16 Jul 2011

Daily Echo - HAMPSHIRE: Campaigners call on authorities to help halt process

HAMPSHIRE: Campaigners call on authorities to help halt process
Call on councils to pull plug on fluoride
By Matt Smith
ANTI-FLUORIDE campaigners have called on councils to confirm they will pull the plug on a scheme to put fluoride in Hampshire's tap water supplies when they get powers to do so.
The South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has been given time to implement the fluoridation scheme through a 12-month stay of execution caused by delays in Government health reforms.
But Stephen Peckham, the chairman of Hampshire Against Fluoridation, has called on Hampshire and Southampton councils to put pressure on the SHA and the Department of Health to halt the process by declaring they would use proposed new powers to scrap the plans - even if fluoride was introduced.
"We want a clear statement that once the powers are invested in them their intention will be to reverse the decision," he said.
Mr Peckham said: "If they don't even know how much it will cost or whether it's feasible why are they ploughing ahead with it?"
The SHA is aiming to add the chemical to tap water supplies delivered to 200,000 residents in parts of Southampton, Eastleigh, Totton, Netley and Rownhams by 2013.
Government reforms to the NHS going through Parliament would hand powers to local authorities to propose, vary or terminate fluoridation schemes.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said last year that with the abolition of SHAs, local authorities will assume responsibility for fluoridation.
The leader of Hampshire County Council was unavailable for comment last night.
But a spokeswoman said the council would continue to defend the right of local people to say no to the imposition of fluoridation and, if necessary, appeal again directly to the Secretary of State to prevent this happening
Mr Peckham added: "It's so important that in future fluoridation decisions should be the responsibility for local authorities because it brings democratic and local accountability."

Shortened version due to copyright.

No comments: