Sir Bob Russell has been the MP for Colchester since 1997. He was re-elected in 2001, 2005 and 20010.
He was educated in Colchester at Myland Primary, St Helena Secondary Modern and North-East Essex Technical College.
A journalist by profession, he worked on local newspapers in Essex (including a period as the youngest editor in the country) from 1963 and in Fleet Street from 1969 before in 1973 becoming a Press Officer with Post Office Telecommunications (later BT). From 1986 to 1997 he was Publicity Officer for the University of Essex in Colchester.
Record Of Delivery
Sir Bob Russell was elected to Colchester Borough Council in 1971 (for Labour) before joining the SDP in 1981, and then the Liberal Democrats. He served the New Town Ward for 31 years, a Colchester record. He was Mayor in 1986-87, and Leader of the Council 1987-91. For five years (1997-2002) he was both a Councillor and MP.
He played the pivotal role in the establishment of the High Woods Country Park and Cymbeline Meadows Country Park; the survival of Colchester United Football Club at professional level and later the building of the Community Stadium; started a major programme of tree planting (upwards of 50,000 trees in 15 years); and through his passion for road safety the introduction of the first 20mph speed limit in Essex.
Sir Bob is an enthusiastic local historian and never misses an opportunity to promote Colchester’s 2,000-year heritage – from pre-Roman through the centuries to the present day.
Colchester has one of Britain’s Super Garrisons, home of 16 Air Assault Brigade. He is always championing Army interests.
He is proud of his record of service to the people of his home town. This is reflected by the number of advice bureaux he holds for residents, more than any other MP in Essex.
Sir Bob Russell is currently a member of the Defence Select Committee, and previously for about ten years served on the Home Affairs Select Committee.
He has also served as the Party’s Sports Spokesperson. At different times he has served on the Regulatory Committee, Catering Committee and Administration Committee.
He has, on three separate occasions, served as a Whip (a position he currently holds).
Sir Bob has twice participated in the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme; and also the Police Service Parliamentary Scheme; the Industry and Parliament Trust Scheme; and a scheme involving participation in the Voluntary Sector. He was nominated for Parliamentary Environment Champion.
Over his 17 years as an MP, Sir Bob has registered the highest voting record of any MP. He also has one of the highest participation rates in questions and debates.