Media highlights: 27-31 July 2015

Newspaper stack 

By Steven Fifer, PR Manager for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) 

For this latest entry, the best place to start would be at the end of the week rather than the beginning because on Friday, the Department of Health issued their consultation on how the £200m worth of cuts to the public health budget should be implemented. The CIEH previously issued statements saying that we were disappointed to see public health budgets being slashed and prior to the General Election, called for public health funding for local government to be ring-fenced beyond 2016. The CIEH will be sure to respond to the consultation and our response will be made available for the public to see.

On the theme of budget cuts, at the beginning of the week the CIEH publicly launched the Environmental Health Workforce Survey 2014/15. The key headline coming out of the report was that the average budget for environmental health services has fallen by 6.8% in real terms between 2013-14 and 2014-15. What this means is that despite the initiative and hard work of environmental health managers working for local authorities, the resilience of vital environmental health services designed to protect businesses and the public are close to or already at a ‘tipping point’. The online edition of the Financial Times covered the Workforce Survey report, amongst other local government-related publications, and the next phase of the Workforce Survey will see the CIEH seek the opinions of environmental health practitioners working in the private and other sectors.

This wasn’t the only appearance of CIEH in the media as our very own Julie Barratt, CIEH’s Wales Director, took a star turn on BBC Wales’s Xray Summer special (scroll to 16m 50s) providing safe BBQing advice to three firefighters.

Health and safety stories never seem to stay far away from the news and this week, we saw an Aerospace company fined £600,000 over death of Cambridge man and the oil giant Total fined £1.4 million for a death at the Lindsey Oil Refinery. The CIEH takes health and safety issues extremely seriously, believing everyone should be protected from ill health and accidents arising from work activities, as well as being subject to decent standards of welfare at work.

In other news, Tesco is looking to axe several popular children's drinks from shelves amid child obesity concerns. This includes Ribena and the twitter community has ridiculed the supermarket for the so-called ‘hypocrisy’ of the decision. 

And stories that have continued to trend from previous weeks includes the potential smoking ban for sun-seekers on Brighton’s beech and the Lancashire fracking decision.


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