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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Ex-Gurkha becomes town councillor
Councillor Dhan Gurung
Councillor Gurung is a new Lib Dem member of Folkestone Town Council
The first Gurkha councillor to take office in Britain has promised to represent the whole community in his east Kent constituency.

Councillor Dhan Gurung, 39, was voted on to Folkestone Town Council in last Thursday's local elections.

He served as a Gurkha in the British Army for nearly 20 years before retiring in 2004.

He took up citizenship in Britain after leaving the Army, allowing him to stand as a candidate in the elections.

Gurkha soldiers have been based at Shornecliffe Barracks in Folkestone since 2003.

Mr Gurung, a father-of-two, still lives close to the base.

I will be making sure that the Nepalese community and the wider community... enjoy each other's cultures
Councillor Dhan Gurung

He has served in Brunei, Bosnia and Sierra Leone, but is now turning his attention to the residents and businesses of Folkestone's Cheriton ward.

The new Liberal Democrat councillor said: "I will be making sure that the Nepalese community and the wider community get on well and enjoy each other's cultures.

"I have to look after all the street cleaning and environmental issues.

"I will also look to try to provide more police patrols around the area to reduce crime activity and anti-social behaviour."

Retired Gurkhas can apply for a British passport, but campaigners want the rule to be extended across the board so that other ex-soldiers can be eligible to vote or stand for public office.


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BBC South East meets the first Gurkha councillor in Britain



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