OPPONENTS of the controversial plans to fluoridate Hampshire tap water are holding a public meeting this weekend to discuss the next moves in their campaign.
Members of Hampshire Against fluoridation (HAF) are urging anyone angered by the scheme to join them at St Andrew’s Church Hall, The Avenue, Southampton, from 2pm to 4pm tomorrow.
The group has been at the forefront of the fight against plans approved by South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to add fluoride to water delivered to nearly 200,000 residents in parts of Southampton, Eastleigh, Totton, Netley and Rownhams.
The free meeting will feature campaign news and information about how residents can help, and a talk from Zac Cox, a local dentist opposed to fluoridation.
HAF chairman Stephen Peckham said: “While local people have no say over water fluoridation, Hampshire Against Fluoridation has vowed to continue its campaign.
“The current legislation effectively gives the SHA carte blanche to ignore local people, councils, MPs and the latest scientific evidence, and this is entirely unacceptable in a democratic society.”
As reported, a legal challenge is still being fought against the scheme, which health chiefs want to bring in to improve dental health in children.
Southampton mum Gerri Milner last month lost a judicial review over whether the SHA should have been able to ignore widespread public opposition to the plans when its board approved it.
But she has lodged an appeal against the High Court judge’s decision that the authority fully assessed all the evidence for and against it that was submitted during a public consultation.
The plans have been on hold for nearly two years while the legal bid has gone through the courts.
The SHA, which is due to be scrapped by the Government as soon as next spring, has said it still believes fluoridation is beneficial, but is currently considering its next steps over the plans.
Last week the Daily Echo revealed that the Department of Health is hoping the scheme could provide an opportunity to carry out research into dental fluorosis.
Campaigners say children will be affected by the problem, which is caused by ingesting too much fluoride and can range from white specks appearing on teeth to them being stained, mottled and pitted.