3 Feb 2014

New Forest East MP Julian Lewis calls for minister to prevent costly court fight over fluoride plan

6:00am Monday 3rd February 2014 in News
Make your mind up over fluoride - MP's call to minister
A HAMPSHIRE MP is urging a Government minister to intervene and decide the fate of the county’s fluoridation scheme.

New Forest East MP Julian Lewis has written to the Under Secretary of State for the Department for Health (DfH), Jane Ellison.
Daily Echo: Make your mind up over fluoride - MP's call to ministerHe wants her to use her powers to decide once and for all whether fluoride will be added in the tap water of 200,000 Hampshire residents.
As revealed in the Daily Echo, the plans are now heading for a potentially-costly court battle as Public Health England (PHE) and local authorities are at loggerheads over whether the scheme even exists any more.
While PHE is adamant it does, bosses at Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council believe there is no scheme due to a failure to hand over key documents to PHE from the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA).
The SHA, which was scrapped last year, had been the body charged with implementing the scheme, even though no consultation was carried out with affected residents.
If the scheme does go ahead, fluoride would be added to the water of homes in parts of Southampton, Totton, Netley, Eastleigh and Rownhams.
PHE and the councils have opposing legal advice, and city council leader Simon Letts told the Daily Echo that the only way the dispute would now be resolved would be through legal action.
Now Dr Lewis is seeking to get a definitive answer by writing to his Conservative colleague.
In the letter, he said: “Because of a five-month delay to find out what the Government and PHE’s appraisal of the situation is, further public money is about to be wasted on a court case in a cause for which there is little or no local support, which the Government says is the key factor.
“This runs contrary to all the principles of why the Government passed responsibility for public health to local councils.

“This cannot be right and I ask you to exercise what powers you may have to make a final decision, once and for all, and to stop money being wasted by PHER in a process which can only benefit the lawyers.”


rcannard said...

But is it Jane Ellison's decision to make...Are the rules not clear or are they being made up as things progress...In my opinion, that's shared by many, the PHE have lost all credibility as a Health Authority especially after the fiasco of the Dental Milk scheme which is now suspended pending a study that showed elevated levels of fluoride in children who consumed the milk...Shouldn't the PHE have known this,i mean they have fully tested this product right?...Fluoridation they say is cost effective but it's targeted at the minority and with only about 1% of water that is actually drunk it doesn't sound very cost effective to me...What it does mean is that most of this industrial toxic soup will heading straight for the already polluted environment...In a educated and common sense world this practice would have been condemned years ago...Start listening to the people you supposedly care about PHE because my health is not up for debate and i will decide what is good or bad for me and my family...

Cllr Chris said...

Wonder what is meant by "opposing legal advice"?

I recently found that some "privileged" legal advice relied on by a council (who shall remain nameless) on an issue I was fighting was kept "confidential". But I was eventually able to read that legal advice (long story!) It gave the complete opposite advice of what the Council claimed! They are sneaky like that!

Demand to see the PHE legal advice! Expect a refusal! It may well not be what they claim it to be! Bluff and bluster more like!

What a dishonest world we live in (sigh!)

rcannard said...

Withholding information i believe is taken quite seriously, but if your holding all the cards in the first then some are bound to go missing and who's to know anyway...I never thought for a second that this debate would be honest fair and for the good of the people and i guess i was right...Bluff and Bluster are packaged names for lies and dishonesty two traits the PHE excel in...Is it just me that finds that wrong...