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.

Friday, September 29, 2006

New CF Branch for Harlow

As you may have read in Mark Clarke’s Manifesto the main target of the Exec this year is to set up and enhance CF branches in marginal seats. Claire Palmer is responsible for the overseeing of the Marginal Seats Initiative, whereby members of the Exec have been allocated constituencies. I was keen to work with Harlow. Robert Halfon missed being elected by only 97 votes in 2005. We need to get Rob selected in 2009 and by re-establishing the CF branch we will assist in this goal. [There was a small CF branch functioning in Harlow until a year ago when the Chairman moved out of the area to start University and the branch stopped being active].

Last night Claire and I attended the local Association meeting we’d been invited to by Chairman, Graham Smith. We outlined what we wanted to do and reached out to members who had family and friends, who might be interested in becoming involved, as well as asking for any input and suggestions to our proposals. It’s our target to organise the first event in Harlow by December. We hope to gather as many people as possible from the local area aged under 30. We’ll be marketing and using local contacts to publicise the event.

We will do a second event in the New Year, by which time we hope to have identified local people who can continue to run the branch. The Exec will be a phone call away for the third event, but we hope to have a team in place to organise this event and events going forward.

We were very pleased to be so welcomed in Harlow last night and we are looking forward to working there in the coming year.


Anonymous SambaSam said...

Karen, firstly many congratulations on your nomination. However, before we start running around the country setting up new CF branches, perhaps our time would be better spent strengthening those branches that already exist? Many University branches receive little or no support from CF nationally, and it strikes me that many area chairman seem to only exist in order to benefit their own CV's! It leaves me aghast to see that the new executive is already embarking on an enlargement campaign, when some much that already exists is lacking! You guys haven't even been in 5mins, and already you’re off around the country trying to expand an already stretched organisation. How about strengthening what we have already, before embarking on a campaign like this? New exec, same old.

12:48 am  
Blogger Karen Allen said...

Sam, we will be working closely with our University based CF branches. Ranil Jayawardena, who has done an excellent job in Hampshire, is running the Student side this year. We are looking for people interested in providing further support and assistance. We recognise it's an important area and certainly one we won't neglect.

However, seeing as we are in the run up a General Election, one which we have an excellent chance of winning, we decided it was vital to set up new branches, particulary in marginal seats to give these constituencies the boost which could make the different between winning and not winning.

I think we are a very different Exec this year and I hope you will give us the chance to prove what we are capable of doing.

9:40 pm  
Anonymous Gareth Thompson said...

Hi Karen

Just to let you know, depending on the date of the first Harlow CF event in December, I'm sure I might be able to come along and drag a few members of Havering CF and other parts of London North East along too to help "meet and greet" new CF members there (it's only a short drive from where our branch is based). Just let us know!

CF Area Chairman
London North East

8:01 pm  
Blogger Karen Allen said...

The first Harlow event will be on Thursday 30th November. If you could put it in your diary and look to bring as many people as possible that would be fantastic, Gareth.

More details to be posted sortly.

8:54 am  

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