BBC journalist Peter White is to chair three Question Time-style events on controversial moves to add more fluoride to Hampshire’s water supplies.
Mr White,a former BBC Radio Solent presenter and the Beeb’s disability affairs correspondent, will chair a panel of representatives from the pro and anti-fluoride lobby as part of a major consultation exercise by South Central Strategic Health Authority to increase levels of the chemical in tap water in the Southampton and south-west Hampshire district, which includes Nursling and Rownhams.
The Question Time events are being staged at Saints St Mary’s Stadium between 7pm and 9pm on October 20, November 8 and December 3.
A 14-week public consultation began on September 8 and concludes on December 19. South Central Strategic Health Authority is due to make a decision on Southampton City Primary Care Trust’s request to add the extra fluoride next February. The trust’s bosses’ claim the extra fluoride is needed because the city’s kids teeth are generally in poor condition and the chemical will help improve dental health.
A selected team of county councillors have also been asked to look into the proposals during two day-long hearings in Winchester and report their findings back to members in November. The first took place last Thursday and the second is due to be held on Monday (October 6) in HCC’s chamber at Castle Avenue starting at 10.30am.
South Central SHA’s Olga Senior said: “We want to hear what those who work and live in the area think about the proposed scheme to help the board of the SHA make a final decision next year. It is great to have someone as experienced as Peter White to help generate discussion. I am sure local people will take the opportunity to have their questions answered.”
Drop-in centres have been set up across Southampton and south-west Hampshire. More details about these and booking a seat for the Peter White Question Time events can be obtained by logging on to the SHA website www.southcentral.nhs.uk/fluoridation or calling the SHA on 0800 0234680.