The son of a Royal Marine, Bruce Tennent MA BSc(Eng) MBA MIET was widely travelled in his formative years. As a consequence, he studied at ten schools before settling down to study at Eastney Modern for Boys, Portsmouth. However, His 8th school was a primary school in Rowner, Gosport where coincidentally, six years later Bruce started his career at a branch of the Dockyard, the Admiralty Experiment Works, Haslar as an apprentice Laboratory Mechanic (Like many MOD establishments, this has been privatized and is now a branch of QinetiQ). Four years later after leaving school without a single “O” level, he had gained sufficient qualifications to go on to study at honours level an Electrical & Electronic Engineering Sandwich degree course at Portsmouth Polytechnic. From there worked in large-scale manufacturing around the country, where his highlight was working in an aerospace & automotive factory in Paris with 1,200 French colleagues. Bruce’s role at this facility was technical lead for the UK sales office for which learning to speak French was essential.
Those of you who have gone to university to study technical degrees will understand the relief when it is all over, but how strangely after the memory of the hard slog has faded, a yearning to improve one’s academic knowledge comes back. It was this very scenario with Bruce and why he entered a part-time qualification of Master of Business Administration postgraduate degree (MBA) at the University of Southampton. At the same time as studying for this degree, he was also doing a day job at British American Tobacco, which presented numerous challenges, one of which was to start BAT’s first ever Technician Apprenticeship training programme at this site. Bruce nevertheless managed to gain a Merit pass, vastly improving his management skills in the process.
Several years later his manufacturing career effectively ended, when in 2003 British American Tobacco closed its manufacturing facility in Southampton due to a change in Government legislation banning the manufacture of cigarettes that contained a tar content greater than a new threshold, causing around 350 people to lose their jobs. This facility was very important to the UK’s GDP since BAT was a major exporter to China and it could be said that it was very short-sighted of the then Labour Government to cut off this generation of income to our economy. Due to globalization however, BAT opened a factory in Cambodia to continue the cigarette production for the lucrative Chinese market.
Like many of you, Bruce has always had a feeling of pride regarding where he lives and like many of you with busy lives, he was always too busy with his engineering career to try to influence for the better, changes he would like to see in his community. It was not until the demise of large-scale manufacturing in the South and no longer wanting to move from the region he thought of as home, that he decided that he would like to spend more time working within the community. In 2003, he started working on a Government project that had evolved from the Youth Training Scheme, called Entry to Employment (e2e). It was tough. Bruce was very much outside of his comfort zone, since he was no longer programming robots to run production lines, but working with disadvantaged young people who for whatever reason did not fit into the typical school regime. Part of his work was as a consultant interviewing large retail outlets, garages or Estate Agents, etc., to see whether they would take on these young people in order to provide them with work experience. Another part of Bruce’s work was as a trainer for these young people to help them get used to what a potential employer would expect of them. This was especially tasking since the reason that they were on the programme in the first place was that the classroom environment had not worked for them.
With his manufacturing career firmly behind him, Bruce turned his attention to politics where he became a councillor at his first attempt in the Borough of Eastleigh. Five years later, Bruce gained another postgraduate degree, this time a merit pass in a Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Portsmouth and serves on four local councils including Hampshire County Council. His most recent highlight was being invited by the Chinese government to give lectures on British democracy at several universities in southern China. He strongly supports education and plans to use his influence to encourage Chinese students to study at British universities. To this end, Bruce enrolled on a Mandarin course at Southampton University.
He is a liberal in every sense of the word and am passionate about our community. He has one sole aim, which is for this community to be absolutely the best place in England to live.
When the opportunity arose to enter politics, it was after having a very satisfying engineering career and he therefore has a wealth of experience to bring to his new-found love.
Representing you as your South East Region Candidate in the 2014 European Elections and again as your New Forest East Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in the 2015 General Election was a tremendous privilege that he took very seriously. However, during those campaigns he continued to serve the communities of West End and Hedge End where residents have elected him to represent them on four separate councils; namely Hampshire County Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, West End Parish Council and Hedge End Town Council.
- Eastleigh Borough Council – West End North Ward (2006 to date)
- West End Parish Council (2007 to date)
- Hampshire County Council – West End & Grange Park Division (2009 to 2017)
- Hampshire County Council – West End & Horton Heath Division (2017 to date)
- Hedge End Town Council (2011 to date)
- European Union – South East Region, Prospective European Candidate, 8th on the list (2014)
- New Forest East, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, 4th with 9.4% share of the vote (2015)
- Gosport, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, 3rd with 4.7% share of the vote (2017) Learn more…