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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sure Start Pledge

On Monday – which was my 31st birthday, so apologies for not blogging this then – David Cameron set out how Conservatives will help the poorest families in society. David explained how we will keep Sure Start, and how we will strengthen it by recruiting 4,200 new Sure Start health visitors to provide universal support to families with children under five and a more effective way of reaching out to the most vulnerable families.

We believe Sure Start needs to work better because the people who need it most – disadvantaged and dysfunctional families – are not getting enough of the benefit. We will improve Sure Start by taking it back to its original purpose of early intervention, increasing its focus on the neediest families, and better involving organisations with a track record in parenting interventions. Drawing on the key principles behind our wider public service reform programme – practicality, independence and accountability – we will create a new kind of Sure Start Children’s Centre to replace failing existing provision.

This is part of our mission to build the strong society based on the values of responsibility and aspiration. For that, we need responsible individuals. We can help people take more responsibility for themselves by focusing on the three areas where character is formed in our early lives – in the family, at school and through the influences of wider society – and take action to ingrain responsibility through each.

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