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Mr Ranjit Dheer was born in India in 1942 and moved to the United Kingdom in 1966. He spent much of his early years in a village so small it did not even have a primary school. When his family moved to a town, Ranjit was able to attend the local secondary school, eventually making his way to university. After completing his degree he took up a lecturing post at a provincial government college in the southern part of Panjab, where he worked until he left India for the UK.    

Education and career in the UK

Following the initial difficulties associated with a move to a different country, he completed a postgraduate teachers training course at Bristol University and started his career with the then Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). He gained a Master's degree from London University in the early 80s. Moving through advisory and inspector posts, he was appointed as Assistant Director of Education in an Inner London Borough in 1989. He changed course in his professional work by moving away from Local Authority employment in 1993 and into the voluntary sector. He is currently employed as a Director of a Race Equality Council outside London.

Service on council and committees

Ranjit was first elected as a Councillor for the Dormers Wells Ward in 1982. He served two terms until new legislation prohibiting senior local authority employees from political activity forced him to resign. Following his move away from local authority employment, Ranjit returned to Council in a by-election in 1996.

During his first stint as a Councillor, Ranjit served on various committees, including Education, Local Services, Personnel, Planning, Social Services and a number of panels and working groups. He was elected Chair of the Race Equality Committee of the then Association of London Authorities in 1986. He served as Deputy Council Leader from 1988 to 1990. He has also served as a governor of a number of primary and secondary schools in the borough.

Other interests

Ranjit has been active in a number of local community groups. He enjoys travelling and studying different societies, cultures and faiths. His interests include the welfare of children and animals, walking in the hills, cooking, music, literature, arts and the theatre. He has written two books in Panjabi on the lives of migrant settlers in Europe and North America. His second book published in 1994 won a literary prize.