Manchester's Lord Mayor, Councillor James Ashley was born in Manchester and lives in Gorton. He has two brothers and is married to Kate. They have three sons, a daughter, three daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. He has served as a Councillor for Gorton South since 1987.
He was appointed to the Manchester City bench in 1971 and continued his role as a magistrate for 34 years. Councillor Ashley is also the deputy president for the Manchester South Valuation Tribunal, which is a local, independent, voluntary lay tribunal that resolves disputes concerning council tax bands and commercial property rates.
Councillor Ashley is currently campaigning for the creation of Gorton Heritage Trail along the Gore Bank Valley conservation area. Councillor Ashley enjoys discovering the English countryside and 'dabbles' in watercolours.
His voluntary work has included: Victim Support, Gorton Community Forum, Blackley Civic Society, Charlestown Tenants and Residents Association, and the Management Committee of Sacred Heart Community Hall. He has also been a governor of St Richards, Longsight and St Albans (as was), Gorton.
Councillor Ashley has also been a member of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Building Section and a member of the Northwest Regional Advisory Committee for Building and Civil Engineering.
At present he is a self-employed events, print and promotions advisor. He has previously worked as the Floor Manager at the City Exhibition Hall, Regional Director of the London Building Centre Group and Secretary to the Northwest Region of the Building Centre Trust.
Councillor James Ashley married Kate in 1992; it was their second marriage as both were widowed. Kate was born in Preston, Lancashire but came to Manchester forty years ago. She was a teacher for many years retiring as a Deputy Head of Openshaw C of E school. She is a former Church Warden at Emmanuel Church in Gorton and her hobbies include, calligraphy, painting, handicrafts, reading and politics.
Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor James Ashley said: "I am proud to be a Mancunian and I feel privileged to be awarded the highest accolade the City Council can bestow upon one of its Members, it is an honour for me to be elected as Lord Mayor. I am looking forward to a year of meeting the city's residents and hosting visitors and VIPs from Manchester and across the world. I particularly want to make it clear to local voluntary Youth Groups and Community Groups that I value their considerable contribution to making Manchester so great and want to make it known that I want to meet them also.
My Manchester has a fascinating heritage and I look forward to discovering even more of it during my year of office. "Media contact
- Margaret Blackburn, Tel: 0161 234 4014