Kenneth Darlingston Collins was born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 12 August 1939 and was educated at the former Hamilton Academy. He later studied at the University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde, attaining Bsc (Hons) and Msc.
On leaving university, Collins worked as a local authority planning officer and lectured at the Glasgow School of Art and Paisley College of Technology subsequently being elected a Member of East Kilbride Town and District Council (1973–79) and of Lanark County Council (1973–75). From 1976-79, Collins was also a member of the East Kilbride Development Corporation and, from 1974–76, Chairman of North East Glasgow Children's Panel.
In 1979, Ken Collins was elected an MEP, serving as Deputy Leader of the U.K. Labour Group at the European Parliament from 1979–84 and as Chairman of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, 1979–84; Vice-Chairman from 1984–87; and again as Chairman from 1989-99. Collins was also Socialist Spokesman on Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection at the European Parliament from 1984-89.
Appointments, awards and honours
Ken Collins is a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and The Royal Geographical Society; an Hon. Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management; and a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust.
He is also a board member of the Institute for European Environmental Policy, London, and of Energy Action Scotland; a former member of the British Waterways Scotland Group; a Trustee of The Green Foundation; board member of the Central Scotland Forest Trust (2001–04, and Chairman 1998-2001); a former board member, Forward Scotland; a former Chairman (1999–2002) of Tak Tent Cancer Support; and Member of the Management Board, European Environment Agency.
An Ambassador for the National Asthma Campaign, Ken Collins has also served as Hon. Vice-President of the National Society for Clean Air; as Vice-President of the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland and as Hon. President of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers.
- Frost’s Scottish Who’s Who – Kenneth Collins Retrieved 28 October 2010
- Rotary Club of Hamilton – Press 2009 Retrieved 28 October 2010
- Scottish Government – news release – 22 September 2003, appointment and biography, Sir Ken Collins Retrieved 28 October 2010
- BBC News - Queen’s Birthday Honours - Knights Bachelor 13 June 2003 Retrieved 28 October 2010