THE fact that fluoride has not been added to the borough water supply for the last three years has been kept secret.

An inquiry to Anglian Water states that the last addition of fluoride to the water supply was in September 2009.

The reason given was that work was being carried out at the Bedford Water Treatment Works site.

The fluoridation of water is highly ?controversial, with vigorous fans and opponents.

Both are annoyed that no-one was told it was not happening any more. Many dentists believe it is essential to slow tooth decay, especially in children.Detractors say though that it does no good and is highly toxic.

One opponent of fluoride in the water system, Cynthia Bagchi, from Bedford, said: “I should be pleased our water is no longer being contaminated with fluoride. But I am extremely annoyed that you are telling me it has not been there for more than three years. I would have thought it was the duty of those in power to keep us informed of such important matters. Will they be adding it again once the maintenance work is ?complete?”

A conference on ‘The facts about fluoridation’ is to be held in Bedford this June.

When we contacted Anglian Water it said it was not its decision and we needed to talk to the regional health authority. This authority will disappear in April and be replaced by a local Health and Wellbeing Board.

An NHS Midlands and East Spokesman said:“The fluoridation plant that serves Bedford is currently undergoing refurbishment as part of a planned upgrade programme.

“It is not a requirement to make a public announcement that fluoridation would temporarily cease in the town when refurbishments take place as they occur routinely as part of regular maintenance of plants. Meanwhile, we continue to prioritise areas of poor oral health for water fluoridation such as parts of East Bedfordshire.”