A man who loves opera and who trekked in the foothills of Annapurna and Everest in Nepal in 2014, could tell you everything what is happening at Roehampton and Putney.
Peter Carpenter was elected as a Roehampton and Putney heath councillor since 2010, he was re-elected in 2014.
“I have always been interested in politics, but during my business career I travelled extensively internationally, so it was not practicable to become a Councillor.”
After he stopped travelling at the end of the 1990’s and moved to Wondsworth, he stood for the Labour party with unsuccessful elections in 2002 and 2006.
At first, he was involved in business career so he travelled extensively internationally. “So, it was not practical to become a Councillor”.
At the moment, Peter Carpenter is retired from his day job, but retains a number of non-executive positions and voluntary work. “My council work amounts to around 2 days a week. I’m the opposition spokesman on Finance and that area takes up most of my time. Ahead of a Committee meeting I will spend around a day reading the papers, and another day preparing the opposition for consultation with my Labour colleagues.”
It is always interesting how people starts to take the positions that gives them many opportunities in their career. Peter was interested in progressive politics since he was a teenager. “In the 1960’s I was a Young Liberal in my Teens, and at University of Sussex, I was a revolutionary socialist.” Then, in the 1970’s he joined the Labour Party as the mainstream left wing party.
Every position has its own difficulties and challenges. The hardest thing of being a councilllor for Peter Carpenter is ‘The Casework’.
“With other two Roehampton councilors I hold surgeries in Roehampton Library on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month. There local residents bring their problems with the Council. Some I can resolve easily by signposting them through the Council bureaucracy, but some have intractable problems, which are often outside the Council’s remit. It is very satisfying when I can resolve one of these problems, but it is a very hard work.”
As the London Mayor election is coming, Peter, on his personal twitter account publically supports candidate Sadiq Khan. “He has got my vote to be Mayor” – says one of the posts on his twitter account.
“As a Labour Councillor, I am bound to support the Labour Candidate for Mayor. But I know Sadiq personally. For 12 years he was a Wandsworth Councillor, and has been MP for Tooting since 2005. He is London born and understands its problems. I think he will make a real contribution to resolving its Housing and Transport problems.”
According to the statistics, Putney and Roehampton are amongst the safer places in London with below average and falling crime. Although, Peter thinks that ‘low level anti-social behavior can be improved.” Also, the imposition of the Alcohol Exclusion Zone in Roehampton has helped to reduce the incidence of street drinking.
Education is one of the most important things that needs to be improved all the time. Peter believes, that schools in London have improved enormously over the past 20 years. “Primary education is now generally good, but there is still more to do to improve secondary education. London universities are very strong and include some world leading institutions.”
He went to the University of Sussex after it was just opened. “In those days only some 7% of students went to University. Now it is 50%, so the nature of University education has changed with more emphasis on professional education and less on the purely academic.”
At the moment there are plans to close the Alton Activity Centre in London, which provides after school activities for children aged from 5 to 13 years old. It gives the opportunity for their parents to work full working day, without worrying about their children. Without this centre, some parents would not be able to work the full working day and it would cause many problems for their financial situations.
Peter says that he is currently working with the Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s services, Kathy Tracey, “to put together a package of services to replace the current Spurgeon’s contract which finishes at the end of March with an alternative programme for the Summer term”.
Peter Carpenter seems interested in every subject he has to deal with, he is more than happy with his career, which is essential doing a job like his.