The mayor of Oldham, Councillor Zahid Chauhan, has announced he is scaling back his involvement in civic commitments to care for his family after his wife was diagnosed with a “very serious illness”.
Cllr Chauhan, who became mayor in May, has revealed that his wife Afsheen, the mayoress of Oldham, is no longer able to support him in his mayoral role following her recent diagnosis.
Cllr Chauhan said in a statement: “In the last few days, my dear wife, Afsheen, the Mayoress of Oldham, has been diagnosed with a very serious illness which means she is unable to support me in my position as Mayor.
“Following this news, I have taken the decision to reduce my involvement in Civic commitments as the Mayor of Oldham during this difficult time so that I can support my wife and our three children.
“This decision is not one I have taken lightly, as holding this role is one of the greatest honours of my life and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it so far.
“However, as a husband and as a father, I am sure people understand that my devastated family and young children need me now more than ever.
“I trust my good friend and colleague, Cllr Eddie Moores, will do a fantastic job as Deputy Mayor during occasions when I am understandably unavailable.
“In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has sent in messages and phone calls of support so far.
“We politely now ask people to respect the privacy of my family and I during this time, thank you.”