Leicestershire health chiefs today backed the fluoridation of the county’s water supplies by the smallest possible margin – the casting vote of the chairman.
When the time came to end the months of debate about fluoridation, the members of the authority were split.
With the vote tied at eight for and eight against, with two abstentions, the health authority chairman, Mr George Farnham, used his casting vote.
Mr Farnham said he used his casting vote “as a matter of conscience” because he believed in fluoridation.
“I feel I have a duty to use my casting vote in the way necessary.”
Commenting on his decision to go against the views of local councils, he added: “We must look at national democracy first. It’s the view of the democratically-elected government that fluoride in water is a desirable thing.”
The decision triggered off protests among anti-fluoride campaigners at the meeting in Leicester.
Mr Richard Lustig, spokesman for Leicestershire and Rutland Against Fluoride, said: “It stinks.” He said the fight against fluoridation would go on and they appeal to the Health Ombudsman.