Date published: 19 May 2010
Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Zulfiqar Ali
Councillor Zulfiqar Ali was sworn in as the new Mayor of Rochdale at the Mayor Making Ceremony at Rochdale Town Hall this evening.
Former Mayor and Mayoresses, MPs, Councillors and invited guests watched as last year’s Mayor Keith Swift handed over the chains of office to Councillor Ali.
Mayor Ali was born in Bradford in 1965 and spent his childhood years in Pakistan. He returned to England in 1975.
He attended Howarth Cross Primary School and Broadfield High School and then Rochdale College before starting work in the family business.
In 1987 he opened a clothing store in Sheffield and during this time he obtained A-levels and a Diploma in Business Management.
Most recently he had a clothes shop on Yorkshire Street.
Mayor Ali was first elected to the Council in 2004 and in 2009 was appointed Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families.
A governor for almost ten years, until 2009, at Greenbank Primary School, he was also a governor of West Riding Special School and is a director on the board of Unique Business Centre.
A proud family man, married to Shaheen Akthar (the new Mayoress), Mayor Ali’s interests outside politics are varied, from history to organising community events but his passion is architecture.
Speaking for the first time as Mayor, Mayor Ali said: “I never thought I would ever be mayor.
I wish to thank my wife, son, daughter, mother, father and sister for the support and encouragement they have given me.
The office of mayor is a huge privilege to hold; the chains are a symbol of responsibility.
When I look around this magnificent town hall, I think of the men and women who have gone before me, each had the common goal of serving the people of the Borough of Rochdale.
During my year in office, I intend to promote fairness, social justice and social cohesion.”
Quoting Martin Luther King, Mayor Ali went on to say: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
Mayor Ali’s chosen charities are Shopmobility and Parkinson’s UK.