Council stalwart named in New Years Honours List
A council manager with responsibility for the borough’s libraries and community centres has been named in this year’s honours list.
Zoinul Abidin, Head of Universal Services has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen and awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to public libraries.
Zoinul has is responsible for libraries, community hubs, social prescribing, community food clubs, children centres, healthy lifestyles and a nursery.
Zoinul started working for the council in 2008 as Group Manager of Libraries. Under his leadership Dagenham Library was awarded the British Book Industry library of the year in 2016 and Barking Library was highly commended in 2017.
He developed and brought in a range of council and voluntary sector partners to work in libraries to enhance the role of the traditional library and his innovations have become widely recognised as best practise models.
Cllr Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, said: “This is wonderful and well deserved not just for Zoinul personally but for the whole borough.
“Zoinul’s passion for our different communities are second to none and he has been very influential in providing community organisations and other partner services with excellent working spaces in libraries and other premises.”
Outside of work he has a passion for the local community and sits on the committees of a number of voluntary organisations. Zoinul was recently appointed as a trustee to sit on The Reading Agency Board, a national charity promoting reading.
Three other people with links to the borough also got awards:
- Omair Ali Shah of Al Madina Mosque was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the local community during Covid-19.
- Terry Miller, the CEO of the Independent Living Agency was awarded an MBE for services to people with disabilities in Barking and Dagenham.
- Selasie Setufe, a Senior architect at Be First, the council’s regeneration company, was also made an MBE for her services to diversity in architecture. Selasie is a co-director of Black Females in Architecture.