FORMER Health Secretary Andy Burnham repeated his belief that fluoridation would be a positive step for children in Southampton.
The Labour leadership hopeful said that although in favour of the chemical being added to Hampshire taps, that the views of people had to be respected.
Mr Burnham said that the amount of fluoride that was added to the supply was “negligible’’ and that better dental health would promote “self confidence’’ in city youngsters.
The MP stopped in Hampshire to thank party supporters in Southampton and the New Forest for their backing in the leadership race, now entering its final stages.
Mr Burnham said: “It’s often the poorest kids in society that suffer the most without it, fluoridation has been proven to be a safe and effective way of improving not just children’s but everybody’s dental health and one part per million is negligible.
“Having said that I am very aware that there are strong views on the matter. There’s been very robust debate and the views of local people have to be respected.’’ On his race to become leader, the MP for Leigh in Greater Manchester added: “I have a very clear idea how I need to rebuild the Labour Party that has lost touch with its routes.
“We need to rebuild the people’s party from the bottom up.’’