Bradford Council has opened a book of condolence for former Mayor of Bradford Cllr Abid Hussain.

Cllr Hussain, represented the Keighley Central ward for a number of years, has sadly died of Covid-19.

Cllr Hussain was born in Mirpur in Pakistan and moved to the UK in 1971 aged 12, with his family. He was educated at Greenhead Grammar School in Keighley.

After leaving school he started his working life as an apprentice in textiles at British Mohair Spinners. He has a Management Diploma in Textiles, gained whilst studying at Bradford College. He left British Mohair Spinners to become a self-employed greengrocer and for the last ten years he has been self-employed as a travel agent.

He became a Labour councillor the Keighley Central Ward in 2010 and sat on a number of Council committees in his ten years as an elected member. He was currently Deputy Chair of the Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel and Keighley Area Committee, and a reserve member of the District Planning Panel.

He served as Lord Mayor of Bradford in 2017-18, during which time his Lord Mayor’s Appeal raised thousands of pounds for the Down Syndrome Training and Support Services in Bingley and the Wishing Well Appeal.

Cllr Hussain lived in Keighley and leaves a wife and seven children, two daughters and five sons. He had been married to his wife, Shahnaz Akhtar, since 1978. He came from a large family and had three brothers, two step-brothers and two step-sisters.

He was a devout Muslim and attended Markazi Jamia Masjid Mosque.

His funeral was held today, before he was laid to rest at Utley Cemetery.

The service was streamed by the Janaza Announcement page for those who were unable to attend due to Covid restrictions.

Bradford Council Leader, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, said: “Abid was a wonderful man and is such a loss to Keighley, the Labour Group, and to the district.  He was kind, hard-working and well-liked by all who knew him. He had compassion for others and showed humility which made him a very good councillor.

“On a personal level I will miss him greatly, he was a good friend and colleague. And we will all remember him for the great contribution he made when he served the district as Lord Mayor.  He was so proud of being a Keighley councillor in that role, and championed the town and district to all the people he met.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

The current Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Doreen Lee, said: “I am very shocked by the news. Abid, along with his wife, were great family friends. He was a very good man for the community in Keighley and they will all feel his loss, but personally I’ll also feel it very keenly. I was honoured to be his Deputy Lord Mayor during his civic year and my deep sympathies go out to his family.”

Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association in Keighley posted a tribute to him saying On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Community in Keighley our deepest condolences go out to the family of Cllr Abid Hussain the former Lord Mayor of Bradford. May God Almighty grant you a lofty station in paradise. Keighley has lost a great man. Our prayers are with the family.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Keighley tribute to Cllr Hussain
Javed Bashir, who lived and worked alongside Cllr Hussain for more than 40 years, said the councillor will be “greatly missed” by all who knew him, not just in Keighley but surrounding Bradford areas and back home in Pakistan.
Mr Bashir said: “He was a very good man. I’ve known him for the last 40 years. We live in the same sort of area in Keighley.
“He’s always lived in Keighley.
“He was very much a community person and very much liked by people in Keighley and elsewhere. He did a lot for the community.
“It’s a big tragedy.
“It’s a message for the community as well that nobody’s safe from Covid. He was the youngest of three brothers and he’s gone before them.
“It’s shocking. I’m sure he will be greatly missed by everybody.”
Councillor Zafar Ali expressed his sadness at the fellow councillor’s death, adding that he was “like my brother”.
Cllr Ali said: “I’ve lost one of my brothers.
He was very close to me. We worked together all the time. We were together for the benefit of the community. We never had any issues.
As such I’ve known him for the last 50 years, I brought him into politics some years ago.
He was a very nice, jolly fellow trying to help out wherever he can. I miss him. It’s very sad for me.
I would like to state, those people who just ignore the pandemic should take this very seriously. It’s not just a joke, it’s a very serious disease. My plea to people is whatever religion, whoever they are, as a human being you need to be cautious and take every precaution.
You need to stick to the Government guidelines. I know it’s a difficult time for everyone, it’s a very difficult time for every family but you need to follow the scientist’s and the Government’s advice in order to stop this virus.
He was just like my brother.”