28 Oct 2012

Blow to Fluoride Campaigners Hopes

Friday, October 26, 2012, 07:55p.m. - • News Posted by Administrator The Health Body that is trying to add fluoride to thousands of homes in Southampton and surrounding areas has survived a complaint that would have scuppered the plans. The South Central Strategic Health Authority, (SHA), is due to be abolished in April next year. However, it has confirmed its' intention to press ahead with plans to add fluoride to tap water, in the face of public opposition. In responding to a consultation, 73% of the public told the SHA that they did not want the chemical added to tap water. Hampshire County Councillor, David Harrison, and New Forest East MP, Dr Julian Lewis submitted a joint complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, complaining that the consultation was flawed and inadequate and that the SHA was wasting large sums of public money trying to impose something that would almost certainly be reversed once local authorities are given the powers to decide such issues. In a further blow to campaigners hopes, the Ombudsman, who took months considering the issue that he has decribed as “complex”, has decided not to uphold the complaint. It is considered that the High Court had already considered the conduct of the SHA and that there was no merit in re-examining the issue. Also it is for the High Court to consider matters if areas outside the consultation are to receive fluoride in water. Councillor Harrison says “ I am naturally disappointed that the Ombudsman has decided not to uphold the complaint. It would have stopped the SHA in its' tracks. I think most people will think it amazing that a public body can waste thousands of pounds forcing through an unwanted scheme that they know will be reversed within months of their abolition. However, that apparently doesn't amount to maladministration. Government departments can throw money away, as long as they do it legally – amazing!”

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