HEALTH chiefs have welcomed the backing of Southampton City Council to proposals to add fluoride to water in the city and surrounding areas.
City councillors voted 26 to 18 in favour of water fluoridation to combat tooth decay following an in-depth inquiry and council debate last night.
Southampton City Primary Care Trust, the local body responsible for assessing the health needs of the local population, insists the scheme is a safe and effective method of reducing “unacceptable” levels of dental decay in the city.
It said the support of the local council was “very important”.
Andrew Mortimore, public health director of the PCT said: “We hope that local people take confidence from the decision taken by the City Council to back the proposals. “We hope also that even more Southampton residents will now express their support for the proposals for fluoridation currently being consulted on by South Central Strategic Health Authority.”
“We are delighted by the fact that elected councillors who represent Southampton, which makes up the majority of those who would benefit from fluoridated water in the proposed scheme, have decided to support water fluoridation.
“We appreciate the thoroughness with which the issues were examined and believe this is an example of local democracy at its best.”
The PCT said national surveys of five-year-old and eleven-year-old children have consistently shown that Southampton children endure significantly more tooth decay than those living in fluoridated Birmingham, South Staffordshire, Bromsgrove and Redditch.