Manifesto

 

THE HEALTH CONCERN MANIFESTO

 

for the May 2015 General Election – March 2015

 

 

Independent Community and Health Concern, our full title, emphasises that although we might have been viewed as a one-issue party in our early days, we have moved on a long way from that.

We now cover ALL issues of interest and concern to our constituents – though the health (in all senses of the term) of Wyre Forest people, and the future of our NHS service, remain top of our list of concerns.  Our councillors, elected to twenty-nine seats on county, district and town councils, help people with ALL local issues.

 

1    HEALTH:

  • We will work with our affiliated national party, National Health Action to preserve the NHS as an integrated, uniform, high quality, publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable service and to protect the NHS from the adverse effects of international trade agreements, specifically the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership(TTIP).
  • We will push for more patient involvement in NHS management and for a review of the flawed NHS complaints process and whistle-blowing policies.
  • We will support all efforts to ensure fair funding of our health service in Wyre Forest and we will fight to protect and improve services in our hospitals and the community.
  • We will oppose any further re-organisations of NHS services that are not made for genuine clinical reasons. The delay of the Alexandra Hospital service review in Redditch is a prime example of political interference in clinical decision making.                              
  • We will fight to protect and improve all services in our hospitals and the community, including those for mental health, so often overshadowed by the demands of general medical and surgical care.
  • We recognise the need for more doctors to be trained in the UK and we will do everything we can to increase the recognition of this and to support measures to increase this training.
  • We will fight for free parking at our hospitals.
  • We will investigate over-expensive refreshment concessions in hospitals. 

 

2    THE ECONOMY:

  • We reject unnecessarily extreme levels of austerity (which show very little, if any, sympathy for those on lower incomes or with acute life difficulties) - on moral, economic and public health grounds.
  • We support effective collection of taxes, the 50p higher tax rate, higher taxes on luxury goods and services and a statutory minimum living wage (whilst being fully aware of the need to minimise difficulties for, and the need to support, small and medium enterprises).
  • We support a cap on bonuses for already highly paid officials and employees, and would like to see any available money used to improve the pay of the lowest paid.
  • We advocate a balanced, sensitive and sensible approach to the needs of vulnerable people suffering genuine hardship.
  • We oppose all tax dodging, exploitative zero hours’ contracts and all forms of inequality and discrimination including those of gender.

 

3     EUROPE AND IMMIGRATION:

We would be keen to support well-considered European Union reforms, and the chance for people to have their say on Europe with a referendum.

  • While our country should continue to trade with Europe, our laws should not be made in Brussels.
  • We are not against immigration. The NHS has been supported for years by immigrant doctors and nurses, and would have failed without them.
  • The cost of people coming from overseas just to obtain free health care is reliably estimated at only 0.06% of the NHS budget. This is a drop in the ocean compared with the billions of pounds of unspent NHS money handed back to the Treasury every year.
  • We will support policies which fairly regulate immigration and endeavour to integrate migrants into our communities whilst upholding human rights.

 

4    EDUCATION and APPRENTICESHIPS:

  • We will support our young people throughout their lives from nursery to apprenticeships or university and beyond.
  • We will sound out local employers for their current and future needs and then look at schools to find out how they are addressing these local skill needs as well as entry to universities.
  • We will push for increased tax concessions for companies taking on apprentices.
  • We will support opportunities for ‘life-long’ learning for those made redundant in middle or older age.

 

5    POLICE:

       Control of the police forces should be decentralised and made more accountable to     

       local people - and always be subject to independent investigation where necessary.

 

6    LOCAL ADVICE SURGERIES:

      In addition to the monthly advice surgery in Bewdley we will implement one in Stourport.

      The open office at Station Approach on Comberton Hill in Kidderminster  will continue, at

       advertised times, for all Wyre Forest people to walk in or to have appointments.

                                               

7    COUNCILS:

  • We will work to improve transparency and accountability of decision making.
  • We will press for improved roads, pavements, children’s play areas and litter collections, and address the problems with fire stations and leisure centres.
  • We strongly support Kidderminster gaining its own town council.
  • We will support all moves to regenerate our town centres.
  • The excessive increase in parking fees was the main dissatisfaction expressed by people coming to a recent surgery so we will support the suggestion of timed free parking in our towns to encourage shoppers.

 

8    BEDROOM TAX:

      We will follow critically any changes that are suggested to this ill-thought-out tax to  

      which there have been many objections.

Update 27.03.15

 

CONTACT DETAILS:

Postal address: Health Concern Office, Station Approach, Comberton Hill, Kidderminster DY10 1QX

Website: www.healthconcernwf.org.uk

Telephone number: 01562 823581

Follow Dr Richard Taylor on Twitter @DrRTaylorMBE

Visit Dr Taylor’s page on Facebook: Dr Richard Taylor

 

Printed and published by Richard Taylor on behalf of Independent Community and Health Concern of Station Approach, Comberton Hill, Kidderminster DY10 1QX.

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