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Bury Council Leader Shori To Stand Down

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 12:19pm

By Joseph Timan - Local Democracy Reporter

Bury Council leader Rishi Shori will stand down after three years in the role.

The Radcliffe councillor, who became Bury’s youngest leader at age 38, will leave the town hall next week.

He will take up a senior non-political full-time role at Birmingham City Council.

Cllr Shori made history in 2016 by becoming the first council leader in Greater Manchester from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

He said: “It has been an absolute privilege to serve as leader of the council in the borough in which I was born and raised.”

His move to Birmingham means that he will also stand down as a councillor for Radcliffe West, the ward he has represented since 2009.

A by-election will be called after two members of the public formally demand one.

We understand that the Labour group will meet on Monday in order to nominate a replacement.

That person then needs to be elected by full council at its next meeting on Wednesday, July 10.

In an internal email seen by the Bury Times, Cllr assured town hall staff that the recently appointed chief officers would achieve “great things”.

He said: “After recent challenges, the council now has stability in its senior operational leadership. In Geoff Little as chief executive and Lynne Ridsdale as his deputy, we have in place the strongest chief officer team we have had in my time as a councillor.”

In an earlier email this morning, Mr Little told staff and headteachers across the borough that council business will continue as normal, with no change in priorities and political control.

Cllr Shori thanked council staff for their response to the Boxing Day floods of 2015 and the Manchester Arena attack two years ago.

He said: “Despite the difficult circumstances in which we operate both locally and nationally, exciting times lie ahead for the borough. A new University Centre of Excellence is to open next year; ambitious plans are in place to regenerate the centres of Prestwich, Radcliffe and Whitefield; and more than £30m of funding has been secured for investment in Bury town centre.

“Our growth plans will lead to the building of more affordable housing and see land made available for existing businesses to grow and new ones to relocate to Bury. The formal merger of NHS Bury CCG and the Council is almost complete, which is the biggest reform of how public services operate within our borough for decades. It will provide us with the opportunity to integrate health and social care to get the best possible outcomes for our residents.”

Before becoming leader, Cllr Shori served continuously in the council’s cabinet since 2011.

He was responsible for portfolios in finance, housing, health and economic regeneration, becoming deputy leader in 2014.

Deputy leader Andrea Simpson thanked Cllr Shori for his “hard work” at a time when the council was in “desperate need of reform”.

Bury South MP Ivan Lewis described him as an “outstanding leader” of a new generation which is taking Bury forward.

Lib Dem leader Tim Pickstone wished Cllr Shori well in his new job in Birmingham.

He said: “I will miss Rishi as a councillor and wish him well in his new job in Birmingham. What I won’t miss is the policies he has pursued. Policies which leave Bury at risk of losing whole swathes of our green belt, a council with falling educational standards and almost nothing left in the bank.”

The Bury Times understands that Cllr Shori deleted his Twitter account because he will be starting a non-political role.

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