28 Apr 2012

Daily Echo two page spread

Conservative Royston Smith said: "Without question, if we had the opportunity to take it out, that's what I would seek to do.
"I have always been of the opinion that you do not mass-medicate people against their will.
"This has been done without asking the people and, in my opinion, we shouldn't force people to do something that you haven't first asked their opinion for. You can't do that for everything, but when it's something as significant as medicating a water supply I think you should make sure you have asked the people for their opinion first.
"I've voted against it at each and every opportunity and will continue to do that until there's a full referendum of those people who are affected."

The Lib Dem's Adrian Vinson said: "We are opposed to the addition of fluoride to Southampton's water supply both because its benefits have not been scientifically demonstrated and because we are against enforced medication.
"It was the Liberal Democrats that forced a vote in the council that brought about a change in the council's position. If and when we have any additional powers in this matter we would use them to stop the scheme."
Meanwhile, Labour group leader Richard Williams said: "Certainly, if the opportunity arises it is something I would be happy to take back to council to redebate it.
"The other option would be to have some sort of local referendum on this and ask the people because it's such an emotive issue, and I wouldn't want to rule that out.
"I'm keen to engage people in democracy where we can, and this would be a great way of trying to empower people to have a say, and give us an open and fair mandate.
"My personal view on it is both times I voted in favour of fluoridation, but I certainly wouldn't push that on others.
"When I was a child I came from a fluoridated area, and I saw there were some potential benefits from that.
"But we've certainly not regarded it as a matter of policy in a political context. It's a matter of conscience, and I've always encouraged members to vote the way that's right for them.
"Lots of people have very strong opinions one way or the other, but it's not necessarily an issue that is a Labour or Conservative thing."

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