Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Getting Our Youth Back: Manifesto

I want to be elected to the NME because I want to be in a position whereby I can change and improve CF. I have worked hard this year on the Committee organising the Working Life Conference in Loughborough. We attracted a largely increased number of women and first timers to this event which was widely perceived as a success.

What I would do on the NME:

 Provide more training and guidance to our members. I believe we fundamentally need to equip our activists to be the best and most successful campaigners. We can achieve this by training. I would organise more skill grounding and development sessions on “tactical” campaigning and the “art” of campaigning; essentially how to influence voters. I would also arrange media training sessions.
In addition to knowing how to campaign, it’s vital our members are educated on the Party’s key issues and Policies (as they are formed). I would organise informal sessions for discussion on topics such as David Cameron’s Six Key Challenges.
I also want members to get more opportunity to practice debating and public speaking. A breakfast meeting could encompass discussion / debate of key issues with an MP or member of the Shadow Cabinet. I would look to have these sessions broadcast, thereby reaching out to members of CF who live in other parts of the country or are not able to attend the session.

 Organise more campaigning groups. The under 30s vote can win elections. The natural next forward step to compliment training is to organise more campaigning and canvassing for our members. Campaigning should be at the heart of the group.

 Cater for all of our members. This year’s Conference was geared towards “Working Life” members and it worked very well. We were able to attract more people as it was specifically targeted and I do believe in the case of some sessions it is more productive to target in this way. However, if I was on the NME I would ensure there are a variety of events for our Student members to join as well as sessions specifically geared towards them. I would ensure our Students got the Conference they deserve.

 Work to attract more members aged 22 and over. CF has attracted a vast number of new members aged 18-24, but we have seen fewer members 24+. I work in an environment where there is a network of twenty somethings which puts me in a good position to attract these new members we are lacking

 Develop the image of CF. I think in the past CF has been wrongly and unfairly. Although the group has worked very hard to change there is still some way to go. By attracting a wider range of new members and being involved in a range of activities I think we can achieve this.

 Set up new branches. This is absolutely key to our success. I would work to set up new branches not only in target seats but in our cities, where there is a drought of opportunities and resources for our young voters. I am from the North East originally, an area where the Conservatives have historically not be very strong, I have been extremely encouraged on recent visits to Newcastle by growing interest in the activities of the Party and want to develop this in Newcastle and other cities.

Vote for me because I am dedicated to improving CF. I joined CF in 2004 at the grand age of 25. As a late joiner I think I can provide fresh input, from a solidly professional background to appeal to a wide range of voters under the age of 30. I want to be in a position where I can maximise my input to CF. Vote for me to join the NME to give me this opportunity. I believe CF is the Future of the Conservative Party.


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