Councillor Richard Farnell is a trained journalist and communications professional. He 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 their 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.
Richard, as a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, was appointed by the new major of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham in May 2017 as the City’s Region’s Lead for the Digital Economy. Richard also serves as national vice-chair of the Cooperative Councils Innovative Network.
Regeneration of the boroughs town centres, attracting new firms and jobs to the area, and improving education, skills and opportunities for young people are major priorities for the Leader. Richard also wants to see Rochdale 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.