Telegraph View: Challenging change for good

Editor Nancy Fielder
Editor Nancy Fielder

We have a new lord mayor.

The youngest lord mayor we’ve ever had.

He has no intention of disrespecting the past, this is just a typical Sheffielder who wants to improve things for his city, and sees an opportunity to do so.

He is 28, – so youngest by 12 years no less. He is the first Green lord mayor, the first born in Somalia a nd the first to suggest Sheffield musicians should perform during breaks in council meetings. It doesn’t stop there. Magid Magid took on the role yesterday with both the Superman theme and The Imperial March from Star Wars played during the traditional mayor-making ceremony.

Not many local councillors have starred in reality shows, in his case Hunted on Channel 4. Magid may also be the first lord mayor to have sworn during his acceptance speech, in the nicest possible way when he thanked his mother for putting up with ‘challenges’ over the years. There are so many firsts I have probably missed some, but you get the gist. Magid wants to do things differently. Of all the firsts, his party’s delight is actually the least relevant in this non-political role.

We have had two brilliant women in post before Magid – Denise Fox and Anne Murphy. He has mighty big shoes to fill if he is going to have the same impact with charities, in communities and get round as many groups as they both did. But he certainly has the enthusiasm, desire and hope. Everything about Magid and the way he wants to be lord mayor makes me smile. It is also raising plenty of eyebrows and concerns from traditionalists. There is no need. He has no intention of disrespecting the past, this is just a typical Sheffielder who wants to improve things for his city, and sees an opportunity to do so.

He loves music, seizes any opportunity to help young people, is extremely proud of his Steel City, adores our heritage, wants to bang the drum for culture and wears his cap backwards.

There is nothing to be afraid of in that. Let’s instead get right behind Majid and delight in Sheffield’s ability to keep doing things differently.