WINTON — The pros and cons of treating water supplies with fluoride were debated at length in Winton on Monday night.
A crowd of 57 attended the meeting, which was one of a series called by the Southland District Council to hear submissions on introducing fluoride to town water supplies throughout the district.
The number contrasted with smaller crowds that attended previous meetings in Western Southland and was bigger than all those meetings put together.
Ironically, it was held in a town that has one of the best dental health records in the province and does not have fluoridated supply.
Winton children in the survey conducted by the Southland District Health Board had only 1.9 decayed, extracted or filled teeth.
The main speakers on Monday night were board dental health manager Dr Tim McKay, who spoke in favour of fluoridation, and Steven Darnold, who was against.
Both illustrated their presentations with statistics from various sources in Southland and overseas.Southland District Council water and wastewater asset manager Peter Greenwood also spoke on the costs involved in setting up the scheme and the running costs.
Winton Community Board chairman John McHugh said the meeting was not a voting forum but the expressions of opinion heard would be taken into account when the board decided on its recommendation to the district council. That would not be made in haste, Mr McHugh said.