• Sunday, June 23, 2024


Shakil Ahmed sworn in as new mayor of Rochdale

Ahmed will be joined by his wife and consort Robina Bi and fellow Kingsway councillor Rachel Massey as mayoresses

Shakil Ahmed (Photo: LDRS)

By: George Lythgoe

ROCHDALE has officially sworn in their new mayor councillor Shakil Ahmed, who has taken the mantle from the outgoing councillor Michael Holly.

Before passing on the mayoral chains to the Kingsway ward member, Holly declared how his time as ceremonial mayor had been an incredible privilege and enjoyable. With a setting as grand as the great hall within Rochdale Town Hall, Ahmed could not have asked for a better introduction to life as mayor.

The new mayor, making his address after being applauded into the great hall in his mayoral robes, stated: “I am honoured to stand before you in this historic town hall of Rochdale. This is a very special time for me in my life.

“I love this borough. I am proud to call myself a Rochdalian.

“I have a passion for speaking up for the people in my community. To become mayor is a great honour for me, my friends and my family.

“My only regret is that my late mother and late father could not be here to witness this special moment.

“This is a moment I will never forget.”

Ahmed will be joined by his wife and consort Robina Bi and fellow Kingsway councillor Rachel Massey as mayoresses.

Councillor Janet Emsley, who was deputy leader of the council before last night, will also be part of the mayoral team after being voted in as deputy mayor for the coming year.

Councillor Neil Emmott, leading the congratulations to the new mayor, told the audience in the town hall: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that Shakil Ahmed will become our new mayor for the upcoming municipal year.

“I feel certain he will be an excellent mayor this year and will be ably supported by his mayoral team.”

Adding a message of support, councillor Stephen Anstee, on behalf of the Conservative group, described Ahmed as a dedicated servant to the people of Rochdale.

Ahmed has been a Rochdale councillor since 2012 representing the Kingsway ward and is known for his role as chair of the planning and licensing committee. He will be replaced as chair of planning by Aftab Hussain.

The Kashmir-born Rochdalian was a bus driver in a previous life before he turned to operating HGVs. The former Broadfield High School student even became a key worker during the coronavirus pandemic, delivering goods and supporting local residents and community organisations.

(Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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