Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Mohammed Azim
The Lord Mayor, Mohammed Azim was born in Pakistan (Azad Jammue in Kashmir). His early life was spent learning, removing barriers, helping the community and trying to improve circumstances for them.
Whilst in Pakistan the Lord Mayor met and married his wife. They had four children; and, coming from a humble background, they are especially proud of their children’s’ achievements.
After arriving in the UK his first employment was at a metal engineering firm based in Aston. He worked tirelessly there and was soon promoted to Shift Foreman. In this position he trained a large number of people and as a result ended up being elected as a Shop Steward. He was very committed to this role and worked to improve conditions and safety in the work place.
Councillor Azim quickly learned about the severe deprivation and inequality across inner city Birmingham in the 1980s and volunteered to support many campaigns to promote social justice and equality for all. At this point he understood the importance of secure employment, which in turn provided stability and resilience for families and communities. As a result he spent many hours helping the people of Birmingham to find employment and achieve stability and independence.
In 1992 the Lord Mayor took his first steps into politics to see if he could create change and influence decision-making processes to improve his local neighbourhoods and communities. This period taught him the value of building relationships and mobilising communities to take the lead on local issues, creating a movement or a voice on issues such as health, education and the barriers faced by those living in extreme deprivation.
In 2000 Councillor Azim opened a restaurant which provided a platform to work more closely with the local community and over time this became a place for people to bring their problems; and for him to try and resolve them. This began the process of gaining experience, knowledge and understanding on many issues in the community, which allowed him to become a voice for others and to becoming a Councillor in Sparkbrook in 2004.
He believes lessons are learnt by sharing experiences; so when on 28 July 2005 the area was struck by a tornado causing millions pounds of damage, the community rallied together in the face of adversity to rebuild and improve the area known as ‘The Balti Triangle’. He considered it a privilege to be part of the community at this time and to be involved in the eventual transformation of this area.
In 2012 Councillor Azim was re-elected as Councillor for the Sparkbrook Ward and worked passionately, campaigning on local issues and working with residents to improve the local area. One example was the creation of the Sparkbrook Health and Community Centre, which was a £14 million investment and part of a project to improve health inequalities. It was made possible by the hard work of local residents and now leaves a legacy for future generations.
The Lord Mayor lives to serve others in the community; he has been doing this for the last 50 years and wants to continue with the same passion and dedication for all citizens of this great City. As Lord Mayor he wants to follow in the same steps as the first Mayor back in 1838, William Scholefield, and subsequently the first Lord Mayor, Sir James Smith, in 1896 and the Lord Mayors since; to uphold and carry out the office of Lord Mayor with dignity and honour.
Dietary requirements: Halal or vegetarian