Mayor’s Column: A "busy and enjoyable" start to my mayoral year

Date published: 07 July 2024

The Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Shakil Ahmed, shares his latest column with everything he's being doing in the Rochdale borough...

My mayoral year has got off to a busy but enjoyable start, with a packed diary and enjoyable events across the borough.

I am so grateful to everyone who has made the mayoress, consort and I so welcome in our new roles. A heartfelt thanks from us both to residents, organisations and schools in the borough.

The last few weeks has seen some really important events across the community, showcasing our borough at its very best. Firstly Eid Mubarak to everyone in our borough who celebrated last month. I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends and I have been proud to attend a number of Eid gatherings and celebrations across the community.

I was honoured to lay a wreath at Rochdale Cenotaph at the commemorations for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The ceremony was extremely moving, with councillors and residents joining residents to reflect and remember.

D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in history, marking the beginning of the liberation of France and western Europe. The service was a moving commemoration, with people of all ages coming together.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

I was also very proud to attend an event at Milnrow Cricket Club to mark national Carers Week. We have around 20,000 carers in our borough doing an amazing job supporting and caring for loved ones, friends and neighbours, so it was an important week to say thanks for everything our carers do. Our carers are some of the unsung heroes of our borough.

We have always had lasting and strong bonds with countries across the world in our borough, rooted in our Cooperation values. In that spirit I was delighted to welcome a delegation from Ghana to the Mayor’s parlour, whilst on a visit to our town.

I was honoured to chat to them about the Mayoral role and my plans for the next year. Many thanks to everyone who visited. We hope to develop a long lasting friendship between our countries.

The Civic Friday Service was quite special, as this is the first to be held in a mosque. I felt this was of great importance to unite the community. It has not been done before and was unique with a young man (student of the Madrassah) singing poems and prayers about our community coming together as one. Thanks to everyone who attended.

I was also delighted to attend an event marking the 40th anniversary of Rochdale Parkinsons. The organisation does a wonderful job in raising awareness of the illness, supporting people and holding vital fundraising and social events. It was an uplifting occasion. Many thanks to Rochdale Parkinsons for their invite.

Other key visits and events over the last month include a lovely gathering at the Rochdale Pensioners Summer luncheon, where I played bingo for the first time. Great fun.

I have visited local schools, a white ribbon trophy presentation at Heywood Sports Village, and a lovely afternoon in Littleborough at the popular scarecrow contest.

The White Ribbon football match between GMP, council officers, GTAS and BASA was fantastic. The weather remained good for it and the final was between the Finance team and GTAS veterans winning 3-2. I was also honoured to attend the primary care awards ceremony with Dr Mo Jiva to celebrate all those who work in our NHS primary care teams, doctors’ surgeries and gave out the awards along with my consort, Councillor Rachel Massey, Councillor Daalat Ali and Councillor Amber Nisa.

It is a key part of my role to visit as many parts of the borough as possible, and that will continue over the coming weeks and months.

A continued thanks to my dedicated charities. We recently had the first Mayor’s Charity committee meeting and welcomed new members of the community to discuss great ways we can raise money for our local charities together.

Throughout the year my Mayoral work will be raising funds for Springhill Hospice, the Team Thompson Against Cancer Appeal in conjunction with Rochdale AFC Community Trust, Aspire 2 Inspire Communities, Rochdale Heartbeat and Get Together After Serving.

All these organisations do amazing work, supported by wonderful teams of staff and volunteers. I am looking forward to giving them my support. Donations to my charities can be sent to:

The Mayor’s Office, floor 2, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU.

If any organisation would like a visit during my mayoral year, please ring 01706 924834 and my team will be happy to help. Further information on my charities and the work I will be undertaking can be found at:

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