Wolverhampton councillor to become city's first African-Caribbean mayor

A councillor is set to make history by becoming the first person of African-Caribbean heritage to become the mayor of Wolverhampton at a special ceremony.

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE
Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE will take on the reigns from Councillor Greg Brackenridge and will be voted in at Wednesday night's annual council meeting.

It means the councillor, who has spent 40 years in the NHS, will be the eleventh woman in almost 200 years of history to become Wolverhampton's first citizen.

Councillor Samuels, who represents Ettingshall for Labour, said: "Becoming mayor of the city of Wolverhampton will be my life’s greatest honour and I am proud beyond words that my fellow city councillors are due to make me the first person of African-Caribbean heritage in 200 years to hold this most prestigious role.

"It is my sincere hope that wearing the mayoral ceremonial chains of office of our great city as a proud black lady will inspire others from underrepresented groups to believe in themselves and know that anything is possible.

"This is why the theme for my year in office will be ‘Dare to Dream’ - it’s the ability to hope and desire a better future.

"The city will have my unwavering commitment as mayor; there is so much to look forward to with Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and Wolverhampton’s participation as a venue in the Commonwealth Games.

"I’m so looking forward to being a hard-working ambassador for the people of this city, getting out and meeting them and celebrating the rich tapestry of our diverse communities.”

Councillor Samuels has worked in the health service as a nurse, theatre sister and manager. She has also been a trade union official, school governor, community activist and volunteer – and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to local government and politics.

Her consort during her mayoral year will be her husband of 40 years, Karl Samuels, while Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre is set to become deputy mayor for 2022-2023.

The new mayor will be raising money throughout the year for her three chosen charities which are the Wolverhampton African Caribbean Community Initiative, which provides mental health and suicide prevention services; Compton Care which provides palliative care, and Wolverhampton Sickle Cell Care and Activity Centre, which provides services for people with the genetic blood disorder.

It is customary that the nominated candidate for the politically neutral role of mayor has cross-party support and is voted into the office unopposed.

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