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Speaker Biography

Lord Peter Smith

Peter Smith was born in Leigh in 1945. After attending the London School of Economics, Peter was a lecturer in Politics and Economics at Walbrook College, London, and Manchester College of Art and Technology in Manchester. In 1982 he obtained an MSc in Urban Studies at Salford University.

Peter Smith was elected to Wigan MBC in 1978 and was Chairman of Finance from 1983 to 1991 when he became Leader of the Council. Peter was a founder member of the innovative Wigan Borough Partnership sharing economic development with the private sector. Peter is active at the national, regional and sub-regional levels of local government. He was appointed by the Local Government as trustee of leadership centre for Local Government and has been appointed Chair from March 2010. He is also the vice-chairman of the Special Interest Group for Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA). At the regional level Peter was Chairman of the North West Regional Assembly for 1999-2000 and has been appointed the first chairman of the English Regions Network. In 2005 he was appointed as chair of the Executive Board of the NWRA which dealt with key regional matters such as the Regional Funding Allocation. This became the first Regional Leaders Board and Peter resigned as Chair after he was appointed to the Board of the NWDA in November 2008.

In June 2000 he was elected Chairman of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. As collaboration between the City Region grew he became chair of the AGMA Executive Board. Peter was a director Manchester Airport from 1986 to 2010 and is a past chairman.

In June 1999 he was created a Life Peer with the title Lord Smith of Leigh. In Parliament he takes particular interest in local government, health and transport matters.