Oldham is set to appoint two women as its new Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the first time in the borough’s history.
Councillor Ginny Alexander will be nominated as the Mayor of Oldham for 2019/20 at Annual Council on Wednesday, May 22 with cross-party supporting speeches from Cllrs Jenny Harrison, Chris Gloster and John Hudson.
Cllr Harrison will herself then be nominated and seconded as Deputy Mayor by Group Leaders, Cllrs Sean Fielding and Howard Sykes.
To celebrate the milestone of becoming the borough’s first female Mayoral double act, Cllrs Alexander and Harrison – who are neighbours in the Moorside area – met Arooj Shah, Oldham Council’s Deputy Leader, at the statue of Annie Kenney, the Springhead-born suffragette, in Oldham town centre today.
Ginny Alexander, 63, has lived in the St James ward for more than 20 years and has represented the area since 2014. She was born and bred in Glodwick and her consort will be her husband, Adrian Alexander, the ex-Oldham Rugby League player and former Saddleworth West and Lees councillor.
Ginny said: “I am incredibly excited about becoming the next Mayor of Oldham – and it is equally brilliant that my good friend, Jenny, will be Deputy Mayor at the same time.
“It is just another positive sign of the changing times that we will have two women as Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the first time, and I am sure that Annie Kenney herself would have approved”.
Jenny Harrison, 71, Alexandra ward member since 2011, has chosen Councillors Shaid Mushtaq and Zahid Chauhan as her consorts for the year.
She was formerly Cabinet Member for Social Care and Safeguarding and has represented Alexandra ward since 2011. Jenny is also set to chair the borough’s Health and Wellbeing Board this year.
“It is such a huge honour to be selected to serve the wonderful people of Oldham in this way – I never expected it,” she said.
“I am genuinely humbled and I am looking forward to supporting Ginny, who I know will be an outstanding Mayor for the borough.”
Cllr Shah, Oldham Council’s first female Deputy Leader of Asian heritage, added: “I just cannot think of two people better to represent our borough.”
“Both of these ladies are amazing role models. I am certain the public will love them and that they will be fantastic ambassadors everywhere they go during the next year.”
Ginny Alexander has nominated the charities which will benefit from her fundraising efforts this year. These are: The Steven Gartland Foundation Trust, Christies Oldham, Dr Kershaws, TOG Mind Oldham, Action Oldham, Pennine Pen Animal Rescue Oldham, RSPCA Oldham Branch, and Mahdlo.
Tributes will also be paid at the Annual Council meeting to the fundraising efforts and community work of the retiring Mayor, Councillor Javid Iqbal and Mayoress, Mrs Tasleem Akhtar.
The traditional Mayoral Procession to Oldham Parish Church will take place on Sunday, May 26, leaving from the Civic Centre at 10am.