AN MP has written to the Government admit saying it is “morally indefensible” for health bosses to fluoridate Hampshire tap water in the months before they lose their power.

Julian Lewis wants public health minister Anne Milton to accept South Central Strategic Health Authority would be acting undemocratically if it introduces the scheme before it is abolished.

Powers to add the chemical to water supplies are due to pass to local councils when SHAs are axed in 2013 as part of an overhaul of the NHS.

Southampton City and Hampshire County councils – along with all the district and borough authorities in the affected area – are against the plan so Dr Lewis believes it is wrong for the health body to plough ahead.

The New Forest East MP has been campaigning to get the Department of Health to step in to stop the project, which would affect 200,000 people living in parts of Southampton, Eastleigh, Totton, Netley and Rownhams.

The Newbury-based health authority has restarted work on the project since defeating a High Court legal challenge earlier this year and is hopeful of having the framework in place to deliver fluoridated water, which it argues will improve dental health, “by 2013”.

Dr Lewis wrote to Mrs Milton: “I have no doubt that it is within the legal powers of the outgoing Strategic Health Authority to force through fluoridation right up to the 59th minute of the 23rd hour of the day on which it is finally abolished. My point is that such behaviour would be morally indefensible – and I should like you to express a view on this aspect, too.”