Councilor Firas Miro won the Rother Vale seat in last May’s election, toppling Labor councilor Bob Walsh with 551 votes.
Councilor Miro said he wanted to get involved in politics “to see if anything could be done about Brexit”, after being “frustrated” with the process.
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Councilor Miro adds that he has become ‘more frustrated’ with the government and Brexit, ‘as I felt I really needed to get personally involved in politics at whatever level I could. , I try to make a difference in what is happening.
He started working with the Liberal Democrats in Rotherham in 2019 after the general election and is now one of four Liberal Democrats on Rotherham Council, including three doctors.
Councilor Miro left his native Syria to study medicine at St Andrews University, graduating from Keele University before moving to Waverley last August to work at Rotherham Hospital as an acute medicine registrar.
Councilor Miro felt ‘angry’ ahead of the last general election, with ‘the amount of lies and deceit going on’ around Brexit.
Councilor Miro said: “I thought I personally had to do something to try to prevent this from happening if possible. And it kind of seemed possible just before the 2019 election.”
Councilor Miro said he was concerned about the long-term effects of Brexit, such as “the consequences in terms of travel, and the possibility of living, studying and working in Europe, as trade is more difficult leading to the inflation and the potential pressure on the NHS, after EU doctors and nurses leave the country”.
He added: “For example, we hear a lot about British expats who now have to leave Spain in large numbers because it is no longer viable for them to live there.
“It will lead to a greater burden on the NHS just as it fails to cope with its current workload due to more than a decade of Conservative government cuts and austerity.”
“The NHS is going to start having to take these people back with all the chronic conditions we have, most of them are elderly people.
“And that will increase the pressure on the winter situation, because we have more illnesses in winter, the Covid situation.”
Speaking about the conditions in his native Syria which he has not been able to visit since 2010 due to the security situation, Councilor Miro said: “there is really no future, because the cost of living is so high and people of working age are getting out of the country as soon as they get the chance”.
“Damascus Airport [is] pretty much full of young men because there is no prospect of work or employment. Even if you were employed, transportation to and from work sometimes takes all the money you have.
“This is another reason why I wanted to be involved in the democratic process of this country, because it is something that large sections of the Syrian population do not experience at all, and I feel privileged to to be in the position that I currently occupy.
“In Syria it’s more like – forget about moving forward and just work for your food every day.”
Councilor Miro says he is proud to have won the election last May and is hopeful for the future on Rotherham Council.
“I will say that I am very proud of the recent successes of the Liberal Democrats, and I hope that the next election will produce something like a coalition government between us and Labor which will restore some common sense to the political situation in this country. .
“I used to hear complaints from local people, and I hoped that by standing up I could potentially try to represent the interests of the local community.”
Some of the complaints he regularly hears include the lack of a local shop in the area meaning residents have to go to the Morrisons in Catcliffe, and although this is a national issue, the lack of accommodation important to accommodate families and better infrastructure.