Rochdale Borough Council
Arms of Rochdale Borough Council
Coat of arms
Corporate logo
Founded1 April 1974
Shakil Ahmed,
since 15 May 2024[1]
Neil Emmott,
since 19 May 2021
Steve Rumbelow
since 15 December 2014
Seats60 councillors[2]
Rochdale Borough Council composition
Political groups
Administration (44)
  Labour (44)
Other parties (16)
  Conservative (9)
  Liberal Democrat (3)
  Middleton Ind. (2)
  Workers Party (2)
Joint committees
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel
Last election
2 May 2024
Next election
7 May 2026
Meeting place
Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Rochdale Borough Council is the local authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale in Greater Manchester, England. It is a metropolitan borough council and provides the majority of local government services in the borough. The council has been a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority since 2011.

The council has been under Labour majority control since 2011. It is based at Number One Riverside.


Further information: County Borough of Rochdale

The town of Rochdale had been governed by improvement commissioners from 1825.[3] In 1856 the town was incorporated as a municipal borough, governed by a body formally called the 'mayor, aldermen and burgesses of the borough of Rochdale', generally known as the corporation, town council or borough council.[4] When elected county councils were established in 1889, Rochdale was considered large enough to provide its own county-level services, and so it became a county borough, independent from the new Lancashire County Council, whilst remaining part of the geographical county of Lancashire.[5]

Rochdale Town Hall: Completed 1871 for old borough council and served as modern council's headquarters until 2013. Still used by council for annual mayor-making ceremony.

The larger Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale and its council were created in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972 as one of ten metropolitan districts within the new metropolitan county of Greater Manchester. The first election was held in 1973. For its first year the council acted as a shadow authority alongside the area's six outgoing authorities, being the borough councils of Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton and the urban district councils of Littleborough, Milnrow and Wardle. The new metropolitan district and its council formally came into being on 1 April 1974, at which point the old districts and their councils were abolished.[6]

The metropolitan district was awarded borough status from its creation, allowing the chair of the council to take the title of mayor, continuing Rochdale's series of mayors dating back to 1856.[7] The council styles itself Rochdale Borough Council rather than its full formal name of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council.[8]

From 1974 until 1986 the council was a lower-tier authority, with upper-tier functions provided by the Greater Manchester County Council. The county council was abolished in 1986 and its functions passed to Greater Manchester's ten borough councils, including Rochdale, with some services provided through joint committees.[9]

Since 2011 the council has been a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which has been led by the directly elected Mayor of Greater Manchester since 2017. The combined authority provides strategic leadership and co-ordination for certain functions across Greater Manchester, notably regarding transport and town planning, but Rochdale Council continues to be responsible for most local government functions.[10][11]


Rochdale Borough Council provides metropolitan borough services. Some strategic functions in the area are provided by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority; the leader of Rochdale Council sits on the combined authority as Rochdale's representative.[12] There are no civil parishes in the borough.[13]

Political control

Rochdale has been under Labour majority control since 2011.

Political control of the council since the 1974 reforms took effect has been as follows:[14][15]

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–1975
No overall control 1975–1976
Conservative 1976–1979
No overall control 1979–1980
Labour 1980–1982
No overall control 1982–1986
Labour 1986–1992
No overall control 1992–1996
Labour 1996–2003
No overall control 2003–2007
Liberal Democrats 2007–2010
No overall control 2010–2011
Labour 2011–present


The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Rochdale. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 2006 have been:[16]

Councillor Party From To
Alan Taylor[17] Liberal Democrats 2006 13 Jan 2010
Irene Davidson[18] Liberal Democrats 13 Jan 2010 24 Nov 2010
Colin Lambert Labour 15 Dec 2010 4 Jun 2014
Richard Farnell[19][20] Labour 4 Jun 2014 8 Dec 2017
Allen Brett Labour 13 Dec 2017 19 May 2021
Neil Emmott Labour 19 May 2021


Following the 2024 election, the composition of the council was:[21]

Party Councillors
Labour 44
Conservative 9
Liberal Democrats 3
Middleton Independents Party 2
Workers Party 2
Total 60

The next election is due in May 2026.


See also: Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2022, the council has comprised 60 councillors representing 20 wards, with each ward electing three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four, with a third of the council (one councillor for each ward) elected each time for a four-year term of office.[22]

Wards and councillors

Each ward of the council's 20 wards is represented by three councillors.[23]

Ward Councillor Party Term of office
Bamford Stephen Anstee Conservative 2021–27
Angela Smith Conservative 2018–26
Philip Beal Conservative 2024-28
Balderstone and Kirkholt Elsie Blundell Labour 2019–27
Phillip Massey Labour 2021–26
Daniel Meredith Labour 2024-28
Castleton Aisling-Blaise Gallagher Labour 2024-28
Aasim Rashid Labour 2018–27
Billy Sheerin Labour 2021–26
Central Rochdale Farooq Ahmed Workers Party 2024-28
Iftikhar Ahmed Labour 2021–26
Sameena Zaheer Labour 2023–27
East Middleton Paul Beswick Middleton Ind. 2022–26
Terry Smith Labour 2023–27
Dylan James Williams Labour 2024–28
Healey Tricia Ayrton Labour 2022–27
Shaun O'Neill Labour 2021–26
Shah Wazir Labour 2024-28
Hopwood Hall Susan Emmott Labour 2019–24
Peter Hodgkinson Labour 2022–27
Carol Wardle Labour 2018–24
Kingsway Shakil Ahmed Labour 2021–26
Daalat Ali Labour 2024-28
Rachel Massey Labour 2019–27
Littleborough Lakeside Tom Besford Labour 2024-28
Janet Emsley Labour 2018–26
Richard Jackson Labour 2023–27
Milkstone and Deeplish Mohammad Arshad Labour 2022–26
Minaam Ellahi Workers Party 2024-28
Aiza Rashid Labour 2022–27
Milnrow and Newhey David Bamford Liberal Democrats 2018–27
Irene Davidson Liberal Democrats 2021–26
Andy Kelly Liberal Democrats 2024-28
Norden James Gartside Conservative 2021–26
Michael Holly Conservative 2018–27
Peter Winkler Conservative 2024-28
North Heywood Liam O'Rourke Labour 2021–26
Bev Place Labour 2022–27
Paul O'Neill Labour 2024-28
North Middleton Peter Allonby Middleton Ind. 2022–26
Elizabeth Atewologun Labour 2023–27
Kath Bromfield Labour 2024-28
Smallbridge and Firgrove John Blundell Labour 2024-28
Aftab Hussain Labour 2019–26
Amna Mir Labour 2021–23
South Middleton Patricia Mary Dale Labour 2018–27
June West Labour 2024-28
Peter Williams Labour 2019–26
Spotland and Falinge Iram Faisal Labour 2021–26
Amber Nisa Labour 2022–27
Faisal Rana Labour 2024-28
Wardle, Shore & West Littleborough Ashley Dearnley Conservative 2021–26
Adam Branton Conservative 2024-28
John Taylor Conservative 2018–27
West Heywood Angela Brown Labour 2022–26
Peter Joinson Labour 2022-28
Linda Robinson Labour 2023–27
West Middleton Phil Burke Labour 2019–26
Neil Emmott Labour 2018–27
Susan Smith Labour 2024-28


The council is based at Number One Riverside on Smith Street in the centre of Rochdale. It was purpose-built for the council and opened in 2013.[24][25] Prior to 2013 the council met and had some offices at Rochdale Town Hall, which had been completed in 1871 for the old borough council, with additional offices spread across numerous other buildings.[26] The Town Hall is still used for certain ceremonial functions, including the annual council meeting when new mayors are appointed.[27]


  1. ^ Lythgoe, George (16 May 2024). "New mayor of Rochdale sworn in at grand town hall ceremony". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 17 May 2024.
  2. ^ "Open Council Data UK - compositions councillors parties wards elections". Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Rochdale Improvement Act 1825". The National Archives. Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  4. ^ "The parish of Rochdale". A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. London: Victoria County History. 1911. pp. 187–201. Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  5. ^ "Rochdale Municipal Borough / County Borough". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  6. ^ "Local Government Act 1972: Schedule 1",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70 (sch. 1), retrieved 30 May 2024
  7. ^ "District Councils and Boroughs". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 28 March 1974. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  8. ^ "Find your local council". Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  9. ^ "Local Government Act 1985",, The National Archives, 1985 c. 51, retrieved 5 April 2024
  10. ^ "The Greater Manchester Combined Authority Order 2011",, The National Archives, SI 2011/908, retrieved 30 May 2024
  11. ^ "Understand how your council works". Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  12. ^ "GMCA Members". Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  13. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  14. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  15. ^ "Rochdale". BBC News Online. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  16. ^ "Council minutes". Rochdale Borough Council. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Obituary: Former council leader Alan Taylor has died". Rochdale Online. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Rochdale Council leader resigns following defections". BBC News. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  19. ^ Wilkinson, Damon (20 August 2021). "Richard Farnell, former two-time Labour leader of Rochdale council, has died". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Rochdale Council leader resigns over child abuse fallout". BBC News. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Local elections 2024: full mayoral and council results for England". The Guardian. 4 May 2024. Retrieved 21 May 2024.
  22. ^ "The Rochdale (Electoral Changes) Order 2021",, The National Archives, SI 2021/1230, retrieved 2 June 2024
  23. ^ "Councillor contact information by Ward". Rochdale Borough Council. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  24. ^ "Number One Riverside". FaulknerBrowns Architects. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  25. ^ "Number One Riverside - council offices". Rochdale Borough Council. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  26. ^ Historic England. "Town Hall (Grade I) (1084275)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  27. ^ "Annual council meeting, 15 May 2024". Rochdale Borough Council. Retrieved 2 June 2024.