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Brent’s new Mayor vows to champion diversity and community

Cllr Orleen Hylton has been elected as the new Mayor of Brent, becoming the borough’s First Citizen at the Council’s Annual General Meeting held yesterday (17 May).

Brent, the neighbouring borough to Harrow, witnessed a historic moment as Cllr Hylton took over the chains of office from Cllr Abdi Aden in a ceremony attended by councillors and community representatives.

With a remarkable career spanning nearly 40 years of public service, Cllr Hylton began her journey at Brent Council, working her way up from a clerk to a personal assistant for various directors. She then took on the role of Principal Resident Involvement Officer, contributing to the exciting plans for the regeneration of South Kilburn.


Since 2007, Cllr Hylton has dedicated her time and efforts to volunteering extensively for the local community. Her involvement includes working with her local Residents’ Association and Chairing a Police Working Group. In 2014, she earned the trust of her constituents and was elected as a Councillor, representing the residents of Preston Ward.

One of Cllr Hylton’s notable achievements was organizing the first Windrush Gala event in Brent in 2019. The gala, which she hosted, not only raised funds for the Mayor’s charities but also supported the West Indian Self Effort (WISE). Additionally, she holds influential positions as the Vice Chair for the Women’s Forum, Vice Chair of Brent Co-Op, and Secretary of BAME Labour.

In her maiden mayoral speech, Cllr Hylton expressed her pride in Brent’s diversity, which sets it apart. She acknowledged the fact that nearly all of Brent’s residents speak a language other than English at home, with over 100 different languages being spoken in the borough alone. Her election as Brent’s First Citizen symbolizes the borough’s commitment to celebrating and embracing this vibrant multicultural tapestry.

Cllr Hylton emphasized the challenges that lie ahead but expressed her unwavering confidence in the dedicated team of Councillors and staff. She assured the community that she will work tirelessly, alongside her colleagues, to surpass expectations and deliver the best results for Brent’s diverse communities.

Cllr Hylton said, “No doubt there will be a lot of hard work ahead, but I am confident that given the current team of passionate, dedicated and committed Councillors and staff, we will succeed in working harder to exceed and achieve the best results for our communities.”

During her term as Mayor, Cllr Hylton will lend her support to two charities. The first is PLIAS Resettlement, a not-for-profit organization based in Brent that focuses on reducing re-offending by providing support, advice, and guidance to individuals with criminal convictions. The second is Preston Community Library, a vital community resource in Preston, Wembley, offering English language classes, computer classes, yoga, and other activities.

Cllr Abdi Aden, the outgoing Mayor, expressed his honour in serving Brent for the past year. He appreciated the opportunity to connect with the community and witness firsthand the remarkable diversity of culture and thought within the borough.

Cllr Aden also expressed his delight in the funds raised during his tenure, benefiting Hilltop Circle, Sufra NW London, and The Jason Roberts Foundation. These charities hold a special place in his heart, and he expressed his pride in contributing to the valuable work they do within the community.

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