2 Nov 2012

Campaigners lose last challenge to fluoride plan

Campaigners lose last challenge to fluoride plan 8:17am Friday 2nd November 2012 in News Fluoride gets green light after final challenge is thrown out THE last formal attempt to stop health chiefs putting fluoride in Hampshire tap water has been rejected. The decision by a Parliamentary watchdog to reject a complaint about the controversial scheme gives the green light for South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to plough on with its plans for Southampton and the surrounding area. But the organisation now faces a race against time if it is to get the chemical into the water supply before it is axed next spring by the Government, as part of NHS reforms. The last-ditch bid to halt the controversial scheme had been made by New Forest East MP Julian Lewis and Hampshire County Councillor David Harrison. But the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has ruled against their complaints. The pair wanted the SHA brought to book over its “sham” consultation, the waste of public money in pushing the scheme through, and fears the fluoridated area may have to be larger than initially thought. If they had been successful it could have halted the project, which will affect 200,000 people in parts of Southampton, Eastleigh, Totton, Netley and Rownhams. But the ombudsman turned down the complaint, saying the issues raised were either out of its remit or had already been examined by the High Court during a judicial review which the SHA successfully defended. Cllr Harrison said he was “disappointed” with the decision, which he said gives the green light for public organisations to fritter away taxpayers’ cash. He told the Daily Echo: “The SHA are to be abolished in April and both Dr Lewis and myself felt it was a real folly and a massive waste of public money for them to continue in the knowledge that all the local councils were against it and have stated their intention to reverse the decision. “The ombudsman has essentially said as long as it’s legal it can waste as much money as it likes, which seems quite breathtaking. “The NHS isn’t over-endowed with funding and already a great deal of public money has been wasted. “Everybody who pays taxes should be outraged by this.” After winning the judicial review last year the SHA restarted work with Southern Water on plans to introduce fluoridation and believes it is on track to get the scheme in place before next spring, arguing it still believes it will benefit public health.......

1 comment:

Cllr Chris said...

If this fluoridation scheme does get the contracts signed there is another problem. The water company - and their contractors - will be claiming maximum costs for breaches of contract (which will likely be for 5 years or more. This will be used as an argument by some (not too bright!) councillors and officials to NOT cancel the scheme.

The Area Health Authority is well aware of this effect and will have powerful representation on the Health boards of the Councils - and and, most likely, the support of the Council's officers.

Councillors against fluoridation are going to have to stay determined, toughen up and be prepared for such bare-faced chicanery.

(BTW - the "prove you're not a robot feature" for these comments is extraordinarily difficult to make out! I had to refresh 10 times before I thought I had a chance of discerning the word and the number!)