7 Sep 2011

Commons Debates Daily Hansard - Written Answers

Fluoride: Drinking Water
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) estimate his Department has made and (b) data it has on the probable cost of adding fluoride to the water supply in Southampton and Totton; and what account he will take of opposition by (i) the public and (ii) relevant local authorities when deciding whether to make Government funds available for this purpose. [68310]

Anne Milton: Under Section 87 of the Water Industry Act 1991 strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for fluoridation. The only estimate of the cost of the Southampton scheme held by the Department is the figure of £471,000 included in the consultation document published by South Central SHA in September 2008. We understand that the SHA intends to fund implementation of the scheme from its capital allocation, which it may use at its discretion.

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date he expects local authorities to take over responsibility for deciding if water supplies should be fluoridated; and whether this (a) could and (b) will be earlier than the delayed date for the abolition of strategic health authorities. [68311]

Anne Milton: Following the Government's acceptance of the recommendations of the NHS Future Forum, strategic health authorities will now continue in place up until April 2013. Subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill 2011, which contains the necessary legislative changes, local authorities will become responsible for consultations on fluoridation schemes from April 2013.

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