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New mayor of Rochdale sworn in at grand town hall ceremony

Rochdale has officially sworn in their new mayor Coun Shakil Ahmed, who has taken the mantle from the outgoing Coun Michael Holly.

Before passing on the mayoral chains to the Kingsway ward member, Coun Holly declared how his time as ceremonial mayor had been an incredible privilege and enjoyable. With a setting as grand as the great hall within Rochdale Town Hall, Coun Ahmed could not have asked for a better introduction to life as mayor.

The new mayor, making his address after being applauded into the great hall in his mayoral robes, stated: “I am honoured to stand before you in this historic town hall of Rochdale. This is a very special time for me in my life.

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“I love this borough. I am proud to call myself a Rochdalian.

“I have a passion for speaking up for the people in my community. To become mayor is a great honour for me, my friends and my family.

“My only regret is that my late mother and late father could not be here to witness this special moment.

“This is a moment I will never forget.”

Coun Ahmed will be joined by his wife and consort Robina Bi and fellow Kingsway councillor Coun Rachel Massey as mayoresses.

Coun Janet Emsley, who was deputy leader of the council before last night, will also be part of the mayoral team after being voted in as deputy mayor for the coming year.

Coun Neil Emmott, leading the congratulations to the new mayor, told the audience in the town hall: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that Shakil Ahmed will become our new mayor for the upcoming municipal year.

“I feel certain he will be an excellent mayor this year and will be ably supported by his mayoral team.”

Adding a message of support, Coun