Lambeth Councillor puts Education First
by Tom Jones
This is the kind of story that proves that one man’s commitment is a powerful driver for change. Here, we talk about Councillor Adedamola Aminu of Lambeth, former Mayor and one of the busiest Councillor’s within his ward.
There isn’t much that Councillor Aminu doesn’t do. As he runs around the corridors of his district ward, answering calls from his constituents and pitching to businesses for further advancement, the Councillor also works as a lecturer, sits on the board of three schools and local bodies, and has raised over £4,000 for his charity of the year, the Girl Guide Network Worldwide.
“Politicians need to lead by example,” he says, when referring to what makes a role model. “They should not [be seen to] say something and do the opposite. They should learn to walk the talk.”
His journey into politics started many years ago in Nigeria. Aminu was involved in election polling in the 70s and 80s as a polling clerk and party agent at the time. In 2006, he was elected to represent the Tulse Hill Ward in London Borough of Lambeth.
In 2015, Aminu was recognised as an Honouree of the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award for his tireless work on school empowerment programmes. He has used his position to improve upon schools and positively encourage parents to participate in school boards. This not only allows parents to have a direct impact to their children’s education, but also teaches them with governance skills not widely offered in other areas.
Speaking on the subject, Aminu said: “As a lecturer, I contributed my time and experience to advice on how schools can improve their performance, by making sure that schools with good performance are paired with struggling schools to share good practice.” This level of initiative is greatly needed in a part of London that is often overlooked by local authorities. “During this period,” the Councillor notes, “our school in Lambeth improved with most of our schools judged [either] outstanding or good.”
His commitment to youth development extends far beyond the Councillor’s school work. Aminu is the trustee of both the Tayo Situ Foundation and the Association of British Nigerian Councillors, offering hours of out-of-office support. In an area like Lambeth, this is absolutely crucial, assisting with immigration cases and helping struggling businesses off the ground. He most recently worked to recognise the Latin American population in Lambeth by adding them to the ethnic mix, often missed out of diversity questionnaires typically used by the local council. We recognise this as an important step for cultural integration.
Upon receiving his award, Councillor Aminu reiterated that Grassroot Diplomat “…showcases individuals in our society who are doing good things that are not noticed. People appreciate [the] contribution I am making to society through my work as a politician, reaching out and helping people to resolve issues they may have with local authority.” For him, this is the best result for a local politician striving to serve his constituents to the best of his ability.