A new Lord Mayor has been appointed for the city of Stoke-on-Trent. Conservative Councillor Chandra Kanneganti, a senior partner at Goldenhill Medical Centre and councillor for Goldenhill and Sandyford, has taken up the civic post from today.
Cllr Kanneganti has served as Deputy Lord Mayor since July 2020. First elected back in May 2019, he was born in India in 1975 and emigrated to the UK in 2002 to work as a doctor in the NHS. He became a GP in 2006 and has worked as a senior partner at Goldenhill Medical Centre since 2007. He also manages Middleport Medical Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.
Inaugurated in a ceremony that took place today in the King’s Hall in Stoke, Cllr Kanneganti is looking forward to his time as Stoke-on-Trent’s first citizen.
Cllr Kanneganti said: “Coronavirus has permeated everything that we do. As we emerge from lockdown I’m so pleased to take up the position of Lord Mayor. I’m hopeful to help bring stability and to be able to undertake a cautious return to the ceremonial elements of the role throughout the year.
“One of my aims through my time as Lord Mayor is to raise the profile of the city. I love it here and am determined to do all I can to advocate and celebrate Stoke-on-Trent as the brilliant place that it is. I know no matter what faith, race or background you come from, I have felt so welcome here and want to share that welcome during my time in office.
“At the same time given my background in health, I want to be able to support people through the aftermath of this dreadful disease so have chosen the University Hospital North Midlands (UHNM) Charity and the Hubb Foundation – both of which were amazing through the pandemic – to be my chosen charities.
“I’m hopeful for exciting times ahead and that I can contribute toward civic duties in a way that combines the best of traditions with new opportunities. I’m humbled to be the first citizen and honoured to be able to take up a role of such significance for the city.
“I’m also keen to use technology and want to engage with citizens online and raise the profile of the Lord Mayor during the next year. If people have any suggestions for what they’d like to see or where they would like me to visit, I’d urge them to get in touch.”
Lisa Thomson, UHNM director of communications and charity said: I would like to officially thank cllr Kanneganti for thinking of us and especially for making the UHNM one of his chosen charities as he becomes Lord Mayor. This will mean a great deal to our staff and our patients.”
Adam Yates, who heads up the Hubb Foundation, said: “Thank you for the support with the Hubb Foundation. Our charity coordinates and commissions food and sessions throughout the city to provide support to children and families. Sessions include sports, arts and crafts, enrichment activities, adult accredited courses and workshops to educate and support mental health, wellbeing and lifestyle.
“In addition to this, we support families and community groups with slow cooker projects to provide meals with the added value of the sustainability element promoting healthy eating.
“Using your funding, the Hubb will continue its work to develop and offer further support to the most disadvantaged families in the city as well as offering small grants to local sports and cricket clubs in the city to help them recover from the difficulties they’ve faced in the last year.”
Cllr Kanneganti graduated from medical school in 1999, and has a number of qualifications including being a Fellow of the Royal College of GP’s (FRCGP) and a master’s degree in Medical Leadership from Warwick University. He is currently Secretary of the North Staffs Local Medical Committee, representing all GPs in North Staffordshire.
Cllr Kanneganti lives with his wife Sai, and three boys Yatin, Amar and Jai, in Stoke. Sai is to become Lady Mayoress while his son Yatin will act as Consort for the next 12 months.
Conservative Councillor Faisal Hussain has been appointed as Deputy Lord Mayor for the city council. He is a councillor for the Meir South Ward and is a self-employed businessman who is director of a small transport company and is a fourth generation British Kashmiri. Cllr Hussain lives with his wife Nazma and their three children.
It is the first time in the city’s history that both offices of Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor are held by Conservative Councillors, and the first time both offices are held by someone of Asian heritage.