Hampshire County Council Leader, Councillor Roy Perry has welcomed the announcement today (28 October 2014) by Public Health England that proposals will no longer go ahead to implement a water fluoridation scheme to around 160,000 Southampton residents, and a further 35,000 people in neighbouring parts of south west Hampshire.
Councillor Perry said: “I am pleased to learn of Public Health England’s decision to drop their proposal – this is good news for Hampshire.
“With the doubts that were raised about the science and efficacy of fluoridation, the County Council has long been opposed to the plans. However, our greatest resistance has always been on the principle of compulsory medication of the public water supply.
“Understandably, we recognise that today’s decision does now place greater onus on the County Council as a public health authority, to maintain, and where possible, increase efforts to help improve the dental and oral health of children across the county. With tooth decay and gum disease linked to serious health problems in other parts of the body, oral health is already an important priority – and work is well underway in these areas. I am pleased that we have been able to protect and maintain our budget to help promote the importance of good oral health – and increase the number of supervised tooth-brushing programmes in early years’ settings across the county, as well as deliver the ‘Saving Smiles Oral Health Improvement’ programme in four Children’s Centres across Hampshire.”