Plans to put fluoride into the local drinking water supply have been put on ice indefinitely after a knife-edge vote against the move by health bosses.
NHS chiefs in Portsmouth yesterday decided against asking regional health bosses to carry out a study into whether fluoride could be added into the Portsmouth water supply – serving homes in the city, Fareham and much of East Hampshire and parts of West Sussex – meaning the whole plan to improve dental health is scuppered.
Instead NHS bosses vowed to work with schools in the most deprived areas of our communities to tackle the problem that way.
The controversial move came at a packed Portsmouth Primary Care Trust meeting (PCT).
After a five-five tied committee vote, the decision on whether to press ahead with a £25,000 feasibility study into adding fluoride was decided by chairwoman Zenna Atkins’s casting vote against the move.
She said: ‘I think there’s a groundswell of public opposition against it.
‘I’m passionate about Portsmouth people and I would like to do a lot of work with the deprived communities. I’d like to work in schools which have the highest rate of tooth decay and then do public consultation.’
Before the meeting protestors handed out leaflets protesting against the plan before piling into the hall at St James’ Hospital where the meeting took place.