THE subject of water fluoridation has been debated passionately by campaigners in Bolton for the past 50 years.
The Bolton News reported in November, 1968, how more than 100,000 votes were cast in a referendum on the issue, with 82 per cent voting against the measure.
But the subject reared its head again in the 1980s, when the Bolton Health Authority announced its support for fluoridation of the water supply, leading to a call for an investigation by a national ombudsman.
Bolton resident John Wright formed the Fight Against Fluoridation campaign, which quickly sparked 13 sister groups, from Cheshire to Cumbria, under the banner of “North Against Fluoridation”.
The organisation attracted widespread support, holding public meetings and writing hundreds of letters in protest at the plans.
Despite residents’ opposition the health authority pressed forward — voting for fluoridation of the town’s water supply in April, 1988, in spite of Bolton Council voting against it.
However, in 1992, the plans were rejected by the North West Water Authority due to the public backlash.
In 2008, NHS North West announced new plans for a £200 million fluoridation scheme, which was panned in a region-wide consultation.
The plans were shelved once again when the organisation was abolished.