A TREE has been planted in memory of a popular former Keighley councillor and Lord Mayor of Bradford.

Councillor Abid Hussain, who represented Keighley Central, died on Christmas Eve 2020 after contracting Covid-19.

An oak tree has been planted at Heaton Woods, Bradford, in his memory.

The ceremony was organised by West Yorkshire Deputy Lieutenant Dr Manoj Joshi and his wife Bhavna.

Among those joining members of the late Councillor Hussain's family at the event were the current Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Martin Love, former Keighley MP John Grogan and Mufti Khurshid Alam Sabri.

Dr Joshi said: "In the normal course of events, Abid would have planted a tree to mark his mayoral year.

"As chair of his mayoral charity committee in 2017-18 I worked very closely with him, raising thousands of pounds for charity and bringing communities together.

"I felt that his amazing work and unique legacy must be marked in some tangible manner, and the planting of an oak tree in beautiful Heaton Woods seemed a fitting tribute. It was done with much love and affection by the current Lord Mayor and Abid's son Councillor Mohsin Hussain, surrounded by family, councillors, friends and well wishers."

Councillor Mohsin Hussain, who like his father before him represents Keighley Central, said: "On behalf of my family, I'd like to thank Dr Manoj Joshi and Bhavna for organising the lovely, touching ceremony which reminded us all of the beautiful memories of my father."

Mr Grogan said: "Abid was a good friend and I often think about his contribution to Keighley and Bradford, particularly during his year as Lord Mayor.

"He was rightly proud of his heritage, but always interested to meet people from varied backgrounds. He spent his life bringing different groups together and solving problems."

In addition to the ceremony, a separate tree planting also took place to celebrate Dr Joshi's year as Rotary International District Governor for Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire in 2019-20.

During his term, which coincided with the pandemic, tens of thousands of pounds were raised for good causes and food and medical supplies were distributed, including support for care homes, GP practices, hospitals and the isolated and vulnerable.

Rotary has also led international efforts to eradicate polio.

"Manoj Joshi and his colleagues are getting close to achieving their goal that this should be the last generation of humanity affected by the terrible disease," said Mr Grogan.