Kidderminster Health Concern

Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern

Richard Taylor's manifesto May 2001

INDEPENDENT
KIDDERMINSTER HOSPITAL AND
HEALTH CONCERN

Contact at 14 Northumberland Avenue, Kidderminster DY11 7AN
Tel/fax 01562 753333, www.healthconcern.org.uk

A message from

Dr RICHARD TAYLOR

YOUR CANDIDATE
in the Wyre Forest Parliamentary Constituency.

Dear voter – Do you feel as angry as I do that : -

 The wishes of the WYRE FOREST people in BEWDLEY, KIDDERMINSTER, STOURPORT AND FAR BEYOND have been IGNORED BY THE GOVERNMENT?
 The present system of decision making is failing to take notice of our HEALTH needs?
 All our efforts to show the unfairness inflicted upon us have been arrogantly PUSHED ASIDE?
 Party politics leads to confrontational point scoring which does not best serve our needs?

YOU DO! THEN PLEASE READ ON. Richard Taylor.

INDEPENDENT KIDDERMINSTER HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CONCERN is a group fighting for our hospital services and, with others, running the Wyre Forest District Council. In the May 2000 local elections ELEVEN of our candidates were elected but ONLY ONE Labour and ONLY ONE Tory. We polled in total precisely SIX less votes than the Labour and Conservative parties added together in the seats contested.

WITH YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT
WE WILL WIN AGAIN!

Promoted and printed by Malcolm Cooper, 14 Northumberland Avenue, Kidderminster DY11 7AN on behalf of Dr Richard T Taylor,
11 Church Walk, Kidderminster DY11 6XY.

THE MAIN ISSUE

OUR HOSPITAL

The drastic, unfair and unjustified downgrading of our hospital is the most important matter to effect local people for many years. A hospital has existed in Kidderminster for over 150 years and has become “woven into the fabric of our lives”. It is vital for our well-being.

First class buildings have been provided. The latest opened in 1995 with up-to-date operating theatres, wards, ITU and outpatient accommodation. The staff has increased and developed in experience and expertise to form splendid teams earning a ‘Charter Mark’ for excellence in all departments.

WITH GOVERNMENT BACKING THE WORCESTERSHIRE HEALTH AUTHORITY THEN REMOVED ALL INPATIENT AND A&E SERVICES TO WORCESTER AND REDDITCH IN SEPTEMBER 2000!

Since then TRAVEL/TRAFFIC DIFFICULTIES, EXPENSE, SAD EXPERIENCES and DELAYS have affected many of the people who must travel to Worcester or Redditch for basic hospital treatment or to visit others. FEW OF THESE DIFFICULTIES WILL IMPROVE WHEN THE NEW HOSPITAL AT WORCESTER OPENS IN 2002.

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THE HOSPITAL ISSUE?

 Remind everyone that the NHS belongs to the people and is for the PEOPLE and not for politicians, quangos, managers or staff.
 Draw attention to the obvious unfairness here when SMALLER hospitals elsewhere have retained A&E departments and inpatient services.
 Show that Royal College guidelines are applied differently in other parts of the country with downgraded hospital services more acceptable to patients, medical staff and local populations.
 Point out that local doctors who are said to support the changes have mostly done so unwillingly after initial opposition because workable, acceptable alternatives in place elsewhere have never been allowed full consideration.
 Demand that we be treated fairly and equally with regard to the provision of OUR local hospital services. We must have, at least, some inpatient services and a doctor provided emergency and accident unit.


ONLY AN ELECTED MP CAN TAKE THIS MESSAGE TO HIGH PLACES.

2.
OTHER IMPORTANT LOCAL ISSUES


THE INCINERATOR

The decision about the hospital downgrading rested upon what was in reality a vote among non-elected representatives from the south and east of the county against representatives of the county’s minority here!
The refusal of planning consent for the building of the incinerator on the British Sugar site was made by County Councillors, elected representatives! How different, how refreshing and how reassuring it is that democratically elected people could come to a sensible decision by taking into consideration the interests of all the people and not just those of their own electors.

However the decision about the incinerator has not yet been finalised. If it goes to appeal we must ensure it is not built near any densely populated area without excellent transport links. No one can reassure us that there are no health risks to people living in the shadow of such an incinerator.

The County Council, as a responsible authority, must devise an environmentally friendly waste management plan collecting all recyclable waste.

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Plans for flood prevention and alleviation, town developments, by-passes and car parking can never be made to suit everyone. Planning within the remit of the Wyre Forest District Council is free of political influence thanks to the ruling coalition so that decisions will be made in the best interests of people taking minority groups into account.

An Independent MP would act as an impartial influence between people, planners and decision-makers when needed.


LOCAL MAINTENANCE

The division of responsibility between the County and the District Councils makes it difficult to aim complaints to the correct people. I would pass concerns about road maintenance, lighting, pot holes, dog fouling, verges, litter, hedges etc. to the relevant people and require to be notified by the complainant if improvement did not happen promptly. I support strongly the Clean up Campaign launched by the Health Concern run Wyre Forest District Council.

3.

OTHER WIDER ISSUES OF GREAT IMPORTANCE

THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
This is under intense pressure from the very reforms that are being sold to us as the answer to its problems. Independent, academic authorities believe that the Private Finance Initiative introduced by the last Tory government and amazingly taken forward by the current New Labour administration, while making vast profits for private investors, carries the severe risk of bankrupting the NHS and forcing further public private partnerships that are already threatening the basic ideals of the NHS. Adequate funding and some form of rationing of some parts of health care have to be discussed openly and honestly so that the aim of ‘cradle to grave’ care can continue to be possible for those that need it.

EUROPE
This worries us all but my strong feeling is that the pound is necessary for British identity and independence which is of great importance to us. In surveys the majority of ordinary people wish to keep the pound, businesses are almost equally divided in their opinions but most economists favour a common currency. So what is really best for us all and for our country? We are left in great doubt.
I would press for much more real information on the pros and cons of a common currency. This would have to be impartial, free of ‘spin’ and political bias and in time for a referendum. The wording of the referendum question is crucial to allow people a free and fully informed choice.

DEFENCE
The Nato alliance is still vitally important and largely due to this we are enjoying the longest period of peace for many years except for sad and distressing regional struggles. I am sure it would not be in our interests to put Nato at risk. I would only support increased European defence co-operation if it was an enhancement of capability within Nato.

EDUCATION
We all wish to see a fair share of the financial cake coming into this county’s schools. It is quite unfair that our schools receive less Government money than schools in other counties. Teachers are continuously assailed by new initiatives! I believe new teachers this academic year have already received many new instructions relating to their activities and all staff including head teachers are heavily involved with bureaucracy and their own fund raising to maintain basic standards. They all deserve to be given time and space to get on with their functions directly helping our children to improve their skills.

4.

AGRICULTURE, TOURISM AND THE COUNTRYSIDE
Farmers were in difficulty before the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Now rural communities are in crisis and they need our support and that of the Government more than ever. It is hard to know how farmers can be compensated for, in many cases, the loss of a lifetime’s work but the financial loss must be covered for farmers, related businesses and for tourism and leisure activities that are vital parts of our country life.

There are anomalies across the UK in how different areas are treated with regards to compensation payments. Rural areas are viewed more generously than a semi-rural area like ours. Why is this? Is the differentiation justified or does it require review?

I support the aims and work of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (WWT) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. A visit to the WWT’s Upton Warren reserves is for my family and me a never failing source of excitement and interest.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM SEEKERS
There is no simple answer to the appalling state of affairs that leads unscrupulous people to trade in smuggling people with the inevitable terrible risk to human life. International diplomacy and persuasion must be used to outlaw countries where human rights do not exist and escape is seen to be the only way to a free and fair life. However genuine asylum seekers should be treated more sympathetically and the acceptable reasons widened after full and open discussion remembering the importance of human rights and tolerance regardless of race or creed.

TAXATION AND THE ECONOMY
A benefit of being an Independent is that one is free to approve aspects of major Parties’ activities. I think that Gordon Brown’s handling of the economy has been sensible and prudent.

I would be interested in exploring further the possibility of part of our income tax being earmarked for the NHS. Extra resources would not be released to health service providers unless their services were shown to be operating at peak efficiency without the gross waste and stupidity that occurs in the NHS now. Being an ardent supporter of the NHS but a realist I would rather see this made so good that people would only use private medicine out of personal choice rather than of necessity as is sadly so often the case now.


5.


TRANSPORT AND FUEL
Being a keen car driver and member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists since 1958, I do not support a punitive fuel tax as the right way to limit the use of private cars. This affects country dwellers particularly unfairly. By far the best approach would be to realistically improve public transport, particularly the railways and rural bus services, so that more people did not need to use their own vehicles so often. For businesses, hauliers and rural people who cannot do without their own transport a way must be found of providing cheaper fuel, perhaps through a tax concession. The separation of Railtrack from the train operating companies seems to me to have been a serious mistake and both should be returned to public ownership and management. I am delighted the Government has realised u-turns are possible and reversed its intention to privatise air traffic control.

CRIME AND LAW AND ORDER
Government sources tell us that the crime rate is decreasing but this is not the view of most people as shown by a MORI poll published in January 2001. Is this another example of government ‘spin’? We need to dig out the truth for everyone. If we have the real facts we can formulate sensible policies relevant to them. I would like to see more policemen on the beat to tackle nuisance on the streets and a crack down on local drug pushing that is of great concern to local residents. At the moment small pushers are understandably of less interest to the police than the major drug dealers are.

SECTION 28
In this I agree with part of a Tory party pamphlet quoted in The Independent, “Conservatives reflect the view of a wide variety of people in believing there is a difference between giving people accurate, unprejudiced information about homosexuality and ‘promoting’ it as the equivalent of marriage.” Thus I would not want to see homosexuality actively promoted but more impartial information should be available.

BENEFITS AND PENSIONS
This is a vast subject. The Department of Social Security lists 45 separate Benefits on its website (www.dhs.gov.uk) with specific pages of information for advisers. With the instant availability of this mine of information I do not intend to memorise it. My support for constituents’ queries would be based on accurate assessments of their entitlements and if any were obviously disadvantaged and their need was clear but outside existing regulations I would take the case forward to the Department.
With existing information technology it would be possible and it would simplify the whole system for the claimant if there were only one application form to be completed for all Benefits. Upon completion this should lead to an analysis of the claimant’s needs and entitlements and the award of the appropriate Benefit.
6.
I support the ROYAL FAMILY especially as some members are trying very hard to bring the image and functions of the Royal Family into the new century with an enhanced and more relevant role.

I am against CAPITAL PUNISHMENT under all circumstances and against EUTHANASIA but will plead for the recognition that in some cases humanely prescribed pain relief may inevitably accelerate the end. There must be no risk of this being regarded as a crime because this will expose terminally ill patients to the risk of inadequate pain relief at the time of their greatest need.

ABORTION must be allowed for medical and strictly defined social reasons. But there is a need for flexibility in order to protect a woman’s right of choice under circumstances that may not otherwise be included.

CANNABIS should be available as a controlled drug until it is studied by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) who would then make a recommendation about its availability.



.
Having seen and shared the anger and frustration we have all felt about the disregard of our wishes and common sense over the hospital downgrading and the incinerator I have willingly accepted the challenge of standing as a candidate to become your MP.

It is the logical next step in our campaigns and would allow me to expose the ‘spin’ and confusion that now pass for government.

I look forward to this opportunity eagerly as the only way to gain more local services and to defend the democratic principles and rights for which this country has stood for centuries.

An Independent MP has full access to the House of Commons, to Government Ministers, to Select Committees and to media correspondents.

An Independent MP has more behind the scenes influence because he is not influenced by whips controlling his career ambitions nor controlled by Party dictatorship that tells him what he must do and think.

7.

TOGETHER, YOU AND I

CAN CONTINUE TO SERVE

ALL THE PEOPLE OF WYRE FOREST.



Please speak up loudly and clearly .

Please cast your vote for : -

FAIRNESS,

OPENNESS AND

SERVICE.


VOTE
TAYLOR

INDEPENDENT KIDDERMINSTER HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CONCERN
Promoted and printed by Malcolm Cooper, 14 Northumberland Avenue, Kidderminster DY11 7AN on behalf of Dr Richard T Taylor,
11 Church Walk, Kidderminster DY11 6XY.

 

© Independent Kidderminster Hospital & Health Concern 2001