Fluoride Action Network

Southampton: Activists will contest the seats of fluoridation supporters

Source: The Daily Echo | January 14th, 2010 | By Jon Reeve
Location: United Kingdom, England

ANTI-fluoridation activists have launched a campaign to stop politicians who backed the Hampshire scheme being re-elected.

They want to see anyone who supported plans to add the chemical to the tap water supplies of nearly 200,000 residents in and around Southampton booted out of office.

The No F in Southampton campaign encourages voters to support only candidates who are fighting the scheme in this year’s local and Parliamentary elections. It is the brainchild of the Green Party, whose candidate for John Denham’s Southampton Itchen seat is John Spottiswoode, chairman of Hampshire Against Fluoridation, which has led the battle to stop health chiefs add fluoride to the water.

“We need to get rid of all those F politicians who voted for fluoridation,” said Mr Spottiswoode.

“We need people to vote only for candidates who will commit themselves to stopping water fluoridation in Southampton.”

The plans to add fluoride to water delivered to homes in two-thirds of Southampton and parts of Eastleigh, Totton, Netley and Rownhams, are currently the subject of a judicial review.

The high court is later this year expected to consider a complaint that South Central Strategic Health Authority should not have voted unanimously in favour of the scheme last February because of public opposition.

More than 10,000 people responded to the SHA’s public consultation, with nearly three-quarters of those living in the area to be fluoridated saying they were against the project. In a separate phone poll, 38 per cent opposed fluoridation compared to 32 per cent who backed it.

Southampton City Council held a free vote on the plans, which saw a majority of councillors back fluoridation. Their colleagues at Hampshire County, New Forest District, Eastleigh Borough and Test Valley Borough councils all opposed the scheme.

New Forest East MP Julian Lewis, Romsey and Southampton North’s Sandra Gidley, and Chris Huhne, who represents Eastleigh, have all supported campaigners fighting fluoridation. Mr Denham and Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead both say they agree with the principle of adding fluoride to water supplies, but have called for the scheme to be put on hold in the face of public opposition.