New Saddleworth Parish Council Group Leader Promises Solutions Before Politics
Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 20 January 2020
New Lib Dem leader Sam Al-Hamdani, left, with outgoing leader Alan Belmore.
The new leader of Saddleworth Parish Council's biggest political group has pledged practical cross-party solutions will come before politics.
Sam Al-Hamdani, representing Springhead Lower, was unanimously chosen by Liberal Democrats councillors to replace outgoing leader Alan Belmore of Greenfield.
Born and bred in Saddleworth and living in Lees, Sam said: "Much of the practical work on the Parish Council is done by the committees, which means we have to work across parties as a team.
"While political leadership is important in determining the priorities of a council, at a parish level, we are largely delivering practical solutions in the area.
"It's important to recognise while there are times we can disagree on the politics, we don't let that get in the way of the practicalities."
Sam is a freelance designer and editor working for diverse clients, including the Fair Tax Mark, the World Health Organisation, Chambers of Commerce and the CBI.
"I'm delighted to have been chosen by my colleagues to lead the Liberal Democrats at this critical time for the Parish Council," he declared.
"There is so much more the Parish can and should be doing to create opportunities, involve local people and support and more sustainable environment.
"As the largest party on the council, the Liberal Dems will be showing leadership on the key decisions affecting Saddleworth over the next few years, ensuring the Parish Council stands up for the people in this area."
He added: "One of the best things about the Parish Council is our commitment to working together as a team. I look forward to working with colleagues of all political persuasions in the interests of Saddleworth."
Outgoing leader Alan Belmore is stepping down because of work commitments but will remain a councillor.
He said: "Sam is going to be a fantastic leader for Saddleworth - his campaigning, dedication and passion will make a huge difference on the council."
He continued: "We've had great success as Liberal Democrats on the Parish Council over the last four years, and I am particularly proud of passing a commitment to net zero emissions by 2035.
"We went from our lowest moment in 2015 where we were reduced to only six councillors to now being the largest party with nine on the council, able to make a real difference to people's lives in this area."
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