Councillor Dr Bharat Pankhania, a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, has been appointed the new Deputy Mayor of Bath.
The British Indian community champion with over 20 years of experience in Communicable Disease Control and Infectious disease management was elected to Bath & North East Somerset Council in 2019 to represent Combe Down Ward. He is best known for his relentless service during the Covid pandemic as the voice of reassurance for the community.
Dr Pankhania told iGlobal: "I wanted to inspire and encourage others to do what I have been doing. I was very concerned about the local politics and the global picture. So I thought, instead of talking about it, let me do something about it. And I stood for office in 2019, and I got elected. In 2023 I stood for office and got re-elected with an increased majority. So now I feel I have a platform of looking after the local people who have elected me and promoting good things locally, nationally and internationally.
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"And on Saturday, June 3, my City of Bath trustees unanimously raised their hands and said we would like to inaugurate Dr Bharat Ramji Nathoo Pankhania as their new Deputy Mayor. So it is a great accolade and shows that you can do things gently, kindly, honestly and sincerely. And this is what I am - gentle, kind, sincere, honest. I'll do a good day's work, even if I'm an elected politician."
Dr Pankhania's passion for public service is evident in his decision to enter the political arena. He brings a wealth of experience, combining his impressive medical background with a deep-rooted commitment to public service.
"Whilst I've been a public health doctor with expertise in all the issues that make human lives difficult or better - housing, transport, pollution, mental health. I find that by also being a person on the other side, in other words, as now an elected councillor, you can have a tremendous and positive impact if you are minded to do so. So my motivation was whilst I have been doing all these things to improve the health of people, I can also improve the health and well-being of people by being the decision maker as a politician," Dr Pankhania said.
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Motivated by a genuine desire to serve the people of Bath, he aims to utilize his skills and experience to address the city's most pressing needs. With a vision for a sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous Bath, Dr Pankhania is dedicated to addressing the city's challenges and unlocking its potential.
"I'm a son of a motor mechanic from Kenya. My grandfather was a carpenter. My mother is a farmer's daughter. No one in my family has ever been to university, and I think I was the first ever 'Doctor Pankhania'. So, I was given the opportunity to go to university. And because those opportunities existed, here I am, as somebody who has had a successful medical career.
"Many people have a lot of potential, and tragically that potential is usually never fulfilled. And I would like to be that ambassador to inspire, empower, and encourage people to achieve their full potential," he said.
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