Local Councillor and Deputy Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, Mark Jenkinson, has been selected by local Conservative party activists as their candidate for the next general election.
At a meeting at Cockermouth Town Hall on Saturday, Councillor Jenkinson and other applicants faced a competitive hustings in front of party members, with Mark emerging as their preferred candidate to contest the Workington constituency at the next general election.
“I am honoured to have been chosen as the conservative candidate for the Workington constituency” explained Mark, “for too long the Labour Party have neglected Allerdale and Workington. We have an MP who consistently votes to thwart Brexit, against the will of the Workington constituency which voted by a majority of 60% to leave the EU. We need a local representative returned to Westminster that will actually represent us and our interests.
“Brexit is now an unwelcome distraction – people want it sorted so that parliament can move onto improving the NHS, getting more police on the streets, increasing the national living wage, increasing funding for our schools and working for our local communities in parliament. Workington voted to Leave and wants us to get on with it. The incumbent Labour MP puts her own party-political ambitions before the will of her constituents, as she has done consistently since she was first elected.
“As was seen in the recent borough council elections, the electorate want change. For too long the Labour Party have had their grip on the political scene in West Cumbria and they have presided over continued decline in our public services and business prosperity, placing the blame on others rather than pulling up their sleeves and coming up with imaginative solutions to the issues the area faces.
“When I was elected Deputy Leader of the Council, we had a situation where people’s bins weren’t getting emptied and the focus of the staff was on a vanity project which could have had dire financial consequences for the authority. Labour led Allerdale was in a mess.
“Alongside others, I got stuck in to solve these problems. Peoples bins are now being emptied and we are bringing the service back in house. The stadium project is being reimagined to achieve new facilities for our sports teams without placing financially crippling obligations into the council tax payer. We have businesses across the borough talking to us about their ambitions and how we can help them. We are seeing positive change in Allerdale which is what happens when you vote Conservative. Ministers and MPs have shown confidence in our leadership with the recent game-changing funding announcements.
“I will be asking the people of Workington constituency to put their trust in me as their next member of Parliament. They can be assured I will be working every waking hour for them – to improve our towns, our hospitals, our schools and our infrastructure. Unlike other parties, I’m not another career politician flown in via Wales and the Midlands to get a seat on the front bench. I’m a local lad, a father of four, whose family all live and work in the constituency, and who wants to do the best for my area. My roots are firmly planted in Workington and I want to shake the political tree in Westminster.”
Speaking after the selection meeting, Workington Conservative Association Chairman Paddy Gorrill said: “In Mark we have a local candidate who is passionate about Allerdale and the Workington constituency, looking to make Workington great again by encouraging investment to support job and wealth creation, improving our services and representing his constituents. He wants to get Brexit done so we can move onto the country’s priorities – higher pay, lower taxes, more police, tougher sentences, more doctors and more nurses. Not the delay, confusion and indecision you will get from Labour.”
Mark is a local parish councillor for Seaton and Camerton and borough councillor for Seaton and Northside. Made deputy leader of Allerdale borough council in 2019, Mark is a charity trustee and ex-school governor, and remains active at the most basic grassroots level, often organising clean-up days in his village, and helping out the Seaton in Bloom group.
Married to Dawn, the 37-year-old father of four works as a self-employed contractor in the nuclear engineering supply chain.