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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 110

Date:- 02 August 2003

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Rural rail network "shunted into siding!"

THE Countryside Alliance has reacted angrily to reports that the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) is proposing to de-prioritise the rural rail network in favour of boosting services to London and the South East. The SRA has proposed that intercity and busy commuter routes should receive greater investment and that track renewal in other areas could be cut by up to 50%.

Alliance Chief Executive Richard Burge commented:- "Where is rural proofing? Railways are our lifeblood, not rights of way. Following rail disasters such as at Hatfield it is desperately worrying that any of Britain's railways are to receive less attention, but our particular concern is for the hundreds of thousands of rural people for whom rail links are a vital part of life. Rural areas suffer from isolation from shops and services; for those who own private cars this is less of a problem, but for the under-privileged and elderly living in the countryside this will further reduce their quality of life as transport choice is slashed.

The way that public services in rural areas have been downgraded and phased out in recent years suggests that rural people do not matter, but urban people do. This is unacceptable. Following the SRA's proposals it seems the countryside can expect any rare trains that turn up to be more likely to de-rail or be shunted into a siding while the express to London goes past. Rural people do not expect any special favours, but they deserve to be treated equally, not as second class citizens"

Letters:- Help Us Please

Long Distance Walvers Association.

Dear Southport Reporter.

My Group is endeavourng to raise funds for the Bowland Pennine Mountin Resue Team, in the form of two walks to take place in September.

The Rescue team have plans to build a new base in an area east of Preston, which will give them easier access to the Bowland Fells and the West Pennine Moors. Also, if called upon to attend emergencies in the Lake District and Derbyshire they will be ideally situated to answer these calls.

The walks, which are to be held on saturday 13th September, are 14 and 26 miles long and will commence from Hoghton Village Hall which is situated on the A675, about midway betewwn Preston and Blackburn.

Obviously we are hoping for a good entry for this event and shall be gratefull if local clubs, in your area join us. All of them use the moors and they might need the help of the team some day.

Thanks Charles Thompson, Walk Organiser for the LDWA.

To give you an in site of the walks, click here for an entry form. 
Breast implants to be reclassified to highest risk category for
medical devices
Report with thanks to Vicky Wyatt of the Department of Health. 

NEW safety measures for breast implants were welcomed today by Health Minister, Lord Warner. From 1 September 2003, breast implants will be reclassified to the highest risk category for medical devices, following concerns about the safety of some breast implants in Europe and America.

All breast implants sold in Europe will have to pass stringent safety checks, similar to those already carried out in the U.K. Manufacturers will have to have their design dossiers examined and clinical data verified by a designated independent body - in the UK the independent body will be appointed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (Devices).

Lord Warner said:- "These new measures will boost public confidence in the safety of breast implants. The UK has been leading the way in pushing for new regulation in this area and today's announcement will ensure that implants manufactured throughout Europe are subject to the same stringent checks currently in place in the UK."

The new regulations follow guidelines issued by the European Commission in November 2001- and requested by the UK - which sought to address concerns about patient information, tracking and surveillance and quality control and assurance of breast implants.

The recommendation that there should be a reclassification of breast implants from a medium to a high risk category has finally been achieved by this directive following extensive lobbying by the UK.

Dr David Jeffreys, Head of the Devices Sector of MHRA (Devices) said:- "I welcome the move to tighten safety checks on breast implants. We have pushed strongly for these changes. It will ensure that all breast implants sold throughout Europe meet the same high standards of quality and safety." 


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