Biography of current Mayor
Councillor Pete Smith was born in Walsall in 1951 and has lived there for almost all of his life. The eldest of 6 children, Pete and his siblings were raised by their parents on the Beechdale Estate, Walsall. Upon passing his 11plus exam, Pete attended The Joseph Leckie School from 1962 to 1969, serving as Deputy Head Boy of the school in the school year 1968/9.
After obtaining his A levels, he studied History, Politics and Economics at Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry (now Coventry University) and graduated in 1972 with a B.A. (Hons.) degree. After working for a short time in the Probation Service, Pete entered the teaching profession and spent 33 years at Great Wyrley High School in South Staffordshire before taking early retirement as Head of Business Studies in 2005.
Having served as a South Staffordshire District and Parish Councillor from 1979 to 1981, Pete was first elected as a Walsall Councillor in 1983, serving the Palfrey ward until 1987. He later represented the Blakenall ward from 1988 to 1992, 1993 to 1997, 2007 to 2011 and more recently from 2012 until 2016. During these periods of office Pete served on a whole range of Committees and school governing bodies and was for a short time the Chair of the Council’s Education Committee. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s Pete was honorary Secretary of Walsall’s Community Relations Council, which at the time was Walsall’s largest voluntary organisation, doing a great deal of pioneering and campaigning work on equality issues, particularly the promotion of racial equality.
Pete has been involved in local politics and has been a community campaigner and activist for the last 40 years. He became Mayor of Walsall for the year 2014/15 (commencing June 16th 2014) as determined by the 60 strong Council and based on length of service as a sitting Councillor.
The charities chosen for support from the Mayor’s Charity Appeal 2014-2015 are:
- The McMillan Cancer Support Group, Walsall
- The MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society, Black Country Branch
- The Walsall based “Heart Care”
- Bloxwich Community Partnership Charity
The Mayor’s niece, Mrs. Laura Barnes, will support the Mayor as his Mayoress during his term in office.
This page was last updated on 14 November 2014