Peter Bowness, Baron Bowness
Bowness became a councillor and soon rose within Conservative Party ranks, becoming Leader of Croydon Council, London's largest borough. During the 1980s, Bowness was said to have been one of Margaret Thatcher's favourite Council leaders, and took part in the abolition of the GLC. He was unusual amongst his Conservative colleagues, however, for supporting Ken Livingstone's low-cost public transport initiative, Fares Fair.
He continued as Leader until 1994 when the Labour Party won the local elections. He stepped down from the Council in 1998. He served as a member of the Committee of the Regions and the Audit Commission.
In 1996, Bowness was created a life peer as Baron Bowness, of Warlingham in the County of Surrey and of Croydon in the London Borough of Croydon. He serves on the European Union Committee, chairing the Sub-Committee on Justice, Institutions and Consumer Protection. He is a former member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Bowness was made Freeman of the City of London in 1987 and Honorary Freeman of the London Borough of Croydon in 2002. He was awarded the CBE in 1981 and a Knighthood in 1987. He is a patron of the Warehouse Theatre and was formerly a Governor of the Whitgift Foundation.