Blackburn Council leader: I’m not too old to be MP

Councillor Kate Hollern, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Councillor Kate Hollern, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

First published in News

KATE Hollern has promised to bring real-life experience to Westminster if elected as Blackburn MP next May.

The 58-year-old rejected claims she is too old to follow 66-year-old Jack Straw as the town’s Commons representative.

The Dumbarton-born Blackburn with Darwen borough leader pledged her experience would benefit her adopted home.

Mr Straw was 31 when he started his 35 years as MP and his predecessor Barbara Castle was 34. The average age of MPs is 50.

Labour constituency secretary Phil Riley said: “The question of Kate’s age was raised in the selection process.

“To have two MPs elected so young and serve 30 years each is unusual.”

Coun Hollern, a mother-of-two with two grandchildren, came to Blackburn in 1977.

She was a supervisor at Newmans Shoes for 19 years and contracts manager at Blackburn College for 13 before retiring in January last year.

She said: “I think the House of Commons needs the mix of all ages, all genders, and all classes.

“There has been a danger in recent years it’s been a target for young graduates which is great because we need a future but you also need experience.

“You need someone who understands the people they are going to represent with a passion for that area.

“I’m bringing a lot of experience of life. I’ve had a 19-year apprenticeship on the council and I think it will bring more of a balance to the Commons.

“And a strong voice of Blackburn, who understands the impact of current policies.

“There’s definitely a growing division between the north and south.

“I will make sure, if I get in and Labour forms a government, the interests of Blackburn are fully represented in the policy-making process.”

She believes her 19 years on Blackburn with Darwen Council, 10 of them as borough leader or leader of the opposition, would benefit the Commons.

She said: “There are too few politicians at Westminster now who have run or understand local government. They are working on theory.

“I can bring real experience of what councils do.”

Coun Hollern admitted she had a hard task to win the election and follow Mr Straw.

She said: “Jack is a big act to follow but they said that about Jack when he replaced Barbara.

“I’m in a more comfy position. I’ve been Jack’s apprentice and Jack’s not going away.

“He’ll still be there and I’ll be able to tap into that experience.”

She has no plans to stand down as council leader and said: “I’m in the fortunate position of having a number of key members who have the experience and skills to continue the work we’re doing.

“I think the question of when I stand down will be reviewed at some time this year.”

She denies any front bench ambitions and added: ”I have never been a career politician.

“I got into politics because I cared. I continued because I cared. I want to take it to national level because I care.”

Comments (18)

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1:39pm Tue 27 May 14

Yankee Clipper says...

”I have never been a career politician."
Does she have a different definition for her 19 years on the Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council? Kate Hollern is a living example of why we need TERM LIMITS for our elected politicians.
”I have never been a career politician." Does she have a different definition for her 19 years on the Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council? Kate Hollern is a living example of why we need TERM LIMITS for our elected politicians. Yankee Clipper
  • Score: 109

2:12pm Tue 27 May 14

Commenting says...

Ideally Blackburn could do with a younger candidate for the pressures of the job cause others to retire at a certain age. Jack is only 7 years older than Kate and clearly backwards and forwards to London must be a strain.
Ideally Blackburn could do with a younger candidate for the pressures of the job cause others to retire at a certain age. Jack is only 7 years older than Kate and clearly backwards and forwards to London must be a strain. Commenting
  • Score: 102

3:02pm Tue 27 May 14

Pittss says...

After 19yrs of feathering your nest on Blackburn Council, you should fit in very quickly as an MP and soon get to grips with the expenses.
A millionair within 4 yrs Kate
After 19yrs of feathering your nest on Blackburn Council, you should fit in very quickly as an MP and soon get to grips with the expenses. A millionair within 4 yrs Kate Pittss
  • Score: 115

7:10pm Tue 27 May 14

abetterblackburn says...

It’s all a very predictable sad affair . . .

Dumbarton-born Blackburn with Darwen borough leader has held her safe seat over a period of around nineteen years without any opposition.

Jack Straw away from home MP has held his safe seat MP for Blackburn for thirty odd years without any opposition.

New Labour: Still popular because it still calls itself Labour and survives because of biased voting tendencies due to the areas industrial past.

Both are not local and both have been fortunate enough to have taken advantage of the safe seat regime in Blackburn. The main reasons why Blackburn continues on it’s downward slope.

Yes, it’s a safe bet that Kate Hollern will become MP for Blackburn for the above reasons alone!
It’s all a very predictable sad affair . . . Dumbarton-born Blackburn with Darwen borough leader has held her safe seat over a period of around nineteen years without any opposition. Jack Straw away from home MP has held his safe seat MP for Blackburn for thirty odd years without any opposition. New Labour: Still popular because it still calls itself Labour and survives because of biased voting tendencies due to the areas industrial past. Both are not local and both have been fortunate enough to have taken advantage of the safe seat regime in Blackburn. The main reasons why Blackburn continues on it’s downward slope. Yes, it’s a safe bet that Kate Hollern will become MP for Blackburn for the above reasons alone! abetterblackburn
  • Score: 111

10:25pm Tue 27 May 14

UrbanGreener says...

It isn't just her age. It's the state of Blackburn under her leadership. I hope the people of Blackburn wake up and elect an MP who isn't Labour even though that will be a difficult choice. We need change and Kate isn't it.
It isn't just her age. It's the state of Blackburn under her leadership. I hope the people of Blackburn wake up and elect an MP who isn't Labour even though that will be a difficult choice. We need change and Kate isn't it. UrbanGreener
  • Score: 108

9:03am Wed 28 May 14

ConcernedOssy says...

Too old and a useless Leach !!
Too old and a useless Leach !! ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 103

9:54am Wed 28 May 14

M.DANNY says...

Sorry you are too old for the job at 58 it is too much for an MP to travel down London and back home in Blackburn for weekends.
I would have a young person with good academic qualification like a Lawyer, Accountant or Teacher etc etc Blackburn need another high profile MP and Kate was not the right person for this job.
Sadly Kate will just be boring back bench MP of Blackburn unlike her predecessor Jack Straw and Barbara Castle,
Sorry you are too old for the job at 58 it is too much for an MP to travel down London and back home in Blackburn for weekends. I would have a young person with good academic qualification like a Lawyer, Accountant or Teacher etc etc Blackburn need another high profile MP and Kate was not the right person for this job. Sadly Kate will just be boring back bench MP of Blackburn unlike her predecessor Jack Straw and Barbara Castle, M.DANNY
  • Score: 99

11:18am Wed 28 May 14

goz says...

She should retire now, she's too old for the council. !!
She should retire now, she's too old for the council. !! goz
  • Score: 97

11:29am Wed 28 May 14

abetterblackburn says...

M.DANNY wrote:
Sorry you are too old for the job at 58 it is too much for an MP to travel down London and back home in Blackburn for weekends.
I would have a young person with good academic qualification like a Lawyer, Accountant or Teacher etc etc Blackburn need another high profile MP and Kate was not the right person for this job.
Sadly Kate will just be boring back bench MP of Blackburn unlike her predecessor Jack Straw and Barbara Castle,
Sorry, but Kate will be Blackburn’s next safe seat MP. She’s been doing what Jack Straw has told her and deserves her reward. Just like Kate has said, Jack Straw is not going away and having been his apprentice will have provided her with all the necessary skills. A pat on the head from her teacher when he eventually goes.

Jack won’t mind Kate taking his place one little bit. It will make him appear to have been a good MP for Blackburn after he’s gone and his son can always fill the gap providing a younger version of himself when everything goes wrong. Just a matter of patience awaiting the opportunity to arise.

Yes, It’s predictable what the outcome will eventually be!
[quote][p][bold]M.DANNY[/bold] wrote: Sorry you are too old for the job at 58 it is too much for an MP to travel down London and back home in Blackburn for weekends. I would have a young person with good academic qualification like a Lawyer, Accountant or Teacher etc etc Blackburn need another high profile MP and Kate was not the right person for this job. Sadly Kate will just be boring back bench MP of Blackburn unlike her predecessor Jack Straw and Barbara Castle,[/p][/quote]Sorry, but Kate will be Blackburn’s next safe seat MP. She’s been doing what Jack Straw has told her and deserves her reward. Just like Kate has said, Jack Straw is not going away and having been his apprentice will have provided her with all the necessary skills. A pat on the head from her teacher when he eventually goes. Jack won’t mind Kate taking his place one little bit. It will make him appear to have been a good MP for Blackburn after he’s gone and his son can always fill the gap providing a younger version of himself when everything goes wrong. Just a matter of patience awaiting the opportunity to arise. Yes, It’s predictable what the outcome will eventually be! abetterblackburn
  • Score: 104

1:12pm Wed 28 May 14

muriel, blackburn says...

You say you care!!! You don't care about the residents of Beardwood Kate unless they wear beards or veils. Dreading next May when you replace Jack Straw. Heaven help us.
You say you care!!! You don't care about the residents of Beardwood Kate unless they wear beards or veils. Dreading next May when you replace Jack Straw. Heaven help us. muriel, blackburn
  • Score: 101

1:51pm Wed 28 May 14

CorkyMac says...

After the local elections, I don't realistically see Labour losing, but I must admit It saddens me that the public of Blackburn have seen the mess It has become under Labour, yet still vote them In, why? My guess Is, because of Its Industrial and working class past, people only saw Labour as the party to represent them, but times have changed and party politics have as well. So why Labour? Maybe because people don't like change, or people who don't bother voting who can make a difference choose to remain that way thinking "what's the point," Labour will win anyway, whether that's the outcome they want or not. Now that Blackburn has a large Asian community, Labour are quite safe In the knowledge that the majority will vote for them, especially given the fact they have a good thing going under local Labour Town Hall control.
Then their Is those on the margins of society, who probably don't vote, but the one's that do, see no alternative In the other Parties, so the wheel goes around again under Labour with no real outcome, apart from the town going further Into decline.
Then we have the generation vote, ( my Parents, Grandparents and so on, all voted Labour) that don't want to think about politics but just vote Labour because It's a tradition to do so. To be honest I can see why people are sick of the same old garbage coming from all parties, because Labour blame Conservative, Conservative blame Labour, Liberals (who I might add, do a great job locally) play pig In the middle and people are sick of the same old rhetoric year after year.
Next year though,(and It could be the first and last chance to do so) people really do need to look for an alternative to Labour, because hand on heart, who can honestly say Labour has made Blackburn a place to be proud of? Who can honestly say they feel safe at night In Blackburn? Has the the social and night life got any better? Has the Town Centre Improved for shoppers? Have they made access to the town better by new road Infrastructure and parking charges? The list Is endless, sure you can think of one of your own reasons.
Then we have Kate Hollern, WHO CARES! Not shown much care to me so far regarding Blackburn under her leadership locally. Let's play devils advocate and believe she may care for Blackburn nationally, she will be a back bencher surrounded by Oxford and Cambridge grads, because of her age, she may do two terms If lucky to really see any difference to Blackburn at all, after she herself has contributed to the downfall of Blackburn anyway. The facts as I see It for Labours candidate are; the mess she has already made; This Is not a supervisors role at Newmans footwear, so I see her as a lamb to the slaughter.
The one good thing for Kate Is she will be financially better off, but, as for a representative for Blackburn, she speaks volumes as to how far down the town has become.
I'm not telling people what to do, I'm just giving my opinion on how I see Blackburn compared to the 60's and 70's when people seemed more happy with their lot and had a town to be proud of. Surely change has to happen and I accept that, but after a minimum of 35yrs you would expect some change for the better.
My message Is clear, If you want change you must vote and not become com-placement and moan after the fact. Next year make a change, go out and vote, whether that be Labour, Conservative, Liberal or UKIP.

It's time for change.
After the local elections, I don't realistically see Labour losing, but I must admit It saddens me that the public of Blackburn have seen the mess It has become under Labour, yet still vote them In, why? My guess Is, because of Its Industrial and working class past, people only saw Labour as the party to represent them, but times have changed and party politics have as well. So why Labour? Maybe because people don't like change, or people who don't bother voting who can make a difference choose to remain that way thinking "what's the point," Labour will win anyway, whether that's the outcome they want or not. Now that Blackburn has a large Asian community, Labour are quite safe In the knowledge that the majority will vote for them, especially given the fact they have a good thing going under local Labour Town Hall control. Then their Is those on the margins of society, who probably don't vote, but the one's that do, see no alternative In the other Parties, so the wheel goes around again under Labour with no real outcome, apart from the town going further Into decline. Then we have the generation vote, ( my Parents, Grandparents and so on, all voted Labour) that don't want to think about politics but just vote Labour because It's a tradition to do so. To be honest I can see why people are sick of the same old garbage coming from all parties, because Labour blame Conservative, Conservative blame Labour, Liberals (who I might add, do a great job locally) play pig In the middle and people are sick of the same old rhetoric year after year. Next year though,(and It could be the first and last chance to do so) people really do need to look for an alternative to Labour, because hand on heart, who can honestly say Labour has made Blackburn a place to be proud of? Who can honestly say they feel safe at night In Blackburn? Has the the social and night life got any better? Has the Town Centre Improved for shoppers? Have they made access to the town better by new road Infrastructure and parking charges? The list Is endless, sure you can think of one of your own reasons. Then we have Kate Hollern, WHO CARES! Not shown much care to me so far regarding Blackburn under her leadership locally. Let's play devils advocate and believe she may care for Blackburn nationally, she will be a back bencher surrounded by Oxford and Cambridge grads, because of her age, she may do two terms If lucky to really see any difference to Blackburn at all, after she herself has contributed to the downfall of Blackburn anyway. The facts as I see It for Labours candidate are; the mess she has already made; This Is not a supervisors role at Newmans footwear, so I see her as a lamb to the slaughter. The one good thing for Kate Is she will be financially better off, but, as for a representative for Blackburn, she speaks volumes as to how far down the town has become. I'm not telling people what to do, I'm just giving my opinion on how I see Blackburn compared to the 60's and 70's when people seemed more happy with their lot and had a town to be proud of. Surely change has to happen and I accept that, but after a minimum of 35yrs you would expect some change for the better. My message Is clear, If you want change you must vote and not become com-placement and moan after the fact. Next year make a change, go out and vote, whether that be Labour, Conservative, Liberal or UKIP. It's time for change. CorkyMac
  • Score: 102

2:41pm Wed 28 May 14

noddy57 says...

Labour next year ? the only way labour can win the next election is if Nigel Farage becomes your leader because that is what you need , Miliband is just not charismatic enough.
Labour next year ? the only way labour can win the next election is if Nigel Farage becomes your leader because that is what you need , Miliband is just not charismatic enough. noddy57
  • Score: 105

7:33pm Wed 28 May 14

ConcernedOssy says...

OOHH YES YOU ARE !!!!!

OOHH YES YOU ARE !!!
OOHH YES YOU ARE !!!!! OOHH YES YOU ARE !!! ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 92

9:02pm Wed 28 May 14

slants says...

Pittss wrote:
After 19yrs of feathering your nest on Blackburn Council, you should fit in very quickly as an MP and soon get to grips with the expenses.
A millionair within 4 yrs Kate
don't they reckon 6 years for an MP millionaire.
[quote][p][bold]Pittss[/bold] wrote: After 19yrs of feathering your nest on Blackburn Council, you should fit in very quickly as an MP and soon get to grips with the expenses. A millionair within 4 yrs Kate[/p][/quote]don't they reckon 6 years for an MP millionaire. slants
  • Score: 88

1:21pm Thu 29 May 14

bow1974 says...

Commenting wrote:
Ideally Blackburn could do with a younger candidate for the pressures of the job cause others to retire at a certain age. Jack is only 7 years older than Kate and clearly backwards and forwards to London must be a strain.
Totally agree Cnslr Carol walsh would be a much wiser choice just look at what she dose for her area and think what she could do for the rest of Blackburn sorry kate your to old for this we need someone young and full of energy you don't see or hear the rest of the cnslrs cleaning streets and making their areas nice to live in do you ???????.
[quote][p][bold]Commenting[/bold] wrote: Ideally Blackburn could do with a younger candidate for the pressures of the job cause others to retire at a certain age. Jack is only 7 years older than Kate and clearly backwards and forwards to London must be a strain.[/p][/quote]Totally agree Cnslr Carol walsh would be a much wiser choice just look at what she dose for her area and think what she could do for the rest of Blackburn sorry kate your to old for this we need someone young and full of energy you don't see or hear the rest of the cnslrs cleaning streets and making their areas nice to live in do you ???????. bow1974
  • Score: 95

5:14pm Thu 29 May 14

ConcernedOssy says...

Yankee Clipper wrote:
”I have never been a career politician."
Does she have a different definition for her 19 years on the Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council? Kate Hollern is a living example of why we need TERM LIMITS for our elected politicians.
Take a good look in a Mirror you will NOT see an MP
[quote][p][bold]Yankee Clipper[/bold] wrote: ”I have never been a career politician." Does she have a different definition for her 19 years on the Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council? Kate Hollern is a living example of why we need TERM LIMITS for our elected politicians.[/p][/quote]Take a good look in a Mirror you will NOT see an MP ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 95

12:55pm Fri 30 May 14

BlackburnEyes says...

bow1974 wrote:
Commenting wrote: Ideally Blackburn could do with a younger candidate for the pressures of the job cause others to retire at a certain age. Jack is only 7 years older than Kate and clearly backwards and forwards to London must be a strain.
Totally agree Cnslr Carol walsh would be a much wiser choice just look at what she dose for her area and think what she could do for the rest of Blackburn sorry kate your to old for this we need someone young and full of energy you don't see or hear the rest of the cnslrs cleaning streets and making their areas nice to live in do you ???????.
Carol would have been a better choice and would had a lot of support across all communities but Kate Hollern is more aligned with the unions which she got nominations from more than the others....hmmmmmm i wonder if some negotiation was done! its a shame Phil Liar-iley wont tell us when the union nominations were casted! this selection had a rat smothered all over it.....
[quote][p][bold]bow1974[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Commenting[/bold] wrote: Ideally Blackburn could do with a younger candidate for the pressures of the job cause others to retire at a certain age. Jack is only 7 years older than Kate and clearly backwards and forwards to London must be a strain.[/p][/quote]Totally agree Cnslr Carol walsh would be a much wiser choice just look at what she dose for her area and think what she could do for the rest of Blackburn sorry kate your to old for this we need someone young and full of energy you don't see or hear the rest of the cnslrs cleaning streets and making their areas nice to live in do you ???????.[/p][/quote]Carol would have been a better choice and would had a lot of support across all communities but Kate Hollern is more aligned with the unions which she got nominations from more than the others....hmmmmmm i wonder if some negotiation was done! its a shame Phil Liar-iley wont tell us when the union nominations were casted! this selection had a rat smothered all over it..... BlackburnEyes
  • Score: 88

9:21am Mon 2 Jun 14

ConcernedOssy says...

ConcernedOssy wrote:
Yankee Clipper wrote:
”I have never been a career politician."
Does she have a different definition for her 19 years on the Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council? Kate Hollern is a living example of why we need TERM LIMITS for our elected politicians.
Take a good look in a Mirror you will NOT see an MP
Lets face it Kate you are hardly photogenic
[quote][p][bold]ConcernedOssy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Yankee Clipper[/bold] wrote: ”I have never been a career politician." Does she have a different definition for her 19 years on the Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council? Kate Hollern is a living example of why we need TERM LIMITS for our elected politicians.[/p][/quote]Take a good look in a Mirror you will NOT see an MP[/p][/quote]Lets face it Kate you are hardly photogenic ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 61

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