor, and went from there to South Norwood Primary, and then to Harris Crystal Palace. She has a BA in History from Kent University in Canterbury.

She became a councillor for the first time in 2014 for Ashburton ward, and was re-elected in 2018 in the newly-formed Addiscombe East, since serving on many committees, specialising in adoption and fostering and championing children and young people.

A mum-of-two, her husband Mark Henson is her consort.