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Archive - Wednesday, 10 May 2006
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Asian women elected as councillors for the first time are hoping to inspire others to follow their lead.
INSPIRATION: Naseem Shabnam
Pendle got its first Asian woman councillor and Manchester its youngest on a night when members of the far-right won more seats in Lancashire.
Naseem Shabnam was elected for Brierfield and in Manchester Maryam Khan became the city's youngest councillor.
In Bolton Labour's Sufrana Bashir-Ismail beat the Lib Dem councillor Vali Patel to become Bolton's first female Muslim councillor.
Naseem said, "Being an Asian woman it's been very difficult but I've given 100 per cent and I've worked hard over the last six months.
"I hope this will open the doors for a lot of Asian women to come forward and I hope it will encourage more women to stand at the next election.
"Asian women are part of the community, we have issues and it's about time we were heard."
Pendle almost had two Asian women councillors but Saba Iftikhar was pipped to the post by Labour's Mohammed Iqbal.
In Manchester, Maryam Khan the daughter of the Lord Mayor Afzal Mayor won the Longsight ward by polling 1687 votes.
Maryam said, "I feel honoured and privileged to be elected as the first British born Asian female and the youngest councillor for Manchester city.
"I will work hard to represent all the people of Longsight."
Also in Manchester Labour's Nilofar Siddiqi was newly elected for Gorton North.
However, Pendle Council also got it's first BNP councillor and Blackburn got two councillors from the England First Party a party which among other things believes that no black players should play for the England football team.
In Burnley the BNP gained one more seat giving it a total of seven on the council.