The Executive Operations Manager at Wessex Water, Mohammed Saddiq – who lives at Midford near Bath – has been appointed as the new Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset. He will take over from Annie Maw when she retires at the end of October.
Mr Saddiq’s parents came to England in the late 60s from a small village in Pakistan, setting up a new home in Leeds.
“They came here with virtually nothing but they had such a strong work ethic,” said Mr Saddiq. “I was born in Leeds and my parents were always encouraging me to do well at school, to help create a good life for myself. I became the first member of our family to go to university.”
That was to lead to a long and successful business career in the water, waste and renewables sectors. He has held a number of senior engineering and management positions in those sectors over the past 30 years.
Mr Saddiq, who is 52, now lives in Midford near Bath with his wife Paula and five children.
Sustainability and care for the environment have always been passions in his life. In 2012 he received the Institute of Directors South West Corporate Responsibility Director Award and in 2020 he was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of the West of England for enhancing the sustainable development of Bristol.
Mr Saddiq also set up a partnership with Wessex Water and The Prince’s Trust to help mentor young people, who found themselves in difficult circumstances, to secure employment and even establish their own businesses.
Outside of work he has many charitable interests. He is deputy chair of the Board of Trustees at Bristol University, chair of the Bristol Future Talent Project (which works with local businesses to provide work experience and mentoring support to students from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds), independent chair of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC and trustee of the cancer care charity Penny Brohn UK. He is also a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers and vice chair of governors at Montpellier High School.
On taking up the role of Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Saddiq says: “It is a tremendous honour for me. I’ve always thought it is important to remember where you’ve come from. I’m in a privileged position now and it’s important for me to give something back to the community and the country which has given me so much.
“I’m grateful too to my company for allowing me to accept this important public role, supporting the Royal Family in Somerset.”
Mr Saddiq says he is particularly keen to use his new position to engage with the business community and voluntary sector in Somerset and support them in any way he can.
“Given where the economy is right now, anything the Lieutenancy can do to just ‘move the needle’ has to be a good thing.”