Bill Rammell MP

  1. Bill Rammell MP
    Minister of State for the Armed Forces

    Growing up in Harlow

    I am aged 50 and live in Harlow with my wife Beryl and our two children. I grew up in Harlow and was educated at Burnt Mill Comprehensive School and at University College, Cardiff where I took an honours degree in French.

    Before Entering Parliament

    At University I served a sabbatical year as President of the Students Union. After University I was a management trainee with British Rail, then became a Regional Official with the National Union of Students. I was subsequently Head of Youth Services at Basildon Council before becoming General Manager of Student Services at the University of London.

    I served as a local councillor in Harlow between 1985 and 1997 including a spell as Chair of the then ruling Labour Group.

    MP For Harlow

    I was first elected as the Labour Member of Parliament for Harlow in 1997. Since then I’ve been very active in the constituency, dealing with over 10,000 cases, holding regular "Meet Your MP" sessions, coffee mornings and public meetings, and going out canvassing residents views on the doorstep every weekend. Since 1997 I’ve successfully campaigned:

    * To deliver an NHS Walk-in-Centre in Harlow.

    * For £16 million to build an 82 bed extension at Princess Alexandra Hospital so we can better meet the needs of local people and tackle waiting lists by expanded bed capacity.

    * For £800,000 to refurbish the Maternity unit at the Hospital.

    * For specialist schools status for all six of our secondary schools bringing additional investment in the curriculum and upgrading of buildings – we’re now one of only three towns in the country where all our secondaries are specialist.

    * For Excellence in Cities funding which has brought additional investment into our schools to help tackle poor behaviour.

    * For extra investment for our housing – Harlow Council now receives £7.1 million per year compared to £1 million in 1997.

    * For a £16 million grant to regenerate our housing and sports and recreation facilities through the Gateway Project.

    * To restore the Police and Nurses housing grant to help with local recruitment of these essential public sector workers.

    * For measures to tackle anti-social behaviour including Anti-Social Behaviour Orders which the Council and Police are now using and new Community Police Support Officers for the constituency.

    * For extra help for pensioners including the Winter Fuel Allowance, the £200 Council Tax rebate and the abolition of charges for those elderly constituents who have to stay in hospital for a long time.

    * In Parliament my main interests have been education and health, housing and regeneration, Europe and the economy, and sport. Following the 2001 General Election I served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell MP and was appointed as an Assistant Government Whip in October 2002. However, just a few weeks later I was moved to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office following a Government reshuffle after the resignation of Education Secretary Estelle Morris MP. Until May 2005, I served as Parliamentary under Secretary of State with responsibility for Government policy towards Latin America and North East Asia, China and Hong Kong, as well as the United Nations, human rights, the environment and the co-ordination of international support through our Embassies across the world for our 2012 Olympic bid. Following the May 2005 General Election I was promoted to Minister of State at the Department for Education and Skills with responsibility for lifelong learning, further and higher education. In the June 2007 reshuffle, my position was confirmed in the new Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills. In the October 2008 reshuffle, I returned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as Minister of State. My responsibilities include the Middle East, Far and South-East Asia, North America, Counter Terrorism and Migration Policy. In June 2009, I took on the big responsibility of Minister of State for the Armed Forces at the Ministry of Defence.

    Personal Interests

    My personal recreational interests are football, travel and cricket.