New Barnet mayor sworn in with pledge to ‘serve borough’s diverse communities’

Nagus Narenthira says she is “honoured” to take on the civic role, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Nagus Narenthira

The new mayor of Barnet plans to work with fellow councillors and the community to make the borough “an even more vibrant and inclusive place for all”.

Nagus Narenthira, who represents Colindale South ward, said she was “deeply honoured” to become the 58th mayor of Barnet after being elected during the council’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday (23rd).

Born and brought up in Sri Lanka, she and her son came to the UK in 1987 to join her husband, who was then a student. In 1990, she joined Mill Hill County High School as a science and biology teacher and worked there for 27 years.

First elected as a councillor for Colindale in 2014, she has served on a range of committees, including planning; children, education and safeguarding; and community leadership and libraries.

Speaking after the AGM, Cllr Narenthira said: “I am deeply honoured to be appointed as mayor of the London borough of Barnet. Having lived in this wonderful borough for many years, I am committed to serving its diverse communities and working towards their betterment.

“I look forward to collaborating with fellow councillors and community members to make Barnet an even more vibrant and inclusive place for all.”

Cllr Narenthira is a member of the Labour group, but she was elected with the unanimous support of Labour and Conservative colleagues across the council chamber.

After being officially sworn in, she thanked a range of groups and individuals, including her friends and family, former mayor Alison Moore – who she served under as deputy mayor – and members of voluntary and community groups.

Cllr Narenthira paid tribute to her Sri Lankan community “for their hard work in the NHS and various other fields, contributing to the economy of the UK”.

She also praised the borough’s teachers, saying: “I know how hard they work. I see this every day as I represent them as a union representative. The reason Barnet is one of the best for education in this country is because of the dedication of the teachers to their profession.”

The new mayor’s chosen charities for the year are Homeless Action in Barnet, Young Lives vs Cancer, and The BYT Project, which provides help and resources for pupils at The Orion Primary School in Mill Hill and other schools.

The mayor’s escort will be her husband, Kan Narenthira. Labour councillor Tony Vourou will serve as deputy mayor, with his wife Caroline Vourou appointed to the role of deputy mayoress.

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