ALLERDALE council’s deputy leader Mark Jenkinson has been announced as Workington’s Conservative candidate for the next general election.

The outspoken politician, who emerged as the preferred candidate during a “competitive hustings” in Cockermouth Town Hall on Saturday, said he was honoured to have been chosen.

A parish councillor for Seaton and Camerton and borough councillor for Seaton and Northside, he became deputy leader of Allerdale in 2019.

He said: “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.

“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.”

Mr Jenkinson is also 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.

Describing Brexit as an “unwelcome distraction”, Mr Jenkinson said that people wanted it resolved so that Parliament can move onto improving the NHS, getting more police on the streets, increasing the national living wage and increasing funding for our schools.

“Workington voted to Leave and wants us to get on with it,” he added.

Allerdale’s executive temporarily suspended some of the authority’s recycling services earlier this year following issues with the contractor.

Members also controversially voted not to press ahead with the former administration’s ambitious stadium plans for Workington, agreeing instead to look at a scaled-back version.

He said: “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.

“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 taxpayer.

“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, and Ministers and MPs have shown confidence in our leadership with the recent game-changing funding announcements.”

Workington Conservative Association Chairman Paddy Gorrill described Mr Jenkinson as a candidate who is “passionate” about the constituency.

He said that he was “looking to make Workington great again” by encouraging investment, improving our services and representing his constituents.