HAF July 2010 Newsletter

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HAF July 2010 Newsletter
  A date has been set for the solicitor’s ap- peal about whether the SHA took full ac-count of the evidence. The appeal will beheard on 3 November 2010 in the High Courtin London and members of the public can at-tend.The judge initially rejected the claim that theSHA did not properly examine the cogency ofthe arguments for and against fluoridation.However, Sean Humber the lawyer acting forthe Southampton resident, appealed against the Judge‟s decision and asked for a full hear- ing of the arguments. Judicial Review Set To Go Ahead Inside this issue: Judicial Review news ã The Coalition government and water fluoridation ã Repeal of the Water Fluoridation Laws ãHampshire County Council & HAF tackle SHA and Secretary of State for Health ã Southampton City PCT censured by Advertising Standards Authority .www.hampshireagainstfluoridation.org The hearing of the Judicial Review itself will follow sometime in 2011 on a date yet to be an-nounced. Currently the Judicial Review will only examine the arguments about whether fluorida-tion should only occur where the local population is in favour. Hampshire Against Fluoridationwill be attending the hearing in the High Court in London on 3 November 2010 and we hope mem-bers of . the public will join us. This will be an opportunity to hear the legal arguments aboutsome aspects of how the SHA reached their controversial decision. We are planning to hold ademonstration outside the High Court before the hearing in order to capitalise on the publicitythis may generate.If the court finds that the consultation was not conducted correctly, the Strategic Health Au-thority will need to repeat the consultation. This would effectively delay any implementation offluoridation in Southampton by one to two years. The costs involved in repeating the consulta-tion would be enormous at a time of increasing pressure on NHS budgets but hopefully, sensewill prevail and this controversial scheme will be shelved before further money is wasted.We will have more details about the High Court hearing in our next newsletter. July2010  .www.hampshireagainstfluoridation.org The Coalition Government and Water Fluoridation The change of government has provided an opportunity to continue our campaign at a nationallevel. Julian Lewis MP has already tabled questions to the Secretary of State for Health, An-drew Lansley, asking whether he will intervene in the Southampton fluoridation row. We arehoping that the coalition government will review the consultation legislation as Andrew Lansleyhas previously publicly criticised the SHA consultation process when he visited Southampton in January this year. He described the consultation as “not real”. Speaking to the Daily Echo he said “ I think in Southampton and South Hampshire the consultation was not real because ef-  fectively what happened was that the SHA said, „We have looked at the evidence and we think we should fluoridate the water.‟ They then had a consultation with the public. About 75 per cent of the public said, „Actually we are against this.‟ And the SHA said, „We know you said you are against it but we have looked at the evidence and we think it‟s the right thing to do.‟ So what was the point of the consultation?”  His calls for a referendum on the issue were alsobacked by David Cameron on a visit to the area during the election campaign. David Cameron, itshould be noted, voted against water fluoridation in 2003. HAF Calls for Repeal of Water Fluoridation Laws Hampshire Against Fluoridation has responded to Nick Clegg‟s call for ideas for repealing un-popular laws. Under the “Your Freedom” initiative, we have made a submission calling for the repeal of water fluoridation legislation. In our submission on the government website, we havecalled on the government to repeal the legislation that allows Strategic Health Authorities toimpose water fluoridation on local communities. We argue that the current legislation allows apro- fluoride organisation to carry out a “consultation” with the local community and then to to- tally ignore local opinion and impose water fluoridation regardless. Stephen Peckham, HAF Chairman said “ The current legislation allowed the SHA as opposed to an independent body, to carry out a consultation with the local community and then to ignore local opinion and impose fluoridation anyway. The end result is a colossal waste of NHS money,an unhappy community, disillusionment with the political system and legal action for which the NHS is diverting hundreds of thousands of pounds  ”. Hampshire Against Fluoridation wouldlike as many people as possible to “vote” on the site for the repeal of this law and to add theircomments. Stephen Peckham continued “ If you are concerned about this issue, this is the chance to have your say and make a comment. We would like to get a really good response to this in order for the government to take notice and change this unfair law which allows the lo- cal community to be ignored. People must have the right not to drink water medicated with this chemical  ”.   Full details of the submission can be seen on the Government‟s website and we are urging all our supporters to vote and leave comments. The submission can be found at: http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/restoring-civil-liberties/repeal-of-water-fluoridation-laws   Hampshire County Council is keeping the pressure on the SHA and has also turned its attention tothe new Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley. Following the recent decision by South-ampton City Council to call for a referendum on water fluoridation, Councillor Anna McNair Scottwrote to the SHA to ask them to reverse their decision. The County Council is particularly con-cerned about the lack of evidence of benefit, the cost and feasibility of the proposed schemesand the lack of public and political support locally. The letter also highlighted major concernsabout the additional cost of fighting the Judicial Review. In their reply, the SHA predictablystated that they had followed government guidance and took the view that they had acted in eve- ryone‟s best interests!  As a result of this response, the leader of the County Council, Ken Thornber MBE, has now writ-ten to Andrew Lansley. In his letter Cllr Thornber argues that the SHA has demonstrated a lackof accountability and that the use of public funding for fighting the Judicial Review at a timewhen the public sector is facing significant financial challenges is nonsense. Cllr Thornber believes that the Secretary of State “ could and should say that he‟s not convinced of the medical and  dental arguments, that he believes that this money could be better spent elsewhere and in the  circumstances believes that the whole programme should be shelved”. In June HAF also wrote to the SHA and to Andrew Lansley. We highlighted the continuing localcontroversy regarding water fluoridation and asked for the proposal to be withdrawn to avoidfurther wasting of NHS money. In his reply Andrew Lansley states that “ One of my aims as Sec-  retary of State is to make sure there is a stronger voice for patients locally, and to make health  bodies more democratically accountable.”  However, he refrains from further comment pendingthe outcome of the Judicial Review.In our letter to the SHA, we emphasised that their decision to impose water fluoridation remainshighly contentious. We argued that recent dental statistics show further improvement in South-ampton which together with research data from Canada, Eire and the USA, throws into questionthe claimed benefits that water fluoridation would bring. We also pointed out that there are stillunanswered questions about the cost and exact nature of the proposed scheme and there is con-siderable local disquiet about yet more NHS funds being spent fighting a Judicial Review.As expected, the SHA have again rebutted all criticism of their actions and the consultation. However, their letter does concede that before any scheme can be put in place they willneed to undertake further technical and cost studies. The South Central Strategic Health Au- thority‟s days will soon be numbered as the new government has announced that they are to abol- ish SHAs by April 2012.To see copies of these letters, check the HAF blog:www.hampshireagainstfluoridation.blogspot.com  Hampshire County Council and HAF tackle the SHAand Secretary of State for Health  Contacts:Chairman: StephenPeckham 02380493776Secretary:Ann Richards 02392463761 John Spottiswoode:02380 789230Anna Peckham02380 493776 I wish to join HAF: Name: ………………………………………………………………………….   Address: ……………………………………………………………………….   ………………………………………………………………………………….   Post code:……………………………………………………………………...   Email address:………………………………………………………………….   Tel. number: ………………………………………………….  Membership donation £5 Donation to HAF funds: £ Please send me a free Professional Perspectives DVD…….YES/NO   I agree to my details being held in HAF’s membership records:   Signature: ……………………………………………..   Date: …………   We want to build up our membership so that we can con-tinue to play an active role challenging the decision tofluoridate the water and start to build links with groups inother areas of the country who are now threatened withsimilar consultation proposals. Membership of HAF isopen to anyone or any local groups or organisations thatsupport our objectives of keeping our water fluoride free.Check our website and keep updated on the latest devel-opments on the HAF blog : http://hampshireagainstfluoridation.blogspot.com/HAF is a non politi-cal voluntary groupand relies on sub-scriptions and dona-tions.Membership for one year is £5.00.Please send acheque together  with the form or pay by Paypal  WWW.HAMPSHIREAGAINSTFLUORIDATION.ORG Hampshire Against Fluoridation Please send membershipform to:Ann Richards4 South RoadHayling IslandPO11 9AE Tel: 02392 463761 annpeter@richards177.fsnet.co.uk  Cheques payable to HampshireAgainst Fluoridation Southampton PCT Claims Criticised by AdvertisingStandards Authority In response to complaints made by members of HAF and UKCAF, Southampton PCT has beenadvised by the Advertising Standards Authority to remove references from its published ma-terial to one of the claims made during the consultation. The PCT claimed that water fluorida- tion would make “a major difference” to the teeth of adults. However, the ASA‟s scientificexperts ruled that there was no good quality evidence to support this. Following the PCT‟s as- surances not to repeat this claim, the ASA have dropped this particular clause from the finalruling which was published in April. Stephen Peckham said “ We have always argued that exaggerated claims were made that were not based on good evidence. The fact that the PCT have had to promise not to repeat the statements relating to benefits for adults, removes one of the key arguments made by the PCT and SHA for imposing water fluoridation. It is likely that many people were influenced by these claims and may have given support to the scheme thinking it would benefit them. The truth is there are no such benefits. The fact that the PCT willingly withdrew this claim must  also raise serious questions about other statements made during the consultation”.  
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