Cllr Waseem Zaffar

Waseem Zaffar

Cllr Waseem Zaffar – Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness & Eqaulity

Cllr Waseem Zaffar is the Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality. Born and brought up in Lozells and East Handsworth Ward, the ward he now represents, Waseem was for many years a local magistrate, as well as  previously been the CEO of a local not-for-profit organisation and has had his community work recognised by a number of awards including an MBE for services to the voluntary sector.

Waseem’s Transparency, Openness and Equality portfolio is the first of its kind in the country. His role will see a massive transformation of how both citizens and corporate citizens interact with Birmingham City Council. Waseem will be delivering the Council’s commitment to open data and publishing information used to make decisions ensuring citizens can not just judge value for money for themselves, but will be encouraged to co-design services.

Aged just 15, Waseem joined the Labour party and began his lifelong commitment to working for his community. Since graduating with a degree in logistics from Aston University, Waseem has gained experience in a range of third sector roles. He has focussed on successfully bringing people together, from different faith groups to large corporates, including KPMG and RBS, local schools and grass root projects to improve their local communities.

In 2011, Waseem was honoured that the people of Lozells and East Handsworth elected him to be their Councillor with a massive 70% of the vote. He quickly set to work to serve his community by supporting the merger of South Birmingham College and City College Birmingham, which resulted in a £3m investment in the local campus. Waseem also worked with partners to develop a sports complex, now managed by the community via a community asset transfer, and has led projects to raise awareness, prevent and treat diabetes and TB.

Just one year after joining the Council, Waseem was elected as Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee (OSC) for Social Cohesion and Community Safety, then Chair of Districts and Public Engagement OSC and most recently Chair of Corporate Resources OSC. His reports have led to Birmingham being recognised as a City of Sanctuary, the commissioning of the Children’s Hospital to address the gap in provision of mental health services for 16 to 18 year olds and effectively embedding a culture of localism.

Waseem completed the LGA Institute of Management Leadership Academy programme and won the Chamberlain Files’ Person of the Year Award 2012.

He is also a Non-Executive Director at the Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust which includes City Hospital where he was born. At the Trust, he services on the Public Health and Equality Sub-Committee as well as Chairing the Charity Sub-Committee.

Always a proud Brummie, Waseem developed the successful 2015 Birmingham Heritage Week. He chaired the steering group that delivered over 100 local events, as well as a launch event in Parliament, celebrating the contributions of Brummies locally, nationally and internationally.

In 2015, Waseem was proud to be re-elected Councillor for Lozells and East Handsworth, with an increased majority. He lives in the ward with his family, is a Governor of the primary school he attended, member of Unite the Union, a lifelong (yet still optimistic) Aston Villa fan and enjoys spending Summer weekends playing cricket.

 

 

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