Q&A: Where I live

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 October 2017

Applecart Arts

Peter Moreton is the artistic director of Applecart Arts in Upton Park, a new community arts centre. He has lived in the borough for many years and explains here what it means to him.

What’s your connection with the borough?

I’m the artistic director of a new community arts centre called Applecart Arts, near Upton Park tube station.

I used to live in the same road as the centre when I was a student, so I’d walk past the building every day. Now I walk past my old flat every day and wonder who’s living there now. I hope they’re as happy there as I was.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

We’re meeting inspiring people here on a daily basis. There are so many organisations and individuals working quietly in the background developing community links and providing opportunities for people to flourish. Best of all is the rich diversity of the people living here.

Newham is a great example of how brilliantly people from all walks of life can get on and celebrate each other’s cultural backgrounds.

What one thing would you change?

There can never be enough opportunities for young people to develop confidence and find a voice.

We’re trying to provide a platform for young artists to explore ideas and reach a standard of excellence in the arts.

Use three words to describe the area?

Vibrant, chaotic. alive

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

I was lucky enough to meet Nelson Mandela back in the 1990s. I was performing at an event in his honour at Birmingham Concert Hall.

There aren’t many people who have changed the world in quite the same way, but suddenly he was front of me, shaking my hand!

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

I’d increase the minimum wage to the level recommended by the Living Wage Foundation and I’d make it illegal for there to be a wage differential of more than 50 per cent between employees or owners in any one company.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

I’m increasingly interested in the stories of the people who are often not noticed or ignored. They’re usually the best ones.

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