Biz Extra

Published: February 13, 2020 | Updated: February 15, 2020

20 Questions: Philip Warr, Chief Executive, Purpose Homes, and High Sheriff of Dorset

Philip Warr: My favourite place in Dorset? My garden. I feel so lucky to own a tiny corner of our wonderful county.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

His favourite place in Dorset is his garden, he’s captivated when his daughter plays the piano, his favourite food is Fattoush and if he was Prime Minister he’d give all 18-year-olds a 12 month round the world ticket that has to be used before they can vote. 

Philip Warr, Chief Executive of Purpose Homes and the current High Sheriff of Dorset, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: Well you’ve stumped me from the first question! I rarely see the television. If I do then it’ll be the news on Al Jazeera as I like to know what’s going on around the world.

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: PC Dave Cotterill of Dorset Police’s Traffic Team. In my role as High Sheriff of Dorset I’ve had the privilege of witnessing him at work and he is something else. In a single shift out on the road with him I witnessed him detect almost every road traffic offence imaginable. I realised what a problem drug driving is for the law enforcement agencies nowadays.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Knowing how much of a positive impact the properties we provide have on the lives of people who can’t obtain them themselves.

Q: And the worst…?

A: Knowing how many more vulnerable people are poorly housed and the deleterious impact that poor housing has on people’s health and lives.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: Sir Winston Churchill. I feel proud that I was alive for one month before his death.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: The fresh air emitted by electric cars. I’ve had them since 2014 and I’m amazed at the slow take up – still only 1 in 500 cars on the UK roads are electric. Most people don’t realise the pleasure they’re missing, as well as the harm they’re doing by not making the switch now.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: My garden. I feel so lucky to own a tiny corner of our wonderful county.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: Be two things: 1) Capable; 2) Interested, as the combination is success.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: When I was doing my A-levels at Bournemouth School I went down to Woolco at the Hampshire Centre (I still call it that) in the lunch break and spent the 45 pence per hour that I earned from my gardening job on No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith by Motörhead. Not sure I’d enjoy listening to it now!

Q: What gets you angry?

A: I don’t see the point in getting angry so don’t tend to bother.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: I enjoy all music but when my daughter plays the piano I’m captivated.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: The 3 A’s: Attitude, Aptitude and Ambition, in that order.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: Fattoush.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Melon, if you’re force feeding me. Chocolate if we live in a democracy.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: I can’t put my finger on it but, judging by the number of people that choose to retire here after a life of reviewing their options, Dorset must be pretty high on most criteria.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Give all 18 year olds a 12 month round the world ticket that has to be used before they can vote.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: The pace of our evolution towards a civilised society.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: As a family we gravitate to Switzerland.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: Babysitting for the grandchildren?!

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: Our children, Alistair and Zarah.