Councillor Billy Sheerin is the new Mayor of Rochdale

Date published: 23 May 2019

Billy Sheerin was sworn in as the new Mayor of Rochdale 2019 – 2020 at the annual Mayor Making Ceremony on Wednesday (22 May) evening.

Held at Rochdale Town Hall, attendees included former mayors, Deputy Lieutenant Ian Sandiford, Members of Parliament, distinguished guests and councillors who watched in the Great Hall as the departing Mayor, Mohammed Zaman, handed the chain over to councillor Sheerin and his wife, Lynn Sheerin, the new Mayoress.


Mayor Making Ceremony 2019
Retiring Mayoress and Mayor's Consort, Naaira Zaman and Mohammed Sheraz, with the incoming Deputy Mayor and Mayoress, Aasim and Rifit Rashid


Councillor Shaun O’Neill welcomed Councillor Sheerin as the Mayor of Rochdale for the next municipal year, followed by Councillor Kieran Heakin, who seconded the election.


Mayor Billy Sheerin
Mayor Sheerin


Mayor Sheerin said: “I feel humbled to have been considered and accepted by my fellow elected members to serve in the position of Mayor of Rochdale, the borough that I love.

“I have had an excellent insight into my next 12 months of office from being deputy last year, and I will certainly try my best to follow in Zaman’s footsteps, even though I know they are very big boots to fill.

“I promise to work hard for the coming year; acting as an ambassador, promoting the area’s rich heritage, and encouraging investment for the benefit of all our citizens and thanking individuals and organisations that have brought success to our borough. I expect to visit lots of voluntary sector groups too.

“Many in need will benefit from the Mayor’s Charity Appeal and I will work hard to benefit all of the borough.”

This year the Mayor and Mayoress will be raising funds for:

  • Springhill Hospice
  • Leukaemia UK
  • Parkinson’s UK & Hydro Pool
  • Rochdale Shopmobility
  • M6 Theatre Company


Mayor and Mayoress, Billy Sheerin and Lynn Sheerin
Mayor and Mayoress, Billy Sheerin and Lynn Sheerin 


Mayor and Mayoress

Born in 1944 in Castleton, Billy Sheerin has represented Labour in the Castleton ward since 2012 and has been assistant to the portfolio holder for adult and social care since 2013. He is also the older person’s champion for the borough.

The youngest of three children, he attended St Gabriel’s RC School and Rochdale Technical College in his youth and has been involved in amateur dramatics for over 50 years; being a long-standing member of Rochdale’s Curtain Theatre as a producer and set builder, as well as being on the theatre’s board of trustees.

A lifelong practicing Christian and active member of St Gabriel’s and St John the Baptist RC Church, he is a strong believer in ecumenical activities and working together across all faiths for the benefit of local communities.

Outside of politics and his theatre work, Billy is a keen gardener and enjoys playing golf, watching cricket and travelling and visiting family across the country. He recently restored his Lambretta Li 150 scooter, now over 50 years old, to perfect condition.

From his love of gardening, he was proud to help Rochdale compete in the In Bloom competition, which culminated with a gold medal in last year’s Britain in Bloom awards.

Billy met his wife Lynn at the Rochdale Catholic Theatre Guild in 1964. The couple married in 1966 and have three children - two daughters, one son - and five grandchildren.


Mayoress Lynn Sheerin
Mayoress Lynn Sheerin


Mayoress Lynn Sheerin was born in Rochdale and educated here and in Bury.

After retiring from secondary school teaching, Lynn began a fancy-dress business, ‘Mirage’, which she ran with a friend for 10 years. During this time, she gained a diploma in counselling.

Lynn has been active in amateur dramatics for over 50 years, like her husband, mostly as a costume designer and maker but also as a producer and director. Currently, she is the business director of Rochdale Curtain Theatre and has enjoyed overseeing improvements for those who make shows and for audiences who watch them. She is also administrator to the Parish of St Gabriel and All the Angels and St John the Baptist RC.

With Billy, she has instilled a love of the arts in her children and five grandchildren. As well as dressmaking, she enjoys walking, travelling and cooking.

She said: “I am delighted to be supporting Billy during his mayoral year.”


Mayor Making Ceremony 2019
Retiring Mayor, Mohammed Zaman, with the incoming Mayor and Mayoress for 2019, Billy and Lynn Sheerin


Deputy Mayor and Mayoress

Aasim Rashid moved to Rochdale in 2001 and has since obtained a master’s degree in economics.

Being a dedicated community worker, he has served as a volunteer and as an elected member, using his voice to campaign for equality, social justice and multicultural rights for the betterment of Rochdale.

As he is successful in his business, he is determined to achieve his goal to help local charities.

He is a loving husband and devoted father, who is committed to strengthen and empower local organisations, who need help to deliver their services to the needy and vulnerable.

Aasim said: “It is an honour to serve as the Deputy Mayor of Rochdale.”

Deputy Mayoress of Rochdale, Mrs Rifit Rashid, was born and raised in Rochdale. She went to Falinge Park High School and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business and tourism studies from the University of Bolton.

As well as balancing her life as a mother and director of a retail company, Rifit also has a desire to work for local Rochdale charities and make it her mission to help the needy and vulnerable.


Deputy Mayor Aasim Rashid and Deputy Mayoress Rifit Rashid
Deputy Mayor, Aasim Rashid and Deputy Mayoress, Rifit Rashid


Leader of Rochdale council, Councillor Allen Brett, formally thanked Councillor Mohammed Zaman, seconded by Councillor Ashley Dearnley, for his services to the borough over the past year.

Retiring Mayor, Councillor Zaman, who is remaining a councillor in the Milkstone and Deeplish ward, said on his departure: “I am sure former mayors would agree that coming in as mayor and retiring from the role are the hardest parts of being a mayor.

“I feel I have completed all the tasks I set to achieve over the year and have had a fantastic time.

“My Mayor’s Charity Appeal has raised a total of £70,000 for local groups and charities.”


Former mayor councillor Mohammed Zaman received warm praise for his wonderful year
Former mayor Mohammed Zaman received warm praise for his wonderful year


The chaplaincy for the new municipal year will be Father Michael Johonnett, Church of England and Imam Mir Azam, Blue Mosque, who both gave blessings to Mayor Sheerin at the ceremony.

A variety of entertainment was provided at the ceremony by the Notability Choir joined by St Gabriel’s School Choir, Pianist Adam O’Shea and Fanfare from Rochdale Music Service.


Notability Choir accompanied by St Gabriel’s School Choir
Notability Choir accompanied by St Gabriel’s School Choir


Musical entertainment during the evening included the Notability Choir


Mayoral Invitations

​​​​The Mayor welcomes invitations to events held by local organisations and individuals. Due to demand, it may not be possible for the Mayor to attend every event he is invited to.

To invite the Mayor to your event please complete the Mayor attendance form and return it to the Mayor's Officer.



Tel: 01706 924773

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

Support Rochdale Online

Rochdale Online provides local community news and a local community events diary, as well as local business and community listings. To continue providing these services we are asking for your help and support.

Find out more