On Wednesday I was delighted to support a motion to the City Council, calling for a public refurendum on whether fluoride should be added to the local water.
The council debate was about fluoride but not about the merit of fluoride or the concerns of those who oppose it. It was instead about Democracy.
It is clear that an overwhelming majority of residents in Southampton do not wish to have fluoride added to their water.The NHS’ initial consultation attracted 10,000 responses, with 72 per cent against. In a separate and later phone poll of 2,000 residents, 38 per cent opposed fluoridation compared to 32 per cent in favour. Whichever way you cut it, to date, local people have made it clear that they don’t want fluoride.
In a democratic, free country we should respect the views of majority. Labour’s unelected quango, the South Central NHS are however pushing ahead with their plans.
I feel that on such an important issue you shouldn’t ride roughshod over residents’ views. On Wednesaday I called for a referendum to determine finally and without doubt the views of local people. I would expect the NHS and the Government to respect the outcome of that referendum.
I was delighted that the motion was carried, albeit without the support of Labour or the Lib Dems.
On Wednesday we voted on the motion and made our views as a council known. However it is important to note that the Conservative Party nationally support local people having their say and a referendum. David Cameron and Andrew Lansley MP have both put this view on the public record when speaking recently in Hampshire.