THE first of three Question Time-style events on water fluoridation for Southampton will take place on Monday.

As the fluoride debate gathers pace in the city, the public will get a chance to quiz dental professionals, health bosses and anti-fluoride campaigners on the issue.

Southampton City Primary Care Trust (PCT) wants to add extra fluoride to the city’s tap water supplies from next year to combat poor dental health among children.

While the PCT argues fluoridation will lead to much-improved dental health in the city, opponents claim there are associated health risks and fluoride can lead to thyroid problems, brittle bones and lower IQ levels.

The South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) is conducting a public consultation on fluoridation, which ends in December, and is organising the question and answer sessions.

Panel members will include representatives from the Department of Health, Southampton City PCT and Hampshire Against Fluorid-ation. Kevin McNamara, from the public consultation team at the SHA, said: “This is an important issue for everyone living in Southampton and the south west Hampshire area and people will have questions, concerns and opinions about the proposal.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to find out more to come along to one of the Question Time events and find out the facts, ask questions and share their views.

“The views of those who live or work in the area will help the board of the SHA to make a final decision in February.”

The Question Time-style session will take place at St Mary’s Stadium from 7pm to 9pm. Two further sessions will be held on November 18 and December 3.

Anyone wishing to attend one of the debates and ask their questions should register by calling 0800 023 4680.