Green Party’s Gordon Peters: ‘I can turn catastrophe into something better’
With six weeks left until the general election, Tim Lamden speaks to the Green Party candidate hoping to topple Lynne Featherstone in Hornsey and Wood Green on May 7.
In his 70 years, Gordon Peters has faced many challenges in a career that has taken him from his birthplace of Scotland to London and then around the world.
The father-of-four, who lives with his wife Mirdu in Alexandra Park Road, Muswell Hill, has now retired as an international development consultant for the likes of UNICEF and the EU and is focussed on fixing “broken” politics at home.
“The Greens want something different and that motivates me,” he said.
Mr Peters considers himself a proven trouble shooter, someone who has a record of “turning catastrophes into something better”.
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One of his defining roles was as director of social services at Hackney Council, a job he took in 1983 when no one else would touch it.
“A lot of people thought I wouldn’t last but I actually became the second-longest-serving director of social services in London,” he said.
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“There had been child abuse in a Hackney Council home by care staff. My first week in the job I was grilling members of staff. I sacked a member of staff for child abuse.”
Having reformed social services in Hackney, Mr Peters then moved into international development. One of his first jobs was to reform the dire state of children’s homes in Romania.
Last year, he polled nearly 1,000 votes in Haringey Council elections and hopes to push on in May.
“We want to see a much fairer allocation of resources in society,” he said. “It would mean Haringey Council standing up and saying they want more public investment.”