Mediation boss given honour

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Potton resident and the former East of England Area Director of Acas,Peter Harwood, has been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday honours list with an OBE for Services to the economy and employment relations for his work as Chief Conciliator at Acas.

Peter retired in September 2014 from his post as Chief Conciliator after 28 years service in the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). During this time at Acas, he distinguished himself by his work in both individual and collective mediation in the East of England, and latterly, since 2008, in his role as Acas Chief Conciliator when his successes indirectly touched upon every household in the UK.

The prime responsibility of the Chief Conciliator is to resolve significant national industrial disputes, and Peter’s achievements during his time in the role were outstanding. Among his most significant successes, both from the perspective of the UK economy as well as the complexity of the issues at hand, four disputes stand out in particular. These were the Lindsay oil refinery in 2009; the fuel tanker drivers in 2012; the bus companies prior to the 2012 Olympics; and Royal Mail 2013.

Peter described the honour as: “a nice surprise”.

“It’s is not just for me but a recognition of the good work that all our conciliators do.”

Area Director for the East of England, Caroline Plummer said: “I am delighted that Peter’s contribution to industrial relations has been recognised. He has given outstanding service in the resolution of countless difficult disputes, this honour is well deserved. ”