AROUND £15,000 has already been raised for the mayor's selected charities – just days after Cllr Faisal Rashid took over the ceremonial chains.

The town's first Asian mayor was sworn into office last Monday and held his first major civic event three days later at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

It allowed Cllr Rashid (LAB – Chapelford and Old Hall), who has branded himself 'Warrington's first business mayor', to officially launch Circle – The Future, as well as his charity initiative.

The Circle is focused on providing support to businesses but it is also set to increase fundraising activity in the next 12 months.

Cllr Rashid will be supporting four charities – Warrington Disability Partnership, St Rocco's Hospice, the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace and Brainwave.

At the end of Cllr Rashid's term in office all money will be distributed evenly to the organisations.

The 43-year-old received a standing ovation after entering the packed room at the Halliwell Jones Stadium alongside wife Aleeza.

But what pleased him most was the amount of money donated to the charities throughout the course of the night.

He said: "This has been a huge week for the mayoral office.

"After becoming the first Asian mayor in the history of Warrington I then hosted the launch night days later.

"It shows the work which has been carried out behind the scenes – I have been planning this for six months.

"Last year the mayor raised £10,000 in 12 months but already, just three days after being sworn in, £15,000 was raised – history is being made.

"The amount of donations from the night were just brilliant.

"I have been inundated with positive messages on social media and people have been calling me a lot, it is really nice.

"The standing ovation on the night was unbelievable and I am just over the moon. We made sure to greet everyone personally to show them how much their support means.

"Many people from the business community attended the event and there has been a lot of interest for the Circle – we already have eight members.

"I don't have a specific target in mind for the fundraising but I want to break records."

On Sunday Cllr Rashid attended Warrington Islamic Centre to take part in a prayer service for the new civic year.