Rehana Ameer – the first Indian born woman elected to the Court of Common Council in 950 years of the City of London Corporation’s history
Indian born London businesswoman, Rehana Ameer, has been elected as a Councillor of Vintry ward in the City of London elections held on March 23rd 2017, as an independent candidate. She is also the first UK woman politician from Tamil Nadu. Rehana was born and raised in Chennai and had migrated to the UK to study MBA in International Business. She is a highly experienced IT business woman where she has successfully managed and delivered large, complex and multi-country IT and Business Transformation projects for multinational companies in the City and worldwide.
The City of London, also known as the Square Mile, is the financial district and historic centre of London. The City of London is the oldest continuous municipal democracy in the world and it predates Parliament. It supports London as the world’s leading international financial centre. It works in partnership with London’s communities to increase skills, employment and opportunities and enhances the capital’s culture, history and green spaces for Londoners. The City corporation is the richest local authority in the country, which controls the £1.3billion City Cash fund. The City of London is divided into 25 wards and elected councillors, including one elected Alderman, represent each ward.
As an elected Councillor Rehana’s key focus areas are road safety, improved air quality, mental health and well-being, safer City and better representation of ‘All’ types of businesses as part of the Brexit negotiations. As she comes from a business background she is very keen in supporting and promoting The City’s businesses in international markets and to develop the City’s presence overseas. She has been appointed to the Planning and Transportation Committee, Markets Committee and Community & Children’s Services Committee within her role as Common Councilman of the City of London Corporation.
You can follow Rehana on twitter @TheRehanaAmeer or visit her website www.rehanaameer.com
She owes her success to the strong support of her husband and her 2 children who supported her and believed in her in every step of her career growth. She is thankful to her parents who laid great emphasis on education and had given her the best schooling because of which she had a strong foundation in acquiring superlative communication skills. Not only that she believes that her strong academic background and Corporate Leadership experiences had equipped her with tremendous confidence and has given her a range of transferrable skills which prepared her well to enter into politics and take up a public service role.
Rehana Ameer wore the Indian Saree first time ever to the Court of Common Council during her ceremonial introduction to the Court on 27th April 2017, symbolising the diversity of the City of London and also marking the celebration of the UK India Year of Culture – 2017
Detailed information about Rehana Ameer
Rehana Ameer was born in Chennai (Triplicane) . Her late father Ameer was a jeweller and mother Jameela Ameer is a housewife. Rehana is 43 years old. She studied high school at St.Williams Anglo India High School (branch of Church Park presentation convent) and studied her higher Secondary in Adarsh Vidyalaya Higher secondary School in Peters Road. She studied BSC Zoology in JBAS women’s college (1991 to 1994). She married Masood Hadi a Chennai businessman in December 1994. She has deep passion for education and in pursuit of her academic aspirations she went to London to do her MBA after 9 years of marriage and being a mother of 2 children. She studied MBA in International Business from the University of East London in 2003. She has done several IT certifications such as SAP, PRINCE2, MSP, Agile Scrum Master, TOGAF, Change Management, ITIL V3, ISEB PPSO and Cloud Computing. After moving to London she started her Company Prosap Technologies Limited in 2011 (an IT and Engineering Consulting Company) . She has over 20 years of experience in IT. She is a mentor and an advisor to small businesses in London especially women who are keen in exploring business opportunities in UK and internationally. She also runs a small retail business in West London. She always had a keen interest in politics since her teenage years. She joined the Labour party in 2016. In order to gain the required skills she applied to the Fabian Women’s Network Mentoring Programme in July 2016 a highly competitive Political education programme offered by the Fabian Women’s Network where she was under the mentorship of Ruth Cadbury a Labour party MP of Brentford and Isleworth. Rehana aspired to join UK politics and in pursuit of her interest she decided to contest in the City of London Corporation election. She submitted her nomination to the ward of Vintry in the City of London Corporation as an Independent candidate.
Why did she seek election?
Rehana wanted to seek public office to help give back to the City of London that had supported her and helped her to make a successful business career. She is passionate to work diligently, with energy on behalf of all those living, working or doing business within the City’s diverse and international community.
What does she want to achieve?
Rehana believes that with her “can-do” and “result oriented” attitude she will work tirelessly at Guildhall on your behalf to get the grass-root level issues such as clean streets, free flowing traffic, road safety, mental health and well-being, 21st century infrastructure, safer city and air that is safe to breathe are addressed with transparency and accountability. She is confident that her diverse professional background, ideas and energy, coupled with a commitment to improved Councillor accountability best position her to ensure the City focuses on these, and ensures your voice is heard when you need it to be. And that success will always be underpinned by integrity and honour.
About the election
The Vintry ward is one of the 25 wards of the City of London, is the surrounding area of Mansion House underground station, Cannon Street underground station within the City end of the Southwark Bridge overlooking the River Thames. Rehana contested against a slate of 2 Englishmen who were sitting Councillors together for 50 years. (one candidate was a councillor for last 35 years and the other was a councillor last 15 years) .The election campaign was a tough one to compete against candidates who were well known in the area for several years. Rehana is a very bold and confident woman whose election message was very simple and direct. Her campaign USP was around “as a fresh independent voice in building a better working City with transparency and accountability”. The Vintry ward has 2 councillors, Rehana and one of the 2 slate candidates Tom Hoffman won the election on 23rd March 2017. The elected term is for 4 years.
Unique Characteristics of the City
The City of London in numbers
Permanent residents: 7,400 (2011 Census)
People who work in the City: 450,000 (Source: City of London Corporation)
Number of registered voters: 18,983 (Source: City of London Corporation)
Council wards: 25
Common Councillors: 100
Lord Mayor chosen from amongst the aldermen
The City is known for its financial institutions but bodies qualifying for a vote include shops, bars, restaurants, charities and even churches and hospital trusts. They vote exactly the same way as residents do – as individuals in the privacy of the polling booth casting a secret ballot. The votes allocated to a business are proportional to their number of employees – the first 50 staff entitles a business to appoint 10 voters, but every additional 50 members of staff only entitle it to appoint an extra one voter, so the largest firms do not dominate the list of voters as they could do if it was a simple proportional representation of their workforce size. The City of London’s contribution to the UK’s national income (or Gross Value Added, GVA) is estimated at £48.1bn in 2014 (3% of UK’s and 13% of London’s output), while London accounts for £364bn or 22.5% of the UK’s GVA. The City has its own police force.
The Queen needs permission to enter the City of London
The Queen may be the head of state for the United Kingdom as well as countries such as Canada and Australia, but Queen Elizabeth II is not allowed to enter the City of London without permission from the Lord Mayor. The royal website states: “The citizens of London, through the Corporation of the City, still retain their ancient privilege of being able to bar the Sovereign from entering their streets.” Although if she ever did decide she fancied a jaunt to Liverpool Street, we’re sure the Queen would be more than welcome.