PROFILE: Councillor Karen Lee
City Councillor for Carholme Ward
Elected May 2003
Chair, Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee
Deputy Mayor of Lincoln
In Karen’s own words: “My name is Karen Lee and I have been a Carholme Ward Labour Councillor since May 2003. I was a Labour Party activist for several years prior to that. I have held the posts of CLP Vice-Chair, Membership Secretary and Women’s Officer since 1997, having joined the Labour Party in 1994. I have attended Labour Party Conference three times. The last time, in 2008 I took the rostrum and on behalf of Lincoln CLP I seconded a vote proposed by my union, UNITE to impose a windfall tax on the profits being made by energy companies.
I am a lifelong Socialist and Trade Unionist and hold very firm views on fairness in society, one of my greatest ideological heroes was Michael Foot. I hold strong views on equality and am proud to be the current Chair of Lincoln City Council’s Equality and Diversity Development Group. I am also Chair of the newly formed Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee. The role of this committee is to promote and strengthen the City Council’s community leadership role. I am well known for my involvement in my local community, I was Chair of the hugely successful Carholme Community Forum for three years.
I strongly believe that locally the only political party which takes women seriously and promotes and supports them politically is the Labour Party. We currently have an excellent Leader of the Labour Group and a number of very active Labour Party women.
I do hold my own views on religion, I was brought up a Catholic and feel that some spiritual belief is a priceless thing, but I think that it is essential to respect the right of individuals to practice their faith in their own way.
I’m a great believer in the NHS and am proud to have worked as a nurse on the Cardiology Ward at Lincoln County Hospital since 2003 and really enjoy my job. I am lucky to have a very supportive boss who encourages my work as a Councillor.
I am very much a family person; I have four children and three grandchildren. I take a very active interest in my grandchildren and help out with babysitting one day per week. If I have any spare time at all I enjoy swimming, Pilates and reading. I love travelling.
I was born in Lincoln 52 years ago and have lived here all of my life. I am proud of a great number of things about Lincoln; it is a gentle, tolerant place with lots of friendly and welcoming people. We should be very proud of how Lincoln has developed and grown, the University has given Lincoln a further dimension to its character, along with its proud historical tradition. I’m particularly proud of Carholme Ward and the manner in which it welcomes a broad and diverse range of people into its community. The West Common is one of Lincoln’s most valuable assets and the hard fight that Neil, Rob and I fought to stop it being developed is one of the Ward’s Labour Councillor’s greatest achievements. I am also proud of how Labour Councillors founded and have developed the Carholme Community Forum, the annual gala being my own idea, supported by friends and colleagues in Carholme.
During my current term as a Carholme Councillor I would like to see the new Labour administration move Lincoln forward and reverse the stagnation of the past four years. Even in these difficult financial times it is still possible to be imaginative and govern the City well. We must address issues of social deprivation and economic development. We must demonstrate once again that we are a tolerant and caring City. The inward looking nature of the previous Conservative group was an absolute disaster for Lincoln; they have severely damaged Lincoln’s tourism industry and this must be addressed. I strongly believe that the Labour Party are the only political party in Lincoln with the capability to do this.
In Carholme we must seek to ensure we have a balanced and diverse community and that we retain our wonderful sense of community. We must continue with our community gala, we must support our schools and churches and we must ensure the West Common remains common land. I am proud to represent Carholme and hope to do so for a very long time.”