Memories of my time as Mayor of Rochdale - Councillor Mike Holly

Date published: 12 June 2024

Serving as Mayor of the Borough of Rochdale has been an "incredible privilege" for Councillor Mike Holly. His mayoral year which started in May 2023 has been marked by a warm engagement with the community, fostering a sense of collective pride in the borough's accomplishments. Mike has spoken about his experience and reflects on his time wearing the golden chain...

It has been an incredible privilege for us to be Mayor and Mayoress of the Borough of Rochdale for the last year.

We have had a wonderful and enjoyable year, meeting so many residents of Rochdale, young and old and from all communities. What has been so impressive is the number of volunteers who make so many organisations tick, unsung heroes without whose incredible input our society would be a much poorer place.

We have also visited many wonderful educational establishments, meeting both pupils and members of staff. It has been lovely to recognise their successes and the whole borough should be proud of the achievements of many of them.

Similarly we have met the management and staff of many of our best companies in the Borough. In many cases they are hidden gems that I was not aware of before becoming Mayor. Many of these companies are at the leading edge of technical innovation and we should sing their praises, creating so many jobs in the borough and with deep affinity for it. I would like to thank Rochdale Development Agency for facilitating these visits; they do a great job.

We have been to so many events across the borough and met the councillors who have supported them in their respective wards, we appreciate the warmth afforded to us when we have been in attendance.

We have also attended many moving events with the veterans, especially commemorating the fallen at the battles of Arnhem, Gallipoli and Minden, the 50th anniversary of the IRA’s terrorist bombing of the coach carrying service personnel and their families on Hartshead Moor and the Turning of the Leaves ceremony in Manchester Cathedral.

Of course there are various other civic duties that I, and in most cases, the Mayoress have had the pleasure to attend, either in our borough or others in the Combined Authority, representing the borough as its first citizens. It was with great pride that I, with the Mayoress in attendance, cut the ribbon to formally reopen the magnificent restored town hall. I feel so privileged that I will be remembered as the mayor who reopened the building, a high for my year.


Photo: Greg Couzens


Other high points include laying a wreath to remember the fallen and taking the salute with Colonel Martin Newman of the Lancashire Fusiliers in the parade on Remembrance Sunday, seeing my granddaughter singing solo, the first verse of Silent Night at the Mayor's Christmas carol service in St Chads Church, and hosting the Mayor's Charity Ball in the great hall of the town hall. It was a sell out and a wonderful evening attracting much praise from attendees, including the various dignitaries. During the ball we had a raffle and an auction and raised a lot of money for my nominated charities. We have also held a number of other successful events to raise money and I am truly astounded and grateful for the many generous donations made to my charity from companies and individuals in the borough, thank you all. It has been a very successful fundraising year.

When I was appointed Mayor at last year’s Mayor making, I pledged to promote all the great things in the borough of Rochdale that we should celebrate. I know that we have done our best to fulfil that goal, but I will leave it to others to assess our success.

Finally, I would like to thank the Mayor’s Charity committee for their unstinting efforts to raise as much as possible from the events that we collectively organised and also made them so enjoyable, my fellow councillors for the way they have welcomed the Mayoress and myself to their community events and support of our charity functions. Particular thanks go to the council officers in the Mayor’s office for their incredible hard work to make the year and all the events go so smoothly, for the sound advice that they give, and the consideration and support given in difficult times, we both thank you from the bottom of our hearts. A privilege, a pleasure and with much pride, I hope that the incoming Mayor, Mayoress and consort have an equally successful and enjoyable year.

Councillor Mike Holly

Mayor of Rochdale 2023/24

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