HEALTH – FLUORIDATION IN TOTTON – 25 June 2009

Dr Julian Lewis: May we have a statement from the Prime Minister on what he meant when he came to Southampton and told the people of Southampton and Totton in my constituency that they would decide whether or not their tap water was fluoridated? According to the Under-Secretary of State for Health, the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ann Keen):

"The Prime Minister's statement serves to highlight the legislative requirements contained in section 89 of the Water Industry Act 1991 whereby a strategic health authority must 'consult and ascertain opinion' before requesting a water undertaker to increase the fluoride content of a water supply."—[Official Report, 22 June 2009; Vol. 494, c. 722W.]

All the MPs, including one of the Prime Minister's Cabinet colleagues, have said that, because of lack of public support, the process should not go ahead, yet the undemocratic Strategic Health Authority is pressing on with it. What did the Prime Minister mean when he said that the people will decide?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Ms Harriet Harman): The strategic authorities responsible for water should come within the purview of the Regional Select Committees and the Regional Grand Committee. I hope the hon. Gentleman will play his part on the Regional Committee in holding them to account, and that he will raise fluoridation with the relevant Ministers, namely Health Ministers as well as the Prime Minister.]