IF health chiefs use all the money they have set aside to fight the judicial review into the decision to fluoridate Hampshire’s water, it would take their total spending on the issue to £650,000.
That figure – which includes a £400,000 war chest to defend the legal challenge – is enough to pay for more than 30 dental nurses each earning £20,000 for a year.
And it doesn’t even include the staff costs associated with staging last year’s 14-week public consultation, or the cash which has been ploughed in by the NHS in Southampton.
Anti-fluoride campaigners say the health authorities would be better off spending the money on frontline services to target the poor dental health in children that fluoridation is being brought in to improve.
“The amount that’s been spent is an outrageous waste of public money, and they should stop the whole process straight away,” said John Spottiswoode, chairman of Hampshire Against Fluoridation.
“All the way along it has been a waste of money, and it’s just getting worse.”
He went on to say: “The NHS should be spending money on things that are worthwhile, and not on something so controversial that will have no benefit.”