The new leader of Rochdale Borough Council has called for unity and asked people to “pull together” as he begins his new role.
Councillor Allen Brett spoke after a council meeting at Rochdale town hall on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 saw him installed as the 16th leader of Rochdale Borough Council since the authority was formed in 1973.
The retired teacher, who started his career in teaching in 1969 having qualified at what is now Hopwood Hall College, was first elected to public office on the previous Greater Manchester Council.
He has been a member of the Labour Party for the last 40 years and has held most senior posts on the council, including a previous short period as leader in 2005.
He spent 2 years teaching in Uganda and ended his secondary school teaching career in Middleton before going on to youth work and lecturing at universities.
Councillor Brett said: “It’s a great honour to be the new leader of Rochdale Borough Council. I would like to thank all of the colleagues who supported me but also reach out to those that didn’t. It’s important that we all now work together to ensure that the great work being done by this council continues - and that our borough continues to improve and that we stake a claim as one of the key areas in Greater Manchester.
“We have made significant improvements in education, regeneration and services for people who need looking after but I want to drive standards up even further. We need to do more to tackle poverty pay, end the scandal of homelessness and look after the most vulnerable in our borough.”
A new cabinet team (9 councillors who are responsible for strategic decisions) was also unveiled at the meeting. It includes four new appointments, with 2 who are the youngest ever cabinet members to be appointed in Rochdale.
Councillor Brett added: “We are giving 2 of our brightest young councillors an opportunity to come in and be part of the cabinet. I’m not sure how many other councils have cabinets that include 2 people in their mid-20s but it’s something I’m proud to say that we have now.”
New cabinet positions
|Cabinet position ||Cabinet member||Assistant cabinet member |
|Corporate and resources ||Councillor Allen Brett (leader of the council)||Councillor Aasim Rashid|
|Regeneration ||Councillor John Blundell||Councillor Shah Wazir|
|Health and wellbeing ||Councillor Sara Rowbotham||Councillor Sameena Zaheer|
|Business, skills and employment ||Councillor Liam O’Rourke||Councillor John Hartley|
|Neighbourhoods, community and culture ||Councillor Janet Emsley||Councillor Daniel Meredith|
|Housing and environment ||Councillor Neil Emmott||Councillor Linda Robinson|
|Children’s services ||Councillor Kieran Heakin||Councillor Donna Martin|
|Adult care ||Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed||Councillor Billy Sheerin|
|Planning and development ||Councillor Daalat Ali||Councillor Ali Ahmed|