Monday, April 30, 2012

About: Peter Barrett

This is another part of my series of posts about my friends who are standing for election this week.

I've known Peter Barrett who's standing in the Perth City Centre ward pretty much since I came back to Scotland. Despite the fact that he spends most of our interactions taking the mickey out of me, I have a lot of time for him. Maybe it's because he reminds me a little bit of my Dad 20 years ago, I don't know.

I've known him as a hard-working councillor, Scottish Party Campaigns Officer, boss and election agent and he has been formidable in each one of these roles. He's passionate about fairtrade and was instrumental in ensuring Perth and Kinross achieved and retained fairtrade status.

Once Peter starts to work on an issue, he doesn't let up until its sorted. He was once described in the local newspaper as the "Saviour" of Tay Street in Perth, having protected it from being turned into a car park. Not once but twice he has been instrumental in making sure that the lovely South Inch was kept free from an incinerator. While I've never lived in Perth, my parents and sister lived there for 10 years, so I know it very well. I took my niece Laura for walks in that park, so I'm extremely pleased that it's been spared the ruining presence of an incinerator.

It's on housing where he's made a huge difference, though. When he took over as Housing Convener in Perth and Kinross in 2007, homeless provision was pretty dire. He has transformed the service and wrote about what he'd done for Lib Dem Voice about 18 months ago. Since then, he's made sure Perth and Kinross has met the 2012 homelessness target early.

He's a feisty, tenacious character who does a power of good work for the people he represents. If you live in Perth City Centre, give him your first preference - and if you know anyone who lives there, tell them to do the same.

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