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.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Finished in 2 hours 10 minutes!

I really did thoroughly enjoy the race today and was pleased I managed to do just under the 10 minutes miles I had been running. I didn't feel much pain until I got on to the John Reid Road. The road seemed endless.... and the hill on the Prince Edward Road as you approached the Marsen Inn almost a killer - but I persevered!

The atmosphere on the course was brilliant as was the weather, although it was a bit on the warm side (but to be honest training in the heat in London had been much worse on some days). There were live acts throughout, which did keep you motivated to carry on. I even caught a glimpse of Sting on the start line. Great day! I'm now off to put my feet up and enjoy a beer.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Constituents Coffee Morning in Whitburn

This morning's "Welcome to the South Shields Constituency" coffee morning at the Whitburn Cricket Club was very enjoyable. As well as Association members supporting from both South Shields and Jarrow, we had a number of non-member constituents who wanted to talk about the area and to ask questions about the Conservative Party and of course we also had the traditional raffle - a Tory gathering would never be complete without one!

I'm delighted Marsden and Whitburn are joining the boundaries of South Shields. I'd be even more delighted if the seat of South Shields was redrawn as its natural form to encompass Cleadon and East Boldon. The addition of these two areas would mean South Shields would be a marginal or even a Conservative seat. We can but hope, one day maybe.....

I'm off now to tuck into a bowl of pasta. Have to keep my carbs up for the run tomorrow!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Increase in Unemployment in South Shields

The level in unemployment in South Shields has risen by 2.4% in the last year - this is one of the biggest increases in the country. Mr Miliband has pledged the Government will provide more funding for the region in terms of training and apprenticeships. I think most people in South Shields would have been more impressed by the meaningful and immediate contribution he could have made in the recent MOD aircraft carrier contract negotiations, where we saw work worth £2bn sent up to the Clyde. South Shields shipyards were equipped for the work and we desperately needed new work which would have brought apprenticeships and training for the young, as well as jobs for our highly trained work force.

We don't want to hear words and promises, we need jobs in the region and we certainly don't appreciate the grossly unaccurate boast which remains on Mr Miliband's website:

"I am delighted that unemployment in South Tyneside has fallen consistently since 1997."


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

South Shields Boundary Changes

At the next General Election the constituency boundaries for South Shields are changing. It means residents in Marsden and parts of Whitburn will now be in South Shields.

As the Conservative Candidate for South Shields I am hosting a coffee and scones morning at the Whitburn Cricket Club on Saturday 19th September to welcome and meet residents. Of course I would also like to learn about any problems residents may have in the area and answer any general questions too.

Invitations have gone out to residents in Marsden and Whitburn, but if you live in another part of South Shields and would like to come along - particularly if you were unable to make the recent Harton coffee morning - please do. We will be there from 10.30am. Further dates in other areas of South Shields to be announced.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Westoe By Election

South Shields By Election in the Westoe Ward on Thursday saw Independent Councillor, Allen Branley who had been allegedly ousted from the chamber due to non attendance of meetings, re-elected to South Tyneside Council. The results as follows:
  • Allen Branley (Independent Alliance) 694 (30.6%, -35)
  • Alan West (Labour) 567 (25%, +6.1)
  • Tony Dailly (Conservative) 320 (14.1%, +3.2)
  • Les Lovelock (BNP) 266
  • William Troupe (Lib-Dem) 225
  • David Wood (Real Independent) 194
The bulk of the vote Branley haemorrhaged went to the BNP, Lib Dem and Real Indepedent, with our Conservative candidate and Association Chairman gaining only a 3.2% swing. I think we have to be real in accepting this says a lot about the work the Conservative Party needs to do in the North East. We should also acknowledge it shows the disenchantment the electorate surely has towards the Government - Labour with the basis of its existing councillors and indeed council leader, should have been enable to scoop up the Independent vote in the ward; but they failed to do this.

We need to capitalise on the dwindling Labour support in South Shields and show Conservatives can offer what the other parties cannot. We must not turn away votes.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Final Training Before Run Day!

I have less than 10 days of training left before my first Great North Run. I'd always wanted to do the run. I remember as a child looking forward to July (when the race was still held in July) to cheer on runners on the Broadway.

I'm incredibly proud the world's biggest half marathon and the UK's biggest race finishes in South Shields.

Over 50,000 runners will take part this year - runners from all over the world taking in the views of our beautiful coastline on the approach to the finish line - raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. I am running for Cancer Research:


Upon completion I won't have far to stagger home - which might just be a good thing. I've done the odd 10k before, but never really anymore than that. I've tried to take the training quite seriously and I'm hoping to get one more long run in before the 20th September......

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Could this be the world's shortest cycle lane?!

Located by the riverside, leading down to Wapping Street in South Shields, I wasn't sure where you could go or could have come from?!!