FORMER Leamington mayor Mota Singh has been honoured for his dedicated service to the town.
Current mayor Bill Gifford presented Mota with a certificate and commemorative glassware this week in recognition of more than quarter of a century serving as a councillor, before he retired from politics in May.
The long time Labour councillor served on Leamington Town Council for 16 years, and on Warwickshire County Council for 26 years, becoming the latter’s first Indian member when elected in 1985.
Mota said: “I wish to thank my party, the Labour Party, for giving me this opportunity to serve the community first as a county councillor then as a town councillor.
“I feel proud that for 40 years I have delivered good service to my community as an elected councillor. Maybe now that I am older I cannot run with the same speed. But my service to the community will continue.”
A significant legacy of his work with the community has been the Buwan Kothi International Trust established in 2006 to raise funds for projects in Haryana, a rural community in India.
The trust was established to assist with rural regeneration and building closer ties with rural communities in the state, directed at all times by the priorities of the people living in the communities.
The charity’s major objective was always to raise funds to build a primary school, and this was given greater impetus by the sudden death of Mota’s son Gilly – one of the founding trustees in 2007.
Following Gilly’s death, Mota worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the trust through the UK registered charity and was instrumental in securing funding that led to the completion of the Community School envisaged by Gilly.
The Gilly Mundy Memorial School opened in 2008 admitting 100 pupils. It is now a co-educational registered school run on a not-for-profit basis.
Pupils attend from over 20 villages, transported daily by six buses provided by the school. Those parents who pay fees are charged less than other like for like institutions, and as part of its mission, the school provides assisted places so a minimum of 15 per cent of children from unprivileged backgrounds can have the same education as those from wealthier families.
The school also rejects discrimination on the basis of class, casts, religion or gender.
Mota is much focused on the continued success of the project as chair of trustees and chairman of the management committee of the school.
Mota was working as a postman when he was first elected as a councillor to the county council.
He served as the authority’s chairman and was also chairman of the Warwickshire Police Authority twice during his 21 years. At the county council he also held many other posts in social services and education. He retired as a county councillor in 2009.
He was elected on to Leamington Town Council in 2003 and became mayor of the town the following year.
Mota said one of his proudest moments as mayor was when he travelled to Bo in Sierra Leone to sign the friendship link between the West African city and Leamington which is supported by the One World Link charity and thrives to this day.
Away from politics and public service Mota’s other passion is for writing and Punjabi poetry.
He has published three books of poems so far which have been used in University teachings and written political articles for several newspapers in Northern India.