Southampton councillors were today due to vote on calls for them to show their opposition to controversial plans to fluoridate the city’s water supplies.

Opponents of the scheme have forced a motion on to the agenda for today’s full meeting of Southampton City Council, urging the authority to completely withdraw its backing for fluoridation, through a 6,000-signature petition.

Ahead of the vote, Hampshire Against Fluoridation has sent an open letter to all 48 elected officials urging them to vote to say they do not believe adding the chemical to tap water is right for the city.

Under the Government’s proposed NHS reforms, councils are due to be handed powers over fluoridation schemes when strategic health authorities (SHA) are scrapped in 2013.

South Central SHA is working with Southern Water to determine how fluoride will be added, after defeating a High Court legal challenge.

During public consultation in 2008, the city council backed the fluoride plans, to affect nearly 200,000 people in parts of Southampton, Eastleigh, Totton, Netley and Rownhams.

But city councillors have subsequently voted to say there should be a referendum.