Independent Community and Health Concern
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (August 2008)|
|Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern|
|Leader||Dr Richard Taylor|
|Chairman||Cllr Nigel Thomas|
|Ideology||concerns as to way the 'health service' is being neglected national and locally in addition to addressing all local issues as Town District & County level|
|European Parliament group||None|
|Politics of the United Kingdom
Independent Community and Health Concern, previously Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern (often known by the shorter name Health Concern) is a political party based in Kidderminster, United Kingdom. It grew out of the campaign to restore the casualty unit at Kidderminster Hospital, and the National Health Service is still its primary focus, but the party has since diversified.
Dr Richard Taylor
The party had one MP in the House of Commons, Dr Richard Taylor, who won a surprise landslide victory in the 2001 general election standing for the Wyre Forest constituency, which includes Kidderminster. He was the only person not from a major London or national party elected as an MP in the 2001 Parliament. Taylor was re-elected as member for Wyre Forest in the 2005 election, albeit with a considerably reduced majority. On both occasions, Health Concern benefited from a decision by the Liberal Democrats not to put up a candidate of their own. However, the party lost its only seat in the 2010 election to the Conservative candidate, Mark Garnier, by a margin of 2,643 votes; on this occasion the Liberal Democrats did put up a candidate who attracted 6,040 votes.
The KHHC is also active in local government, although it has lost much support in recent years. Before the 2004 local elections, it held 16 seats on Wyre Forest district council, making it the single biggest party, but in those elections it lost half of these seats to the Conservative Party. The 2005 local elections for Worcestershire County Council, held on the same day as the general election, also saw Health Concern perform poorly, losing five of its six seats. However, in 2006 local elections for the district council, it held its own, making one net gain to take its representation from eight to nine. Above that, in the May 2007 local elections, their representation was again increased from nine to 10 members.
Health Concern have three councillors at the county-level: three on Worcestershire County Council having recently won a seat in Kidderminster and regained a seat in Stourport and one on Shropshire Council (for Cleobury Mortimer, a town just over the border).
According to the Electoral Commission's register of parties, its leader is Dr Taylor, Peter Young is the nominating officer, Keith Robertson is treasurer, and Gerald Wheeler is campaigns officer. The party does have a formal membership. It had expenditure of about £12,000 and income of about £9,000 in the 2005 calendar year.