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|
|Ideology||concerns as to way the 'health service' is being neglected national and locally in addition to addressing all local issues at town, district & county level|
|National affiliation||National Health Action Party|
|European Parliament group||None|
|Colours||Red and Black|
|Worcestershire County Council|
|Wyre Forest District Council|
|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 and abbreviated as ICHC) 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.
Dr Taylor was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2014, for services to Worcestershire, particularly Kidderminster Hospital.
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. The party has since gradually lost further seats on Wyre Forest District Council, with just 7 seats after the 2014 elections.
After the May 2014 local elections, Health Concern lost two district seats, reducing the overall number to 7, but managed to gain control of Bewdley Town Council, taking 7 of the 13 available seats, increasing by 3.
Health Concern have four 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) who sits as part of that council's Independents group.
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.
- Keith Edkins (24 November 2013). "Local Council Political Compositions". Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- BBC News (23 May 2014). "BBC News - Wyre Forest District Council". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- "Elections 2013". Shropshire Council.
- Tory MP Andrew Hunter joins DUP BBC News, 10 December 2004
- "Wyre Forest council". BBC News Online. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Shropshire Council Councillors by Party Grouping