Oldham Council’s Deputy Leader has received his MBE at Buckingham Palace.
Cllr Abdul Jabbar, who has been a councillor for more than 20 years, was given the royal appointment for his services to local government.
The former Breeze Hill and Oldham College pupil, who moved to Oldham from Bangladesh at the age of 12, has held a range of key roles in service of the town, acting as chairman of the town’s Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee, cabinet member for adult social care and cabinet member for finance.
He is also the youngest-ever Mayor of Oldham, being awarded the accolade in 2004/05.
He is married with three children, all of whom were present to share in the special day.
Cllr Jabbar said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to have been presented with an MBE for my work in local government.
“Although I have been recognised individually, this is truly an award for Oldham. I could not have achieved anything without the support of our fantastic community.
“In the face of ever-increasing cuts to funding we are building a better Oldham for everyone and we’re doing it together.
“For me, the spirit of Oldham’s people is unrivalled. And I’m just one of the thousands of people here fighting for this remarkable town.”
Cllr Jabbar’s life in public service began at a young age.
As a teenager he founded the Oldham Bangladeshi Youth Association to provide sporting activities for young people.
He later assisted the Oldham Bangladeshi Association in its work and helped to secure the funding for the Association’s flagship Millennium Centre in Oldham.
An expert in housing management and policy, Cllr Jabbar has an MSc in Housing Management from the University of Salford and is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Housing and has also been able to put those expertise to good use.
He helped to form the AKSA Housing Association (now part of the New Charter Housing Group) in the mid 1980’s to address the housing needs of black and ethnic minority people.
A prolific community worker, he has extensive voluntary sector experience in the education sector too, serving as a secondary school and Oldham College governor, as a member of the Greater Manchester Learning and Skills Council and on the board of the Local Government Information Unit.
In his Mayoral year he established a charity called Oldham Education Trust which gives bursaries and awards to encourage and inspire students of all communities of Oldham to reach their full academic potential.