HEALTH chiefs had hoped fluoride would be in Hampshire’s water by the end of this year, but the scheme has been on hold since last June because of a legal challenge.
The High Court is to rule whether South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) should have taken more account of public opinion before backing the plans in February last year.
During the public consultation, 72 per cent of people living in the affected area who gave their views opposed fluoridation.
But the authority’s 12 board members unanimously approved the scheme, saying it would benefit dental health.
That sparked calls, backed by the Daily Echo, for a binding referendum.
A date for the judicial review hasn’t been set, because the campaigner who lodged the legal bid is appealing against a ruling she could not challenge the way the SHA weighed up its evidence.
The SHA, which has consistently argued it met or exceeded all its legal requirements during the consultation, has set aside £400,000 to fight the action.
That is seen as a test case and has caused other health authorities around the country to delay their own fluoride schemes.