Campaigners from Fluoride Free Bedford  are poised to make their first bid for a public consultation on water fluoridation during next Wednesday’s (March 23rd) Full Council meeting , timed to coincide with their presentation of a further four hundred online signatures  to councillors and a long awaited debate on the issue.
Group co-ordinator, Cynthia Bagchi, said: “We hope it will be voted on that evening. Water fluoridation has to go forward for consultation among Bedford citizens because of the long period of absence of fluoride being added and the whole plant refurbishment.”
Last month, Castle Quarter resident and group administrator, Dee Dell, read out the petitioners’ appeal as she delivered one hundred pages of signatures, calling on councillors to “reject and prevent artificial fluoridation” of the town’s water supply due to its toxicity and proven inefficacy in the prevention of tooth decay. Watch video for more .
She said: “The significant thing about having 1,600 signatures is that it represents approximately one percent of the entire population of the borough. If one percent have signed – when many haven’t been asked – and you take the BBC’s theory that if someone complains about a programme it’s worth ten or more times that number of complaints in terms of the significance, we hope the council will take it [the petition] similarly as being extraordinarily significant.”
Cynthia Bagchi added: “There’s a huge amount of people who don’t want fluoride. We didn’t have to spend hours getting these signatures. They were easily collected in the street in a few hours. If fluoride goes in, one to five percent of the population will immediately suffer adverse health effects. This has been shown in double blind studies. In a democratic society, no one should have a registered poison forced on them to drink on a daily basis.”
On March 1st, members of the Adult and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee quizzed an official from Public Health England over the cost of water fluoridation and were advised by the council’s lawyers (and verbally by Jacqueline Gray) that before termination of the fluoride contract can be requested a consultation process must be undertaken.
The capital cost of a whole plant refurbishment at the Manton Lane Water Treatment Plant is estimated at £388,136 and once begun will take six months to complete. 
For further information contact Anna Bragga on 078616 77343
Notes to editors
 For further information about Fluoride Free Bedford see the website: http://www.
 Details of Bedford Borough Council Full Council Meeting, 23rd March 2016 http://www.councillorsupport.
 See online petition here: https://www.change.org/p/
 Video of presentation of petition to Full Council and commentary from petitioner, Dee Dell. https://vimeo.com/158898759
 Source of estimated capital cost of Manton Lane Water Treatment Plant: Freedom of Information request from Public Health England (August 5th 2014).