Joe Anderson at the Peace Centre

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, moved and inspired by Peace Centre

October 30, 2014 | Nick Taylor

The first elected mayor of the City of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, visited the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre to meet the Founders Colin and Wendy Parry and is ‘moved and inspired.’

Joe toured the Centre and met with members of the team who told him about the work undertaken to prevent terrorism and support those affected by violent conflict.  He also discussed the challenges facing cities like Liverpool in dealing with diverse communities and the global threat of extremism on society and those who may vulnerable.

The Mayor was able to see at first hand the work and agreed a series of discussions to look at how the City and the Foundation can support each other.

Joe said: “It is fantastic to come here and see what has been achieved and the unique work that is arguably not being produced anywhere else.

“I was very moved and inspired and will be looking to see how I can support the charity and how the Foundation for Peace can work to support my work in Liverpool.”

Colin Parry, Chairman of the Foundation said: “Wendy and I were very grateful that Joe took time to visit the Peace Centre.  I am from Liverpool and it meant a lot to meet the Mayor who has a real passion for my home city and to discuss how we may be able to work together to support his ambition to keep Liverpool thriving, growing and above all a safe and peaceful place.”

The Foundation team will be continuing discussions with the Mayor’s Office to consider how the Foundation can work in support of the City.

Picture – Mayor Anderson pictured left to right with charity Founders Colin and Wendy Parry and Chief Executive Nick Taylor

Joe Anderson was born in 1958, the son of a merchant seaman and an office cleaner, in a city centre tenement called Kent Gardens near the Dingle.  One of six children, he attended St Vincent Primary School, where today he serves as a school governor, and St Martins Secondary School.

He left school at 16, and joined the Merchant Navy and later P&O Ferries, spending 12 years at sea.  At 20 he was a steward of the National Union of Seamen and became the youngest ever convener.

It was also in his early 20s that he started to read political biographies, and in his own words, self-educate himself. 

He studied for a degree in social work at Liverpool John Moores University, and then went on to become a social worker for Sefton Council in 1992.

He moved into education welfare and was appointed to lead a social inclusion unit for young people with behavioural and emotional difficulties. Joe also studied Labour History at Liverpool University.

Joe was elected to Liverpool City Council for the Abercomby ward (now Riverside) in Liverpool in 1998, became Leader of the Labour Group three years later, and Leader of the Council in 2010.

In May 2012, Joe stood as the Labour Party candidate in the first-ever direct elections for the citywide Mayor of Liverpool. He won on the first ballot with a majority of 50,000 votes, securing almost 60 per cent of all votes cast.

Joe is married to Marg and has four children – Joanne (a councillor), Tony, David, Michael; grandchildren Thomas and Lucy and lives in Old Swan. Joe was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s birthday Honours list in 2012.