Tarlochen Singh-Mohr said he hopes his appointment has opened the doors into local politics for not just those from different ethnic backgrounds, but all minority groups.
Having been asked to join Broseley Town Council after filming political rallies in 2015/16, Councillor Singh-Mohr went on to represent East ward and was appointed mayor in May 2020.
“I’m very proud to become the first BAME councillor and mayor in the history of Broseley,” said Councillor Singh-Mohr, 50.
“I think it’s extremely important to highlight as it gives people of all persuasions – not only ethnicity, but gender, people with disabilities and those who may be deemed different – a way of understanding and appreciating that positive change can take place.
“If I can become a leader with my own heritage then there’s no reason anyone with a different background can’t overcome the pressures and succeed – I’m not just an outsider to Broseley, I’m of a different ethnic makeup.”
A practicing Sikh, Councillor Singh-Mohr moved to Broseley eight years ago from Birmingham. His family moved to England from Punjab in the early 1960s due to labour shortages.
Despite “bad experiences” growing up in the 1970s, where he saw first-hand the segregation caused by National Front marches, Councillor Singh-Mohr said he had been able to tackle any recent issues by engaging in positive discussions.
“I believe in my faith, I wear a turban and have a beard, so to be the mayor of Broseley is not only an achievement for myself but a real step forward in terms of diversity and social inclusion,” he said.
Councillor Singh-Mohr’s focus during his year in office has been promoting tourism within Broseley.
Despite stepping down from the local authority to continue studies towards a PhD researching mixed marriages within the Sikh community, he intends to stay part of the numerous community groups around the town; some of which he formed.
Unable to fundraise over the last 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Councillor Singh-Mohr instead donated his mayor’s allowance to six charities benefiting the area.
He added: “I really hope I’ve given people the belief that anybody can become mayor.”