Rossendale’s Mayor for 2023/24 – Cllr Andrew Walmsley

Published June 2, 2023 at 12:56

A few words from our new Mayor Cllr Andrew Walmsley  

picture of smiling man in in mayoral attire and chains

I’m delighted and privileged to be the Mayor of Rossendale. Annual council was one of the few times in my life that I have struggled for words. 

I would like to thank Cllrs Jackie Oakes and Barbara Ashworth for proposing and seconding my nomination as Mayor and for Councillor colleagues across the whole chamber for supporting the nomination.  

I’m born and bred in Rossendale, or more accurately born in Bacup so to wear the Borough of Bacup Mayoral Chains further adds to the honour. I am joined in my Mayoral year by my partner and Mayoress Pat Smith 

After much deliberation the charities we have decided to support are Bacup Family Centre, who I have always described as doing Sure Start before Sure Start was even a thing, morphing from the “nuns on Pennine” or to give them their full title the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in the mid-1960s to the charity as we now know them. As a Councillor I have worked alongside the family centre and see first-hand how they can and do respond to the changing needs of this community. 

Secondly, we are supporting Beacon Dementia and Wellbeing, based in the Whittaker and Whittaker Park and now in their 6th year they support and empower people living with dementia, their carers and those who may feel lonely or isolated, enabling them to enrich their lives and enhance their wellbeing. They have recently created the first dementia friendly shed in the UK. I’m sure we all know someone with dementia and their carers and trust you agree it’s an organisation worthy of our support. 

We have also decided to support the food provision across Rossendale, we will all be aware of the hardship families and individuals are suffering due to the cost-of-living challenges. We are fortunate in Rossendale that when there are difficulties communities and volunteers step in. As an indication we hope to support Raft, The Trinity Baptist food group, Positive Start and others, all who are going that extra mile to support their communities. I’m sure you will hear more from me on these throughout the year and hope to see many people at the forthcoming fundraising events, watch this space. 

I still recall meeting the mayor when I was 5 or 6, being told they were a very special important person, clearly a memory that has stayed with me and I hope that we can create those same memories for today’s children during the year.  

Not everyone knows that they can invite the Mayor and Mayoress to their community or school events etc. The process is simple and starts by completing the online form on the Council website, I’d encourage groups to do this, as we would where possible, be happy to accept the invitations. You can also contact me via email at 

Finally, I would also like to congratulate Cllr Anne Cheetham on her successful Mayoral year and look forward to enjoying every moment of the year ahead of us. 


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