THE future Mayor of High Wycombe says it is an honour – and a huge relief – to see his name picked out of a hat to win the mayoral race.
Cllr Khalil Ahmed will succeed Mayor Cllr Trevor Snaith after the closest of races with opponent Cllr Brian Pearce on Tuesday night.
They were locked at 11 votes all and so the casting vote went to Mayor Snaith - but he could not split the pair, who had been nominated by their fellow Charter Trustees, so he opted to draw their names out of a hat.
Lady Luck was clearly smiling on Cllr Ahmed, as it will be he who wears the Mayoral chain in May.
Cllr Ahmed said: “The adrenalin certainly kicked in, it was an edge of your seat moment!
“I was prepared to accept whatever result came out; Trevor couldn’t decide so felt it was the fairest way to decide it and I have the upmost respect for Brian but I’m obviously delighted it was my name.
“It’s a great honour to have the chance to serve the town as mayor.”
The Labour councillor for the Disraeli ward said he had not yet had any thoughts about what events, initiatives or charities he would like to support during his mayoralty but plans to shadow the current mayor.
He said: “I’ve not yet made any plans but I plan to spend a bit of time with Cllr Snaith to get a flavour of what to expect as mayor and to pick up a few ideas. I’m really looking forward to it.”
It is the second time Cllr Pearce has missed out on a post on the drawing of names out of a hat. He lost out in the 2007 district elections to Val Razzaq after five recounts.
He said: "I had butterflies in my stomach - it's disappointing but I understand why Trevor did what he did. I wish Khalil well next year and went to shake his hand after the meeting."
Mayor Snaith said: “I have a lot of respect for both of them, I think they would both do a great job and so drawing out of a hat and leaving it down to luck was the fairest way to do it.”