MP for Southampton Test
Alan graduated with a degree in Politics and Philosophy from Southampton University and went on to achieve a Ph.D. in Political Science. In 1980 he became a city councillor and then Leader of the Council when Labour took control in 1984.
He worked in research for two national charities during the 1980s and early 90s, and in 1992, came off the city council and became Professor of Public Policy at Southampton Institute. He was first nominated by the Labour Party to stand for Southampton Test in the early 1980s, made solid progress in the seat in 1987 and 1992, and finally won in 1997. As a new Labour MP, he was appointed to the Select Committee on Environment Transport and the Regions and in December 1999 was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Baroness Blackstone, Minister for Higher and Post-16 Education.
Between June 2001 and May 2002 he was Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, responsible for local government, the regions and the Fire Service. His special interests now include Further and Higher Education (Lifelong Learning), Local Government, Constitution (Democracy), Environment, Energy and Transport.
He is currently Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group ; Co-Chair, Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resources Group; and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland.
He was a member of the Justice Select Committee, the Standards and Privileges Select Committee and the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee in the last parliament.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Waste Management, and member of the Board for The Environment Centre (Southampton), and the Third Age Centre (Southampton).