A former nurse has become the first Black person to be appointed mayor of Wolverhampton.
Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE is the first politician of African Caribbean heritage to hold the post in 200 years. She is also the 11th female mayor of the city and hopes her appointment will inspire underrepresented groups.
Cllr Samuels will take over the role from Greg Brackenridge when councillors take a vote at the annual council meeting. "It will be my life's greatest honour," she said.
Her appointment follows the election of Joanne Anderson in Liverpool, who became the first Black woman to lead a major UK city as mayor in 2021. Ms Samuels said that she hoped to inspire others from underrepresented groups to believe in themselves and know that anything is possible.
She continued: "This is why the theme for my year in office will be ‘Dare to Dream’ - it's the ability to hope and desire a better future." Following a four-decade career working as a nurse, theatre sister and manager in the NHS, she became a councillor in 2004 and currently represents the Ettingshall ward for the Labour Party.
In 2015, she was presented with an OBE by the Queen for services to local government and politics. The new mayor's chosen charities will be Wolverhampton African Caribbean Community Initiative (ACCI), Compton Care and Wolverhampton Sickle Cell Care and Activity Centre.
Dr Michael Hardacre is set to become Deputy Mayor for 2022 to 2023.