Mayor’s Column: Councillor Aasim Rashid

Date published: 06 October 2021

Councillor Aasim Rashid was sworn in as the Mayor of Rochdale on Wednesday 19 May 2021.

This weekly column is about the places he has been and the people he has met from Monday 20 September to Sunday 26 September.

Local charity Rochdale Connections Trust (RCT) held a ‘welcome back’ open day at its premises on Drake Street on Monday 20 September. Now a leading independent provider of Domestic Abuse Services, RCT understand the complexity of the issues faced by effected residents and have evolved as an organisation to meet changing social, health and wellbeing needs.

Opened by RCT chair, Vivien Carter, the open day event showcased the services that the local charity offers – from 1:1 mentoring support to young people facing difficulty and a raft of interventions designed to help families – and we discussed the impact of domestic violence on victims.

Thank you to RCT for inviting the mayoress and I along. It was good to catch up with all those in attendance and hear about the good work you do.


Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Aasim Rashid - Rochdale Connections Trust open day
The Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale attended Rochdale Connections Trust's open day on 20 September


My next engagement was on Thursday 23 September, when I was invited to the annual general meeting of Greater Manchester North Scouts at their base in Middleton. The scout group encompasses scouts in Bury, Oldham, Bolton, and Rochdale, and all the mayors of Greater Manchester were invited to attend the AGM along with the current High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Diane Hawkins.

All the adults at scouts are volunteers; I was delighted to learn of their success in introducing children and young people (aged 8 to 25) from a variety of cultures to scouts, teaching individuals discipline, citizenship, and teamwork.

Thank you to the scouts for inviting me to such an enjoyable occasion and I hope the groups can continue to provide local activities for many years to come.


Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Aasim Rashid - Greater Manchester North Scouts group AGM on Thursday 23 September
Greater Manchester North Scouts group AGM was held on Thursday 23 September


First opened to the public on 27 September 1871, our beloved Rochdale Town Hall celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. It was a great honour for me to celebrate 150 years of Rochdale’s ‘crown jewel’ as the mayor of the borough on Saturday 25 September.

The leader of Rochdale Borough Council, Councillor Neil Emmott was present along with Sir Tony Lloyd MP for Rochdale and other community leaders as the mayoress and I marked the occasion with a cake cutting ceremony.

The celebrations were a relaxed, informal affair in the brand new Crossland Community Cabin in front of the town hall. This is a specially crafted drop-in area packed full of information about the restoration whilst the town hall is closed.

As well as looking at the displays in the cabin and chatting to the project team about the redevelopment and opportunities to get involved, historic artefacts were on display and visitors had the chance to win prizes in a special history competition.


Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Aasim Rashid - Rochdale Town Hall 150th birthday celebrations on Saturday 25 September
First opened to the public on 27 September 1871, Rochdale Town Hall celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2021


After the town hall celebrations, it was an open day at Syke Connexion (formerly Syke Methodist Church). The event was held in Syke Community Base – a local community centre based in the church – which has just undergone a big building refurbishment. To date, the church has had the roof fixed, heating, a new kitchen and external rendering, with hopes to double capacity and increase the number of activities on offer.

The base offers a range of activities and services for people of all ages throughout the year and organisers have a great relationship with the local community. I hope it can continue to thrive and engage with residents for many years to come.


Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Aasim Rashid - Syke Community Base open day on Saturday 25 September
The Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale attended an open day at Syke Community Base on 25 September


Thank you to the deputy mayor, Councillor Ali Ahmed, for attending Heywood Churches Together Remembrance event on Sunday 26 September.

People from across the borough came together at St Luke’s Church for a service of remembrance; remembering all the lives lost over the past 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic and those whose lives have changed as a result of the pandemic. The service had members of all Heywood churches represented from the Churches Together team and was made up of hymns, prayers, bible readings, and reflection was given by Father Augustine.

My thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by the pandemic over the past 18+ months. I send sincere condolences and look forward to a more brighter future.

The Mayor’s Charity Appeal for 2021/22 is raising funds for Springhill Hospice, Parkinson’s UK, Petrus Rochdale, Jolly Josh, and Rochdale Shopmobility. All donations are gratefully received and will go to these fantastic local causes.

You can donate to the Mayor’s Charity Appeal (registered charity number 1043910) by:

BACS or bank transfer:
Barclays Bank Rochdale Branch
Account Name: Mayor of Rochdale's Charity Appeal
Account Number: 53356159
Sort code: 20-72-67

Cheque: make cheques payable to The Mayor's Charity. You can drop them off at the front desk at Number One Riverside or post them to:

​​The Mayor's Office
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
OL16 1XU​​​​

Phone (one-off text giving): Text ROCHDALE to 70085 to donate £5. Texts costs £5 plus one standard rate message.


Mayor of Rochdale's Charity Appeal for 2021/22
Mayor of Rochdale's Charity Appeal for 2021/22


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.

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