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.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cross Party Consultation

I thought it would be both interesting and perhaps useful to engage or at least introduce myself to some of my Labour colleagues. So when I heard a North Eastern voice in the Sports and Social bar in the House of Commons a couple of months ago, I was only too keen and eager to go over and introduce myself to Jarrow’s MP, Stephen Hepburn, MP and talk about some of the issues in the region.

We were both in strong agreement that it was a disgrace the A1 upgrade had been degraded to of regional significance rather than of National Importance and of course Mr Hepburn was also in agreement that the lack of investment prohibiting future employment in the region was likewise a disgrace. It’s such a shame therefore that before Mr Hepburn had even had the chance to meet with Secretary of State for Defense, the work which looked promised to A&P was awarded a yard on the Clyde. To have been given a £75m slice of the £2bn contract is a huge disappointment for the region – the apprenticeships and jobs that contract would have brought to the Tyne would have been such a boast for South Tyneside.

Also, just thought I’d mention in case Mr Hepburn is reading, the £25m awarded to my old school, Harton, isn’t to build a rocket - it’s for a sixth form and other improvements. Check out the school’s website www.harton-tc.co.uk. Let’s just hope the work still goes ahead though and doesn’t’ become another promised PFI project which is cancelled or delayed.

I haven’t had the pleasure yet of meeting Mr Miliband. I have offered to buy him lunch but he hasn’t got back to me. I am sure he responds to his constituents more timely. I guess he’s busy in India or somewhere…. I must drop him another line....


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