TOP LEVEL talks will be held next week as council chiefs join forces to try and bring an end to the fluoride saga once and for all.
Leader of Southampton City Council Simon Letts will meet with leader of Hampshire County Council, Roy Perry, on Tuesday to discuss the fate of the controversial scheme to add fluoride to tap water supplies across Hampshire.
They will get their heads together in a bid to get clarification from Government the current status of the scheme before drawing up an action plan on how to move forward – which could include a referendum.
Speaking to the Daily Echo, Councillor Letts said that his personal preference would be to hold a free vote but insisted that it is vital for the two leaders to work together to ensure the issue is resolved.
Firstly they must get clear guidance from the Department of Health on what stage the scheme is currently at as both side of the debate have very different views.
Cllr Letts said: “On one hand we are being told that the scheme is in place and that to remove it would prove very problematic and difficult but on the other we are told that it isn’t and that the decision is entirely with the two local authorities as we are now in charge of public health.”
So the two leaders plan to write a letter to the health minister and once clarification has been given, then a decision will be made on the best way forward.
Cllr Letts added: “We need to take the people with us on this issue but both council’s have to agree.
“This is a pragmatic way forward.”