Cllr Richard Farnell
Councillor Richard Farnell was elected as councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt ward in 2012, and became leader of the council in May 2014.
His GMCA responsibility is Planning and Housing.
A trained journalist and communications professional, Councillor Farnell has worked on newspapers throughout the North West and worked in local government public relations for several years.
He recently retired from Liverpool City Council where he ran the Press Office and was an advisor to the directly-elected Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
Richard was elected a Labour Councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt ward in 2012. It is his second stint on the Council after a 20-year break. Richard was previously Leader of the Council in the 1980s.
He was elected Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Council in May 2014 and is responsible for the policy direction of the council. He is also responsible for regeneration and special projects and sits on the Board at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.
Regeneration of Rochdale town centre, attracting new firms and jobs to the borough, and improving education and opportunities for young people are major priorities for the Leader. Richard also wants to see Rochdale Borough Council become one of most customer-friendly councils in the country.
Richard lives in Rochdale and is a supporter of Rochdale Hornets Rugby League Club, which is one of the first member-owned Co-operative clubs in England.