ANTI-fluoridation campaigners are claiming an early victory after Bolton Town Hall chiefs vowed to oppose plans to add a controversial chemical to tap water.
Councillors voted to support a resolution to resist any attempts by the strategic health authority to move ahead with the plan to add fluoride being mixed with water supplies.
They said the majority of people were opposed to adding fluoride and vowed to back them.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Julia Silvester who represents Westhoughton told the council it should instead arrange for fluoride to be added to the milk young children are given at school.
Horwich councillor Cllr Bob Ronson also Lib Dem put forward the motion in response to an indication by the Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority last year that it intends to force water companies to fluoridate water.
The health body has been given new powers last year to press ahead with fluoridation but told it will first have to consult with householders.
Cllr Ronson said: “People are not happy to accept that this has been put in the hands of an unelected body.
“It would interfere with the right of people to refuse medication.”
His comments were backed by Conservative Cllr Donald Carr who represents Bromley Cross. He said: “If people want to use fluoride then there are hundreds of brands of toothpaste they can buy.
“It would be undemocratic to introduce that chemical to the borough’s water supply.” Opponents of the move claim not enough is known of the long term effects of fluoridation but supporters believe it would be a key weapon in the war against tooth decay.
But Labour’s deputy council leader Cllr Guy Harkin backed fluoridation.
He said: “It is an unpopular stance but the scientific evidence is overwhelming. The idea that our water is pure is nonsense. In most cases it has gone through the system about eight times before it gets to us.”