Born and brought up in Lozells and East Handsworth Ward, the ward he now represents, Councillor Waseem Zaffar was for many years a local magistrate, as well as the CEO of a local not-for-profit organisation and has had his community work recognised by a number of awards including an MBE for services to the voluntary sector.
He is also a Non-Executive Director at the Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust which includes City Hospital where he was born. At the Trust, he serves on the Public Health and Equality Sub-Committee as well as Chairing the Charity Sub-Committee.
Aged just 15, Waseem joined the Labour Party and began his lifelong commitment to working for his community. Since graduating with a degree in Logistics from Aston University, Waseem has gained experience in a range of third sector roles. He has focussed on successfully bringing people together, from different faith groups to large corporations, including KPMG and RBS, local schools and grass root projects to improve their local communities.
In 2011, Waseem was honoured that the people of Lozells and East Handsworth elected him to be their Councillor with a massive 70% of the vote. He quickly set to work to serve his community by supporting the merger of South Birmingham College and City College Birmingham, which resulted in a £3m investment in the local campus. Waseem also worked with partners to develop a sports complex, now managed by the community via a community asset transfer, and has led projects to raise awareness, prevent and treat diabetes and TB.
Always a proud Brummie, Waseem developed the successful Birmingham Heritage Week which has just completed its third year. He chaired the steering group that delivered over 150 local events each year, as well as a launch event in Parliament, celebrating the contributions of Brummies locally, nationally and internationally.
In 2015, Waseem was proud to be re-elected Councillor for Lozells and East Handsworth, with an increased majority. He lives in the ward with his family, is a Governor of the primary school he attended, member of Unite the Union, a lifelong (yet still optimistic) Aston Villa fan and enjoys spending summer weekends playing cricket.
Just one year after joining the Council, Waseem was elected as Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee (OSC) for Social Cohesion and Community Safety, then Chair of Districts and Public Engagement OSC and most recently Chair of Corporate Resources OSC. His reports have led to Birmingham being recognised as a City of Sanctuary, the commissioning of the Children’s Hospital to address the gap in provision of mental health services for 16 to 18 year olds and effectively embedding a culture of localism.
Waseem Zaffar was the Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality between May 2016 and March 2017. His previous role was to see a massive transformation of how both citizens and corporate citizens interact with Birmingham City Council. Waseem worked to deliver the Council’s commitment to open data and publishing information used to make decisions ensuring citizens can not just judge value for money for themselves, but will be encouraged to co-design services.
Waseem completed the LGA Institute of Management Leadership Academy programme and won the Chamberlain Files’ Person of the Year Award 2012.
Waseem’s roles in the community have included: Director of Birmingham Tribunal Unit; Advisor to the Board of Directors of National Youth Works Board; Grant Awarding Panel Member for Birmingham Foundation; Grant Awarding Panel Member for Community Champions; Management Committee Member of Holte Leisure Centre; Chairman of North East Lozells Neighbourhood Watch; Chairman of Handsworth Central Neighbourhood Forum; Community Crime Fighter (Home Office Approved); Union Learning Representative for Unite the Union (Birmingham Private Hire Drivers); Founder Member of Independent Advisory Group for Taxi Sector; West Midlands Police and Branch Organiser for Unite the Union [Birmingham Private Hire Drivers].
Waseem’s Community awards have included: Community Foundation Public Servant of the Year 2014; West Midlands Police Community Thank You Award 2014; West Midlands Police Muslim Police Special Recognition Award 2013; Winner of Lozells Community Awards 2010 Above & Beyond the Call of Duty Award and Winner of United Streets of Birmingham Role Model Award 2009.