Somalilandsun – First elected Councillor in 2010, Dr Abdilahi Haji Ahmed Guleid is now the first black deputy mayor of Ealing Council and poised to become the very first black mayor of Ealing Council of London in early 2019
Having went to the United Kingdom for university studies over four decades ago and settled in London Councillor Abdilahi visited Somaliland, his home of origin where his expertise as a member of British Local government authority was much in demand not to mention his background in bio-chemistry.
Councillor Abdilahi who is a member of the Labour Party represents Acton Ward in the Ealing Council of Greater London
At a meeting with senior officials of the Somaliland Ministry of Interior in Hargeisa, organized by Prof Eid Ali Ahmed, who is a consultant to the ministerof ministry of interior, the Ealing Council member shared good and best practice of local Governance methodologies with participants.
The meeting which was officially opened by the deputy interior minister Rt HonMohamed Muse Diriye saw the visiting British Somalilander get a first handbriefing on local government operational procedures from the participating interior ministry officials.
According to Councillor Abdilahi , British local councils are more attentive to issues related to planning, security and residents complaints though other issues especially provision of public services is utmost too.
“In my capacity as a Councillor I spent many of my working hours solving issues presented by residents of the ward I represent in the Ealing Council” revealed Councillor Abdilahi as it became obvious that within Somaliland local council residents pursue help at their respective local councils from a member who is from their clan.
This it was unanimously agreed upon as a result of prevalent status in the Somaliland election laws which do not facilitate wards or constituencies in local government and parliamentary elections.
The absence of this distinct elective boundary ensues with for example the capital Hargeisa electing 21 members of the Local council elected on clan basis while its parent region Maroodi-jeeh elects its 20 members of parliament on both on regional and clan basis.
The interior ministry officials mostly within the local government and regional administration directorate showed a lot of interest in the community policing strategy described by Councillor Abdilahi as a means utilized by Local councils in the United Kingdom to supplement regular police.
“Community policing plays a very important role in securing safety for residents since they are selected from within their local communities, thence knowledgeable” informed the Ealing Councilman as it became apparent that Somaliland local councils do not have a streamlined system that integrates civilians in security work.
Another issue of interest to Somaliland local government officials was the strict adherence to planning as pertains any structural developments within British local councils
Stressing that any improvement to an existing building or construction of a new one MUST have approval from the relevant local council, Councillor Abdilahisaid that this approval is issued after all objections if any, by residents has been satiated.
In contrast it was revealed that while such approval is legally required inSomaliland , implementation is lackluster thence prevalent status where factories are established in residential areas while myriads of complains existing long after the contended structure has been erected.
Another poignant difference between UK and Somaliland local councilsoperations is the absence many public services provided by local governmentsin Somaliland.
For example British citizens are availed services like health, social services, education and security by local councils while in Somaliland these services are the preserve of the central government
“If the local councils are more involved in providing services to residents who are the body’s lifeline through tax payment , the many potholes in Hargeisa roads would not have been possible” said the British councilman.
The composition of committees within local councils and their importance to the smooth operation of operations was also touched and discussed in length
While briefing on his committees activities in the Ealing Council, Dr Abdilahi Ahmed Guleid also divulged how these committees are constituted and importance to council operations.
Below is the current and past Ealing Council committee membership by Councillor Abdilahi Ahmed Guled of Acton Ward
Current Committee Memberships
COMMITTEE ROLE. JOINING DATE
Acton Central Ward Forum Member 04 April 2013
Full Council Member 04 April 2013
Scrutiny Review Panel 3 (Air Quality)Member22 May 2018
Past Committee Memberships
COMMITTEE ROLE LEAVING DATE
(Scrutiny Review Panel 1 (Violence Against Women and Girls)MemberMay 2018
Scrutiny Review Panel 4 (Transport)Member02 May 2018
Health and Adult Social Services Standing Scrutiny PanelMember 09 May 2016
Scrutiny Review Panel 1 (Ealing 360 Degrees)Member09 May 2016
Scrutiny Review Panel 3 (Co-operative Enterprises)Member
Participants were officially introduced the visiting Councillor Abdilahi Ahmed Guleid prior to start of discussions the interior ministry by Prof Eid Ali Ahmed a fellow Briton and originally from Somaliland.
The interior ministry officials who were led by their deputy minister himself flanked by the Director General in charge of security Mukhtar Mohamed Aliand DG for Local Government and Regional Administration Abdi Ahmed Nourwere all departmental head levels.
Read: Prof Eid Ali Named 7th out of 100 Brilliant and Iconic of Black Wales
According to Prof Eid the meeting with the Councillor was fruitful for the country since it opens doors to other local government operational systems adding that “though our visitor is currently a public servant? he is also experienced in other aspects like bio-chemistry and investment.
Below is a brief history of Ealing Council Councillor Abdilahi Ahmed Guleid as presented by Prof Eid
Dr Abdilah graduated from London University with Bsc and MSc in Chemistry. Then he did Phd in Biomedical Pharmacology. He spent 35 years in Pharmaceutical and Diagnostic Pathology in major companies in UK, France, Belgium,Italy, USA and Japan.He then set up his own company and is a Fellow at the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of Society of Medicine.
He has been Councillor in London Ealing Council since 2010. He chaired the committee of Health and Social Affairs, being member of Urban Planning Committee and Corporate Committee for Parents with Children in Care. For a year he was Mental Health Champion and he supported financially SomalilandMental Health Support Organisation based in Cardiff which re-built the Mental Health Wards in the Hargeisa Group Hospital.
According to Prof Eid Ali the Councillor is also very involved in chart learning work for benefit of his home of origin, Somaliland
Detailing the charitable work of the Councillor, Prof Eid revealed that
Dr Abdillahi has been in voluntary work supporting Somaliland Mental Health Support Organisation (https://www.somalilandmentalhealth.com) and also he is Board Member of Darlington Gacmadheer Foundation (http://www.darlingtongacmadherefoundation.org) for the development of Somaliland education for supporting the best of the best of Secondary School graduates to study at Somaliland Universities and also supporting postgraduatescholarship for Somalilanders to study at UK Cambridge University.
After conclusion of meeting at the interior ministry board room participating ministry officials requested Councillor Abdilahi to share his experiences with members of the Hargeisa Local Council
Upon thanking the visiting British councilman for his time and expertise the interior ministry director general for Local Government and Regional Administration Abdi Ahmed Nour promised a deep study of recommendations