The Lord Mayor

Lord Mayor 2018-2019 - Councillor Zafar Ali

Lord Mayor, Councillor Zafar Ali

Councillor Ali lives in Keighley but was born in Gujar Khan in the district of Rawalpindi, Pakistan and moved to the UK on 6th January 1965 at the age of 17.

Councillor Ali was educated in Pakistan and the UK and after his studies he worked in the textile field, first being a quality controller at the Colonial Combing Company in 1966 and later became a senior Technical Tester at Bradford’s Conditioning House and subsequently an engineer setter/operator.  Combining work with study, he attended Keighley Technical College to study Textile Technology and also took a course in Economic History and Accounts.  Other courses he undertook included Social Security Benefit Law, Discrimination Law, Immigration (in which he holds a diploma) and Welfare Law.

Between 1980 and 2000 he worked as a Community Relations Officer for the Community Relations Council and eventually became the Director of the Racial Equality Council in Keighley.  For many years he has been devoted to promoting equality of opportunity and harmony, bringing communities together and working towards the elimination of racism.  Councillor Ali holds a diploma in Community Relations from the University of Liverpool.

He was appointed as a non-executive director at the NHS Trust Airedale General Hospital, Steeton, Keighley and was also a manager at Lynfield Mount hospital, dealing with mental health appeals.

In 2002 he was appointed as NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) administrator by the High Commission for Pakistan at the Consulate of Pakistan, where the work involved setting-up the national identity cards system.

In 2007-2011 he was elected to represent Keighley Central Ward, and he was re-elected in 2015.  He has been the Chair of the Keighley Area Committee in 2010/11, 2016/17 and 2017/18 and was Deputy Chair in 2008/09 and 2009/10.  He was also a Keighley Town Councillor and  has served for thirty years as a Magistrate on the Keighley/Bradford Bench.

Councillor Ali and his wife have four sons and three daughters, all of whom are now adults. 

He was General Secretary and is Trustee at the mosque where he worships and is also Vice Chair of the governing body at Eastwood School, Keighley.

He has been the driving force behind a number of projects, including the construction of the first purpose-built mosque and the first purpose-built community centre in Keighley.  He was also involved in establishing the Keighley Asian Women’s and Children’s Centre in Keighley, the Sangat Day Centre and the Madrassa in the Highfield area of the town.  He has led numerous campaigns on a variety of issues from new school building in Keighley, a community centre in the Highfield area to immigration policies, health issues, poll tax, housing, employment and benefits, etc.

For many years he has derived his greatest pleasure from serving the people of Keighley and prides himself on being available to help people from all walks of life to the very best of his ability.

In his leisure time he enjoys reading , volunteering, walking and has had six books of poetry published.

Holidays have been spent in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.  Charities close to his heart include those centred around cancer, stroke and heart disease. 

Councillor Ali eats only halal meat or vegetarian dishes and enjoys both tea and coffee.  He does not drink alcohol. 

Lady Mayoress - Mrs Zeabunnessa Zafar

Lady Mayoress, Mrs Zeabunnessa Zafar

Mrs Zafar was born in Gujar Khan in the district of Rawalpindi, Pakistan and is a housewife.

In her leisure time she has travelled to both Pakistan (for family visits) and Saudi Arabia (on pilgrimage) and chief among her interests is reading.

The Lady Mayoress eats only halal meat or vegetarian dishes and drinks both tea and coffee.  Her favourite flowers are roses.

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Contact details

The Lord Mayor's Office
2nd Floor
City Hall
West Yorkshire

Phone : 01274 432276
Phone : 01274 432283
Phone : 01274 434398
Email :

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