"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 and sits on the Board of the Rochdale Development Agency and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing." 
Farnell was the former head of Liverpool City Council’s press office. In early 2013 it was reported that "Richard Farnell has made it to 26 out of 29 meetings at Rochdale council since last May – despite being unable to work as office manager for Liverpool’s elected mayor Joe Anderson since last summer." 
- Director, Manchester Growth Company