Former Stockport student receives OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Former Stockport student receives OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

A Manchester city councillor who studied GCSEs at Stockport College has been awarded an OBE from the Queen.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Skills, received the award for his achievements in local government representing Manchester’s Longsight ward since 2008.

Born in Bangladesh, his family came to the UK in 1980, setting up home in Longsight when Luthfur was three years old. He attended local schools St Agnes Primary and Burnage High School, before joining Stockport College’s one-year fast track GCSE programme.

Cllr Rahman said: “I joined Stockport College back then for its excellent reputation and I wish I had gone on to study further. My time at College has been crucial to my work as a councillor, such as learning the discipline to follow a routine, how to organise myself, and my maths and communication skills, which were important as a business owner.

“I was so surprised to receive an OBE. I was very emotional to be recognised with an award such as this. Someone went to a lot of trouble to nominate me, and for that, I’m so grateful.”

After leaving Stockport College at 17, Cllr Rahman opened several different successful restaurants and takeaway businesses and practised as a qualified mortgage advisor, establishing his own company in 2006, before focusing on his work as a councillor full-time.

Cllr Rahman has achieved notable successes on initiatives involving young people, skills, culture, libraries, sports and leisure, as well as race and diversity, and became Executive Member for Culture Leisure and Skills in 2016.

“College taught me skills I have applied later throughout my life. The difference between school and College is significant because at College you’re expected to behave like an adult and are treated as such. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of a College learning environment. I only wish I had stayed to gain academic qualifications. Not gaining a degree is one of my biggest regrets. With hindsight, I would have loved to have studied business at Stockport College.”

Some of the issues Cllr Rahman has led on for young people have included raising the profile of Curriculum for Life within classrooms to highlight the importance of life skills and for setting up a Shadow Youth Executive programme so young people can gain experience of the role of council members.